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Restoring and Protecting Flora in Karamea and surrounds

24 Feb 2023

Karamea locals may see the team from MBC Environmental busy with weed control at various sites in the area in 2023. This work is part of the Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance (KMTT)’s Restoring and Protecting Flora project, led by The Nature Conservancy Aotearoa NZ, the NZ arm of a global environmental not-for-profit.  The project will be targeting pampas and wilding conifers on Karamea Spit, banana passionfruit and ginger along the Karamea River, and pink trumpet vine along the Oparara River, among other locations.

Restoring and Protecting Flora is starting to make a visible difference across Kawatiri with the $1.4 million central government Jobs For Nature funding allocated to habitat restoration over three years. As well as providing local employment (eight FTE jobs), the project is controlling serious infestations of weed species pampas, gunnera, blackberry, gorse, ginger, banana passionfruit, Himalayan honeysuckle, willow, flowering cherry and wilding conifers at around 90 sites selected for their ecological significance across Buller.

The Nature Conservancy’s Hudson Dodd, Restoring and Protecting Flora Project Manager, said that KMTT is now applying for further funding for native plantings across the region, to enhance ongoing control of weed species in significant sites.

“We are working with Alliance partners including Buller District Council, West Coast Regional Council and DOC. Initial intensive weed control will be followed by ongoing maintenance and native plantings to make sure the conservation gains are maintained. This project is starting to have an impact across Te Tauihu as well as Kawatiri.

“It’s early days but we expect that in a few years, as the natives grow with less impact from invasives, we’ll see an increase in birds and other wildlife and richer native habitats for all to enjoy, and the employment opportunities are making a real difference to young people’s career prospects.”

Buller District Council Mayor Jamie Cleine said that he was delighted to see work getting underway to restore habitat in northern Kawatiri. “As a KMTT partner right from the start, Council is very supportive of this project.”

Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance is a collective of iwi and councils from Te Tauihu and northern Te Tai Poutini, as well as the Department of Conversation, and The Nature Conservancy Aotearoa NZ.

The Alliance is dedicated to environmental restoration across our rohe. ‘Kia kotahi te hoe’ – further together.

Martin Rodd, KMTT Alliance Co-chair, says that this project has the potential to contribute to building increased ecosystem health and resilience to climate change. “Although small, these are steps that can compound to have catchment-scale impact when really ramped up.”

A recent report to the Government by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment states our native ecosystems are under heavy threat from invasive plant species.

For further information on this project,  please contact Community Engagement Officer Sacha Healey by phone on 027 252 2595 or by email: with Karamea Weed Control in the subject line.


further information please contact:

KMTT Alliance communications
Caroline Crick

Buller District Council communications 
Mira Schwill