The aim of this project is to improve the health of the Motupipi River in Golden Bay by removing all the crack willows which are choking the river. Where landowners are willing, the river corridor is being planted with native plants. It is hoped that as the habitat is restored it will support thriving populations of freshwater fish, as well as birds and other treasured species.
The Motupipi River is a small, spring-fed river that flows beside the township of Takaka and out to the estuary. The river is choked by crack willows in several places, dense aquatic weed in other areas, and other weeds. Sediment build-up is deep in many areas. The river is surrounded by farms, so nutrient levels can be high at times.
This project started in 2018 and is a collaboration between Tasman Environmental Trust, NZ Landcare Trust, Tasman District Council, Fonterra, Project De-Vine, local landowners, Takaka Primary School and the community. Over five years, the willow trees will be poisoned and some removed, fences will be moved back from the river wherever possible, and native plants planted.