Waitete riparian

Started: 2005
Current status: Mostly complete
Involves: Riparian scheme Waitete stream
Partners: MfE
, DOC, 
Landowners, esp Roger Smith, 
James Say Trust
Description: Waitete stream flows along the western edge of Waihi town. A plan to subdivide existing farmland spurred a move to fence off the stream and plant a riparian strip.
The project has been ongoing for 7 years and has involved over 15 kms of fencing and the planting of sedges, shrubs and trees. Parts of the strip now are used as a walkway and a picnic area and maintenance is carried out by HELP Waihi on contract to Hauraki District Council.

Latest news.  Waikato Regional Council EIF grant September 2019 to allow further work on streambank as it leaves the bushline and to complete planting from Orchard Road to and hopefully beyond State Highway 2

2020.  Hauraki District Council provided an additional $10,000 to allow planting downstream of SH 2.  Ground clearance and preparation undertaken and planting in conjunction with Waihi College pupils in winter 2020.

2021.  Continued preparation between Dean Crescent and the Waitete Stream – mulcher clearance and weed spraying.  Projected planting winter 2021, again in conjunction with Waihi College. EIF grant to be completed May 31. two areas of planting completed below the State Highway 2 bridge and the steep hillside further upstrea.m

Report for Waikato Regional Council written in June – shows expenditure by HELP of over $18,000 in addition to the $23,800 from Waikato Regional Council.

Karangahake restoration planting

Started: 2007
Current status: Ongoing
Involves: Planting, maintaining
Partners: DOC, WRC, Ian Bradshaw, nursery, LINZ
Description: Volunteers have been clearing and planting areas of DOC land alongside the old rail trail through the gorge. There are associated efforts to remove some of the weeds (notably privet).
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Hauraki Rail Trail

Started: 2013
Current status: Ongoing
Involves: Planting, following weed clearance.
Partners:  Rail Trail Trust, WRC,  Valder Trust, James Say Foundation
Description:  Planting along Hauraki Rail Trail.  This is concentrated in two major areas – Tirohia and Hikutaia.  North of Robinson Road a cutting has been cleared and planted by Hikutaia school pupils,  and then areas of wetland and drains further north have been planted with a mixture of flaxes, ti kouka and kahikatea. Further planting will be undertaken in 2019.  A similar project is taking place near Cadman Road, Tirohia, with Miller Avenue School involved in the planting.  Over 1500 plants were planted by Miller Avenue pupils and the HELP volunteers and work team in August 2019.

Latest news.  HELP donated $20,000 to Hauraki Rail Trail Trust to be used to gain subsidy for work from Te Aroha north, clearing weeds and planting natives.  Areas of privet and other weeds cut and mulched during 2020, Areas along Mangaiti straight planted 2020.  Areas closer to Te Aroha (Farmer St to over 800 metres north of Stirling St) being prepared for planting winter 2021.

Mangatoetoe Stream

Started: 2013
Current status: Ongoing
Involves: Riparian scheme
Partners: MfE, HDC, James Say Trust, Landowners, Macmahon Contractors, Newmont, Waihi Gold, Honda Tree Fund, Oceana Gold Waihi Operation, WRC
Description: This stream runs through the centre of Waihi. Mid catchment work mostly by Newmont Waihi Gold has resulted in some riparian planting and restoration. HELP Waihi is embarking on restoration of the remainder of the catchment, starting below the State Highway bridge and moving downstream initially. In 2017 the confluence with the Ohinemuri was planted out, though there are still areas in between to address. The Ministry funding finished at the end of 2017 but release work and further clearing and planting is continuing.  2018 planting at Roberts Road badly hit by dry summer/autumn – but the bamboo has been removed and regrowth essentially under control. Infill planting during 2019.

2021 update.  Continued support from James Say Trust plus HELP input allowing maintenance to continue.

Ohinemuri Sedge Trials

Started: 2014
Current status: Ongoing
Involves: Riparian scheme
Partners: WRC EIF grant
Description: HELP Waihi carried out trial plantings of carex geminata and carex secta along the river bank, using different planting densities and control systems. The growth of the plants has been surveyed and assessed to compare the performance of each process.
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Japanese Walnut removal

Started: 2016
Current status: Ongoing
Involves: Poisoning or removal of Japanese Walnuts in Waihi basin
Partners: WRC, HDC, landowners
Description: The walnuts have seeded profusely along the banks of the Ohinemuri River and tributaries. WRC funding covered some removal and a planting project. The planting project was upstream of Pippas Corner on the Rail Trail and is an on-going project.  Upstream walnut removal is being carried out when we can manage it.  HELP is seeking more funding so that a complete upper catchment blitz on the walnuts can be undertaken.
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Millstream Walkway Environment Restoration

Started : 2018

Current Status: Ongoing.

Involves : Clearing weed species (such as gorse, wattle, convolvulus, honeysuckle) along the Millstream Walkway, planting with native species and carrying out walking surface improvements.

Partners : HDC, Len Reynolds Trust

Description : Small scale weed removal and native planting has been undertaken over many years by Waihi Walkways members. With the demise of Waihi Walkways, HDC has contracted HELP Waihi to maintain the walkway and some existing walkways members have joined HELP Waihi and are continuing their efforts.  The Len Reynolds grant allows a more comprehensive approach.  Weed removal was undertaken in late 2018 and early 2019, with planting carried out in late autumn and winter 2019. Efforts will be concentrated in the area from the Clarke St entrance to below the Squash Club.

2021 update.  Areas below the Waihi Squash club cleared in 2020 using a mulcher plus sprays.  A  section of the mulched area planted in 2020.  Rest of the area being prepared for winter planting of the bare ground – this ground stretches up border the new croquet court area of Morgan Park.

Best Mates (Waihi pet food manufacturer, maker of Tu Meke Friend) coming on board to help fund planting.


Pukekauri Wetland Restoration

Started : 2018

Involves : Removing willows, privet and vines from a wetland on the farm of Dennis and Anita Orchard.  The area is being replanted with wetland species and surrounding land in general restoration planting.

Partner : Dennis and Anita Orchard who have set aside the wetland area and adjacent farmland for restoration.

Description :  The wetland borders the Rail Trail so will be able to be enjoyed by the many passers-by. Over 2500 plants were planted during winter 2019.

2021.  Continued maintenance following some infill planting in 2020 (plant losses because of drought and stock damage).  Proposed further infill planting winter 2021.

Union Hill Restoration

Started : 2017

Involves : Clearing weed species (such as tree privet, willows, black wattle) and replanting with a mix of native vegetation. Is concentrated on the area within the loop track behind the cyanide tanks. Clearance, mostly by mulcher, has been completed.  Planting is planned for May to August 2019.

Partners : Working for Waihi Heritage Vision who have been funded by Oceana Gold.

Description :  The top tailings dam has been cleared and has been planted with sedges and flaxes around the edge.  A view line from the main track to the tanks will be kept by planting low vegetation such as phormium cookianum.  In the back area there is general restoration planting – pittosporum, five finger, mahoe, plus tanekaha, totara, tawa, miro. Planting was associated with Schools World Climate Change day, with many of the Waihi schools and pre-schools represented.

Work is also being done opposite Millstream Walkway to link in with the riparian planting there.  This will include work in the lower tailings dam.

2020.  Infill planting plus an extension planting along main track.

2021.  Further infill and extension planting planned for winter

Waihi Heritage Vision in talks with Oceana Gold and archaeologist Rod Clough about on-going programme and the introduction of  a heritage interpretation site.

Associated Projects


Started: 2006
Current status: Ongoing
Involves: Wetland planting
Partners: Predator control Environment Society (WBESI)
Description: DOC created new ponding areas on land formerly grazed by cattle (donated to DOC by Snow Brown). Various locals have been maintaining bait lines (2011 on) and WBESI has been central to revegetation programmes (first planting 2010) WBESI has become an associate member of HELP and use the HELP nursery to produce plants.
Click here for more.

We have recently received BOPRC funding for extended work on weed control, following an initial contract with DOC to spray blackberry and gorse and start to remove willow.  The blackberry has been removed over a significant area allowing around 1,000 plants to be put in at a planting day attended by volunteers from Waihi Beach Environment Society, Uretara Estuary Managers and HELP. Further work on weed control is being carried out over summer 2019-20.

2021.  On-going funding confirmed for a 5 year period to allow weed control to be maintained across the Wetland Refuge.  As well, an on-going programme to poison willows on Western Bay of Plenty DC land behind the Athenree Transfer Station has been established – administered by Bay of Plenty RC.


Started: 2006
Current status: Ongoing
Involves: Riparian scheme
Description: Uretara Estuary Managers (UEM) are the drivers of a programme to restore the catchment of the Uretara Stream at Katikati. HELP Waihi are contractors to UEM

Otara Creek

Started: 2006
Current status: HELP involvement now complete.
Involves: Riparian scheme
Partners: Mitigation Auckland Airport
Description: WaiCare Auckland Airport has to carry out mitigation work as part of its cover for loss of waterways in airport expansion. The work was initially overseen by Manukau City Council and WaiCare. HELP has been a contractor for much of the ground clearance, planting and on-going maintenance.
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Rings Beach

Started: 2009
Current status: HELP involvement now complete.
Catchment restoration Rings Beach volunteers Locals are restoring 35 ha of milled forest, some planted in pines. New plantings represent a wide mix of species and are able to be visited via a network of tracks off the Rings Beach to Matarangi part of the Coromandel Coastal Walkway. HELP has been a major supplier of plants.

Private Riparian plantings

Started: 2018

Involves :  Several farms

Current status : On-going.  After a number of years with little interaction with locals farmers, in 2018 HELP became involved in a riparian planting at a Ford Road farm belonging to Dennis and Anita Orchard. In 2019 a further 2000 plants were put in with the new fencing undertaken by Orchards. This was followed by plantings at Bruce Morrisons and then Ron Arthurs and finally a 3,000 planting at Rifle Range Road on Urquharts property.  It has been great to be working with local farmers in protecting local waterways.

During 2020 further plantings were made on the Orchard, Morrison and Urquhart properties while a number of other landowners were supplied with plants.

2021 is likely to see more plantings, with two new landowners (Brumby farms and Paul Schuler) joining the list.



Started :  2021
Involves :  Drlling willows and controlling creepers on the Broadlands Block - the wetland area behind the Community Centre and Waihi Beach Hotel.

This work is being undertaken for Western Bay of Plenty District Council as the first step in the rehabilitation of the area which is presently a waste land of crack willow and many weeds like convolvulus, blackberry and honeysuckle.

In June 2021 an initial planting will take place, with plants supplied by Waihi Beach School. HELP has carried out the preparation work for the school group to plant the area.