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Green Corridors project wins LGNZ Excellence Award

Tuesday July 25 2017

Palmerston North City Council’s Green Corridors project has won the Air New Zealand Excellence Award for Environmental Impact in this year’s LGNZ Excellence Awards.

The win was announced at a gala dinner in Auckland last night attended by more than 600 delegates from local and central government, and stakeholders. 

In the 16-year project PNCC partnered with the community to establish green corridors of native plants from the Tararua Ranges through to Palmerston North City and the Manawatū River. 

The project began in 2001 when Palmerston North residents were concerned at the loss of biodiversity, with only one per cent of forest cover remaining and native birds a rare sight. 

Since then 150,000 native trees have been planted along the Turitea and Kahuterawa streams and gullies in the suburb of Aokautere/Summerhill. 

There has been a significant increase in native bird numbers in the Turitea Reserve, headwaters of the Green Corridors project, and water quality has improved in both streams. 

Turitea Stream is now being used as an incubator for eels through a collaborative project with local iwi, Rangitāne o Manawatū. 

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says the Green Corridors Palmerston North project is an excellent example of council and community action. 

“You can see from the photos the excellent results of this project,” Mr Yule says.  “This project provides a wonderful example of what can be achieved by taking a long term approach to environmental restoration.” 

Photo shows community volunteers planting native trees in Titoki Reserve.

Community volunteers have planted over 150,000 native plants as part of the project

Judges said this was a project initiated by a community concerned about biodiversity loss.  

“Sixteen years on it is still going and the impact is there to see as a result of the efforts of many people planting thousands of trees. This project has had wide community involvement, from the very young to older residents, and shows the benefit that can be gained over time.” 

Judges for the awards are former Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast, Chair of EQC Sir Maarten Wevers and The New Zealand Initiative’s Executive Director, Dr Oliver Hartwich.