Caring for the environment  |  16 Sep 2019

A riverside corridor alongside a new student building at the University of Canterbury will be restored following support from the Christchurch City Council’s Biodiversity Fund.

The Council’s Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee has approved funding for three conservation projects, including extensive native planting near the UC Students' Association (UCSA) building, Haere-roa.

The riverbank leading up to the new UCSA building.

Extensive planting is planned on the riverside land by the UC Students' Association's new building, Haere-roa.

In total, more than $65,000 in funding has been approved by the committee, including $20,900 for the UCSA-backed Haere-roa project, which also targets river and bird habitat improvements.

UCSA holds the riverside land on a 99-year lease.

Committee Chairperson Councillor Pauline Cotter says the Haere-roa project is a “blueprint for student-powered conservation”.

“Restoring and regenerating a vital river corridor of ecological significance is key to improving the local habitat, both in and out of the water,” Cr Cotter says.

“We hope that the investment in this project will spark youth interest across a range of conservation and environmental restoration projects, and highlight the importance of the waterway.”

A conservation project to protect forest remnants in Cass Bay on Banks Peninsula will receive $40,000 while $4420 in funding will go towards a protective fence along Te Oka Stream.

Both Banks Peninsula projects focus on protection in order to encourage natural regeneration.

“By preventing stock from entering these areas, we can enhance habitats and protect native flora and, in the case of Te Oka, the stream catchment,” Cr Cotter says.

The $200,000 annual Biodiversity Fund supports and encourage initiatives that protect and enhance indigenous biodiversity in Christchurch and on Banks Peninsula.

Individuals or groups can apply for a grant worth up to $40,000.