People & Partnerships

Ashburton Council

Plant Choice

240,000 wetland plants including Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani and Eleocharis sphacelata.


Kauri Park were awarded this project via its relationship with NIWA, who recommended the Ashburton Council to source the plants from Kauri Park as being the only commercial reveg nursery in New Zealand who was able to supply these species in volume, who also possessed the knowledge of the water treatment capabilities of the selected species and who would be able to germinate the seed of the Eleocharis sphacelata (kuta).

The project required enormous logistical planning to deliver plants from Northland to South Canterbury, that needed to be grown in water, in good condition, in a short time frame, in conjunction with a large planting team.

Planet & Eco-Leadership

In 2007 Ashburton Council undertook a major upgrade of its wastewater treatment plant. The design included a 8ha surface flow wetland for treatment of the waste water before discharging it to sea.

The two key species, Eleocharis sphacelata and Schoenoplectis tabernaemontani were eco sourced from the Ashburton area. Kuta, being a difficult species for germinating seed, required specialised treatment to achieve seed germination.

The plants were all grown in permanent wet beds, then depotted at the nursery in Kaiwaka and packed into plastic crates and delivered by line haul trucks to Ashburton. Each delivery contained approx. 40,000 plants which maintained supply to the planting teams in the 3 week time frame allowed for, for the planting of this project.

Shared Success

The Ashburton wetland is a glowing testament to what Kauri Park can offer to local councils by way of specialised plants and knowledge for the successful biological, renewable and low maintenance cost for the treatment of polluted town water.

This is a true green project.