Riparian management

Under the Council’s award-winning Riparian Management Programme, thousands of kilometres of streambanks and wetlands are being fenced and planted to protect and enhance the region’s waterways.

Find out about the Taranaki Riparian Management Programme and the benefits it's bringing.

Fencing streambanks keeps stock out of waterways and vegetation helps to trap and filter run-off from pasture. Planting provides shading, food and shelter for wildlife and encourages biodiversity in rivers and streams. All of these aspects generally support water quality.

Taranaki’s Riparian Management Programme is believed to be the largest and longest-running environmental enhancement planting scheme on private land in New Zealand. It is transforming the Taranaki ring plain and has been recognised with a Green Ribbon Award from the Ministry for the Environment, and awards from the Geospatial World Forum and the NZ Resource Management Law Association.

Partnership the key

For more than 20 years the Council has worked with landowners to develop riparian management plans for individual properties – primarily on the Taranaki ring plain. The free plans detail recommendations for fencing and planting the property’s waterways, and set targets for implementation.

The Council contracts nurseries to supply native plants to farmers at cost. The Council can also arrange planting contractors to undertake the work if required.

Get yourself a plan

Interested in a riparian management plan for your farm, run-off or lifestyle block? Talk to one of our Land Management Officers today.

Call 0800 736 222 or email

Progress so far

  • More than 5.6 million native plants have been supplied to landowners since the scheme began in 1996.
  • 99.5% of Taranaki’s 1600 dairy farms have riparian plans. Across the whole region, there are nearly 2900 plans covering 15,400km of streambank.
  • At 30 June 2019,a total of 87% (13,756km) of the streams were fenced and 74% (8,928km) of streambank that required planting or vegetation were protected by vegetation..
'Definite improvement' from riparian programme - Seven Sharp

Watch a report by TVNZ's Seven Sharp on Taranaki's riparian management programme and how well it is working.

'Definite improvement' in Taranaki - Seven Sharp(external link)
Transforming Taranaki

Read how a world-scale ecological restoration project is transforming Taranaki and building healthier ecosystems. 

Transforming Taranaki 2019 [PDF, 4.4 MB]


Transforming Taranaki 2019

This booklet celebrates the achievements of the Taranaki Riparian Management Programme, a world-scale ecological restoration project.

Transforming Taranaki 2019 (4.4 MB pdf) (single document only)

Analysis of stream responses to riparian management on the Taranaki ring plain

This study, commissioned by the Council and undertaken by NIWA, aimed to assess the relationships between the riparian fencing and planting undertaken in the Riparian Management Programme and stream health and recreational values in Taranaki streams. Overall, the findings of this study indicate that the programne has had beneficial effects on stream health and water quality for human health and recreation in the region.

Analysis of stream responses to riparian management on the Taranaki ring plain (2.3 MB pdf) (single document only)