4 August 2019
Local children got stuck in and did their bit for the community, planting more than 200 native plants in Ngongotahā.
The community planting day was held on Friday and was organised by Rotorua Lakes Council community engagement advisor Christine Hutchison who says the event was focused on both beautification and increased drainage at the Pioneer Drainage Reserve.
Children from Ngongotahā Primary School, Ngongotahā Early Learning Centre, Central Kids Kindergarten and Western Heights High School helped out at the planting day.
Christine says the reserve needed more native plants and she wanted to raise awareness with local children about making a difference in their community.
She says the planting was a huge success and was really pleasing.
“We just wanted to make a difference and to make this a more beautiful place.”
Ngongotahā Primary School teacher Jae Macfarlane says a lot of children at the school were affected by the flooding in April 2018.
“The kids got heaps of support and this is not only a way to give back, but it also open up a whole range of conversations.”
She says it provided an opportunity to talk about native plants as well as the local community and ways to reduce flooding.
Ten-year-old Blake Goodson says the planting day was fun.
He says it was important to plant trees as it helped people breathe and would help with any potential future flooding.
“The trees suck up the water.”
Rotorua Lakes Council's Civil Defence team was at the event to raise awareness about the community's role in Civil Defence and how families can be better prepared for any future events.
The event was also supported by the Ngongotahā Community Reference Group. The group has been meeting monthly and has been finding out about the work being undertaken to achieve the 24 actions identified by the Independent Review Panel.
The work is being done in collaboration with the group as well as the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
The Regional Council is organising a stream side community planting day for August 24.
Local residents are being invited to attend and help plant more than 800 native plants along the banks of the Ngongotahā Stream.
Key staff from both councils will be at the planting day as well as Reference Group members, who will be able to talk about what work has been done to date.
An information session for flood-affected residents is also being planned for the end of the month.
Ngongotahā Stream side community planting and flood update day:
When: August 24 from 9am to 12pm.
What to bring: A spade, gumboots or covered shoes (no jandals), yourself and your family and a willingness to get your hands dirty!
- A sausage sizzle will be provided for lunch about 12pm.
- Meet at the reserve off Munro Place, Ngongotahā.
- Please park either on Kokiri Street or Western Road and come over the foot bridge.