The demands on the region’s rivers and streams continue to increase as the result of land use intensification. The long-term management of these resources is a high priority to ensure fresh water quality and aquatic biodiversity within the Waikato region are preserved for future generations. Riparian management techniques such as fencing and planting of riparian zones are an effective way of improving water quality and increasing aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity.
Waikato Regional Council monitors stream bank vegetation to quantify what proportion of the region’s riparian margins requires further stream bank vegetation planting.
The regional riparian characteristics survey provides a repeatable and quantitative assessment of riparian fencing, vegetation, and stream bank erosion through pastoral land in the Waikato region. In addition to supporting catchment management zone works the survey information potentially supports our biodiversity, biosecurity, and environmental education strategies and programmes.
The survey provides a benchmark on stream bank vegetation and, through ongoing monitoring, can provide a gauge of the effectiveness of Waikato Regional Council’s riparian policies.
Riparian vegetation has been surveyed along 1km lengths of waterways. The vegetation has been classified into woody and non-woody vegetation.
The stream bank vegetation indicator shows:
More detail on this indicator, including how and where the Waikato Regional Council collects this information, is available in the technical information page.
Jones H, Kimberley M, Hill R, Borman D 2016. Riparian characteristics of pastoral waterways in the Waikato region, 2002-2012. Waikato Regional Council Technical Report 2015/49. Hamilton, Waikato Regional Council.
Storey. R. 2010. Riparian Characteristics of Pastoral Streams in the Waikato Region, 2002 and 2007. Environment Waikato Technical Report 2010/07. National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research Ltd. (NIWA)
Hill, R. and Kelly, J. 2002. Regional Riparian Characteristics - 2002 Survey Manual. Environment Waikato Technical Report 2002/07.
The indicator is updated every five years.
Preparations for the next regional riparian characteristics survey, including any refinements to the survey method and design, will get underway in 2016/17. Data collection for the next survey is due to be undertaken during the summer/autumn period of 2017/18.
Land and Soil Scientist – Science and Strategy Directorate