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Te Awa Kairangi/Hutt River Environment Strategy Action Plan (HRES Action Plan)

Te Awa Kairangi/Hutt River Environment Strategy Action Plan (HRES Action Plan)

Updated 24 September 2021 2:26pm

The river is a defining natural feature of the Hutt valley, well-known in the Wellington region. The river corridor is a hugely popular parkland, accessible to a large urban population and attracting more than a million visits per year. People walk, run and cycle along the river, picnic, swim, exercise their dogs and enjoy the green space.

Te Awa Kairangi also presents a challenge because it has a long history of flooding. There is a critical need to manage the river and provide flood protection to keep the Hutt valley communities safe. Flood protection is being implemented under the Hutt River Floodplain Management Plan.

An environmental strategy has been developed to interweave environmental enhancement and flood protection when managing the precious river environment.

Our vision

River management that meets community aspirations of enhancing the natural environment and recreational activities of the Hutt River, its margins and the wider river corridor, whilst enabling flood protection objectives and operations to be achieved.

Achieving the vision

To realise the vision, we will need help and support from the many people and organisations with an interest in the river. The vision will be achieved in three inter-related ways.

Environmental Strategy

What are we aiming for?

The environmental strategy, including the vision, was developed with the community. It sets out broad goals and objectives for enhancing the natural environment, community connections and recreational opportunities along the river – and the actions required. Read about our objectives.

What actions will be required?

The strategy also identifies actions to implement in the short, medium and long term. The actions relate to eight sections (‘reaches’) of the river from Te Marua to the river mouth. Read about our actions.

Operations Manual

On the ground

Practical best practice guidance will help ensure the environmental strategy is implemented to consistent standards throughout the river corridor. The manual includes detailed specifications on such things as trail and signage design, and how to carry out planting projects. Read more about the Operations Manual. 

River Berm Planting Guide

Integrating native planting and flood protection: an operational guide for Greater Wellington” is for Greater Wellington (GW) staff who carry out flood protection works. The aim is to increase the proportion of native species in riverside planting on the rivers that we manage for flood protection in the Wellington region.

We are responsible for enhancing biodiversity as well as flood protection. There are many situations where these two tasks can be complementary and better integrated. This guide explains how to recognise opportunities to do this, and put it into practise. This guide includes information on how to:

  • Look broadly for opportunities at the river-system-scale
  • Look for specific situations where native planting could be used
  • Decide how to proceed, and optimise success, by using detailed criteria.

Access the guide here.


How to be involved

Achieving the vision will require help from the many people, groups and agencies with interests and responsibilities in the river. Various community projects have already made a positive difference. Find out how to be involved.

Downloading the 2018 HRES Action Plan

The 2018 HRES Action Plan has a number of sections that can be downloaded individually below:

Alternatively you can view a hard copy of the document at your local library or council office; or request one by contacting the Flood Protection Environmental Planner by emailing