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.

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.

New Government regulations

New Government stock exclusion regulations(external link) came into force on 3 September 2020. These are in addition to the Council's riparian management programme, which also covers stock exclusion from waterbodies. 

If you have a Council riparian management plan that was fully implemented (pending an audit over the next 2.5 years) before 3 September 2020 then you already comply with both the Council and Government regulations.

Click here [PDF, 578 KB] for more information on how these regulations may affect you. If you have any questions please contact your Council Land Management Officer.  

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.

A Government funding boost for the 2021 planting season will enable committed riparian plan holders to purchase native plants for $1 each, including planting by Council-arranged contractors. It is hoped this will help get many plan holders over the finish line and complete their planting.

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 6.2 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 about 2,600 plans covering 15,400km of streambank.
  • As at the end of 2020,a total of 88.6% of the waterways were fenced and 77.3% of streambank that required planting or vegetation were protected by vegetation.
(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)