Horizons Regional Council, Massey University, the New Zealand Defence Force and Rangitāne have been working together since 2013 on an 11 year restoration plan for the lower reaches of the Kahuterawa Stream. The plan includes the planting of 40,000 native plants.
The 4.2 kilometre stretch covers a total of 72 ha and marks the boundaries of Massey University and Linton Military Camp. The plan is to protect 10 ha of that space and recreate the lost valley eco-system with eco-sourced native plants. It has been identified as a significant area for water quality and biodiversity as it meanders through the Kahuterawa Valley before flowing into the Manawatū River.
In 2016, Trees That Count funded the planting of 10,825 native trees, including kānuka, kōwhai, ribbonwood, and māhoe. This doubled the number of trees planted the previous year.
Planting took place over a number of planting days with volunteer groups such as the Kahuterawa Bush Care Group and the CT Keeble Memorial Trust supplementing work done by contractors.
The plan for the area goes beyond revegetation and restoration. Massey University wants to use the site as an outdoor educational and research tool, while the Palmerston North City Council has expressed interest due to a proposed walkway/cycleway between the city and the army camp at Linton.
Connecting and protecting the existing vegetation will improve functioning and habitat, which will be reflected in improved water quality, aquatic life and bird life. Coupled with biodiversity improvements, the planting will provide channel stability, educational opportunities and improved views of the area.