Waterways throughout Christchurch are naturalised and enhanced by many people, including the Council, community groups and landowners.

Their efforts help to:

  • Protect natural areas
  • Restore native freshwater and riparian habitat
  • Enhance habitat for birds, fish, lizards and insects
  • Create green linkages/corridors
  • Restore people's enjoyment and sense of history.

panoramic scene of a digger working in the Avon River in winter

Streamside Planting Guide

The 'Christchurch City and Lowland Canterbury Streamside Planting Guide' provides information on what plant species are preferred by Council within riparian margins.

These plant species are specific to the local climate (e.g. windy or frosty) and the specific zones of the riparian margin (e.g. lower bank and upper bank). The guide will help you know what to plant where, and how to plant and maintain your vegetation. You will be contributing to a more natural and sustainable Christchurch.

How to use the guide

  • Look at the stream profile and decide which zone you want to plant (e.g. lower bank)
  • Chose species from the list of suitable plants for the zone you have chosen; the profile diagrams show the plant forms and preferred positioning for planting
  • Check the comments about the plant so that you get the shade, moisture and shelter conditions just right for the plants you have selected
  • Follow the ten steps to planting and maintaining your riparian vegetation.

There are a number of nurseries in Canterbury that stock locally sourced plants, including the Department of Conservation's Motukarara Conservation Nursery, Southern Woods Nursery Limited, Wai-ora Forest Landscape Nursery and Trees for Canterbury.

For more information see the Streamside planting guide July 2005 [PDF, 887 KB].


Wetlands Waterways and Drainage Guide (WWDG)

The Council's WWDG describes a multi-disciplinary approach to the protection, restoration, management and design of waterways and wetlands. In particular, Part B of this guide includes (a) information on habitat preferences of birds, fish and invertebrates found in the Christchurch area, and (b) detailed information on design and management of waterways and wetlands. For example, Chapter 9 provides specific guidance of how to restore waterway form, including channel profiles and cross sections (e.g. flow regimes, bank profiles and floodplain areas), stream bank materials, streambed substrate, bank vegetation and aquatic vegetation.

small waterway surrounded by lush vegetation