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Green thumbs up for Kapiti’s million-plant project

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Planting work on the Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway will create up to 60 local jobs and will use over one million indigenous plants from locally sourced seeds.

NZ Transport Agency Wellington Highways Manager Rod James says a $7m contract has been awarded to Kiwi company Natural Habitats, and that the landscaping and planting project will be the largest of its kind locally.

He says Natural Habitats will be eco-sourcing seeds from local areas to propagate the plants for the landscape works. Over a million plants will be planted.

“The scale of landscaping and planting on this project is huge. In fact, it’s one of the largest planting projects the lower North Island has ever seen.

“The work involves an area of approximately 140 hectares of almost exclusively indigenous, locally sourced planting that will leave a long-term corridor and actually improve ecological connections with other forest and wetland remnants on the Kapiti Coast.”

Mr James says that every hectare of wetland that is lost or modified will be recreated to five times the size, ultimately resulting in 9.5 hectares of new or restored wetlands.

He says existing trees and vegetation from the designation will be used to manufacture mulch. The project team will also use the sand and peat from the excavations to manufacture planting soil.

Mr James says that the NZ-owned Natural Habitats will be setting up shop in Kapiti with its project manager and two supervisors, and would then aim to hire close to 60 staff locally.  Natural Habitats has previously provided landscaping services for major projects such as the Manukau Harbour Crossing and the Ngaruawahia Expressway.

“This landscaping and planting project just goes to show that there’s a wide range of skills and opportunities being sought for this project, and this contract is just the tip of the iceberg.

“We’ve engaged actively with local businesses and residents to ensure the region is ready and willing to take advantage of this four year programme of works that will provide a massive boost to the local economy.”

Green-thumbed locals interested in working with Natural Habitats are encouraged to contact them at careers@naturalhabitats.co.nz

For more information please contact:

Anthony Frith
Media Manager – Central
NZ Transport Agency
T:  04 894 5251
M: 027 213 7617
E: anthony.frith@nzta.govt.nz

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