October 05, 2017

Helping protect one of the North Island’s best kept secrets

The iconic Blue Spring in Putaruru is home to around a thousand more trees and bushes thanks to a combined planting effort by volunteers from Fonterra, Dairy NZ, Waikato Regional Council and local iwi.

Sixty to seventy volunteers braved the wet weather last month in an effort to help maintain the environment of the spring which is part of the Waihou River and known to be one of New Zealand’s most pristine waterways.

The land on which the shrubs and trees were planted has been retired from grazing stock and the planting was part of an ongoing beautification process.

The day started with a history lesson from local iwi who told volunteers about the area and how the Waihou River was an important journeying place of King Te Wherowhero Tawhiao, the second Maori King of New Zealand.

The enthusiastic group then split into two teams with each team planting around 500 native shrubs and bushes as the rain poured down.

Fonterra area manager for the Waikato region, Peter O’Shea says Fonterra staff jumped at the chance to help out.

“Despite the wet weather the day was a real family affair with both kids and parents on hand to help out, it was great to be part of something that helps keep this area looking its best.”

The blue spring water is so pure it supplies around seventy percent of New Zealand’s bottled water.

Te Waihou walkway runs alongside the Waihou River and allows people to visit the Blue Spring, which is often described as one of the North Island’s best-kept secrets.