Canterbury riparian

A riparian zone is the interface between land and a river or stream

Waterways include rivers, streams, creeks, drains, ponds, swamps and wetlands that go through or border a farm – basically anywhere that natural water runs or ponds. The area beside waterways that forms the connection between water and land is the riparian or waterway margin.

Riparian zones can be used to maintain and improve water quality. Once fenced and planted, they filter phosphorus, sediment and bacteria that leave the land as runoff. Healthy riparian zones will improve the health of your waterway.

Having a plan is the key to getting value for your money and doing it right the first time. Your riparian planting plan should cover the three steps of fencing, planting and maintaining your riparian zones.

An Environment Canterbury biodiversity officer or land management advisor can answer questions you have about fencing and riparian planting during a property visit. They can help develop riparian plans with you, tailored to your needs. It’s free and it’s the best way to find out what funding or support is available.





  • Improvements in water quality
  • Vegetation traps sediment
  • Reduction in water temperature
  • Filters water before entering stream
  • Minimises erosion 
  • Reduction of flood impacts
  • Provide food and cover and habitat for wildlife
  • Enhances landscape



If you would like to learn more about riparian zones within the Canterbury area, such as how to restore or preserve them, our friendly team at Goughs Nurseries would be more than happy to assist. We also offer a range of native plants for sale grown directly from our nurseries. Contact us today by calling 022 1907 542, by sending an email to, or by leaving your details and queries on our simple online enquiry form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you.


Source: Wetland and river/stream margin native plants : DOC

Trees/Shrubs Grasses/Flaxes
 Coprosma propinqua, mingmingi  Apodasmia similis, oioi, jointed wire rush
 Coprosma robusta, karamu  Austroderia richardii, toetoe
 Cordyline australis, cabbage tree  Baumea rubiginosa New Zealand sedge
 Dacrycarpus dacrydioides, kahikatea, white pine  Bolboschoenus caldwellii purua, sedge
 Elaeocarpus hookerianus pökäkä  Bulbinella angustifolia Mäori onion
 Griselinia littoralis  Carex buchananii, matirewa, cutty grass
 Hebe salicifolia, koromiko  Carex flagellifera, mänia, tussock grass
 Hoheria angustifolia  Carex flaviformis pürei, yellow sedge 
 Leptinella dioica  Carex geminata rautahi, cutty grass 
 Leptospermum scoparium, manuka, tea tree  Carex maorica 
 Lophomyrtus obcordata röhutu  Carex secta, pükio
 Olearia paniculata  Carex solandri
 Pittosporum tenuifolium, köhühu, black matipo  Carex virgata, swamp sedge
 Plagianthus regius  Cyperus ustulatus, toetoewhatu, giant umbrella sedge
   Eleocharis acuta, sharp spike sedge
   Juncus caespiticius wï, grass-leaved rush
   Juncus edgariae, wï, leafless rush
   Juncus pallidus wï, giant rush, leafless rush
   Machaerina rubiginosa
   Phormium tenax, harakeke, New Zealand flax
   Schoenoplectus pungens three square 
   Schoenoplectus validus lake clubrush 
   Schoenus pauciflorus 
   Zotovia avenacea pätïtï, bush rice grass 

PLANT NAME (T = threatened, R = rare)