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Landscape concept plan for afforestation of lowland Waikato hill country reserve

Project Status: Completed

This project is currently on hold - awaiting Council funding.

Tāne’s Tree Trust trustee Paul Quinlan has prepared a draft concept plan for establishing forestry on a recreational reserve on the lower eastern slopes of Mount Pirongia in the Waikato known as the Sainsbury Road Recreational Reserve. The Waipa District Council in consultation with the local community including adjacent landowners are investigating options for establishing a mixture of native and exotic forest stands to meet multiple objectives. It is planned to use this site to set up demonstration forests of planted and managed indigenous timber species that will be integrated with other landuses as part of another TTT project underway Our Forests Our Future (refer details provided separately for this project).


Sainsbury Road Reserve is a 38 ha recreational reserve is administered by the Waipa District Council. Most of the reserve is currently leased for grazing. The topography ranges from several flats suitable for haymaking through to steep hill country some of which is covered in recently sprayed gorse. The council has engaged Tāne’s Tree Trust to develop a concept plan in consultation with the local community that use the site for recreation and with adjacent landowners to determine a range of options for establishing forestry to meet multiple objectives including provision of recreation, enhancing indigenous biodiversity and forest corridors, and where appropriate demonstrate the option of forestry as a long term productive resource. Afforestation options include both exotic and native species with particular interest in considering use of native forest and longer rotational exotic species compared to radiata pine as production forestry landuse. Some areas may be left in grass to provide for recreation, bike trails, horse riding, picnic areas, and allow for views across the Hamilton basin.

Work undertaken

  • Several site visits have been undertaken to assess the landscape context and conduct a detailed site survey.
  • On-site and local consultation has been undertaken with relevant council staff (planners etc.) and representatives of relevant local interest groups/stakeholders e.g. mountain-bikers, horse-riders, concerned neighbours etc.
  • A draft concept plan has been prepared for a public consultation process with the aim of integrating community recreational values and opportunities including environmental, landscape and kaitiakitanga values with appropriate land use and management and potential production/financial objectives. The concept plans can be viewed on the links below.

Demonstration planted forests

As part of another TTT project currently underway – Our Forests Our Future – it is planned to use several hectares of a range of sites at the Sainsbury Road Recreational Reserve to set up demonstration forests of planted and managed indigenous timber species including the conifers totara, rimu, kauri, tanekaha, matai, miro and kahikatea; and selected native hardwood timber trees such as maire, kohekohe, tawa, hinau and puriri. Demonstrations will involve a range of planting patterns and species mixtures and the use of nurse cover species of shrub hardwoods to improve growth performance and stem form where forest is established on open sites. Refer to details provided separately on the Our Forests Our Future project.

The demonstration planted indigenous forests will be integrated with other landuses including a range of exotic forestry species, managed open areas in pasture, conservation areas including riparian and wetland vegetation, and recreational facilities such as horse trails, and walking and mountain bike tracks.

Contacts for this project

  • Project Manager, Paul Quinlan
  • TTT Executive Officer: Enable JavaScript to view protected content.