© 2022 Resilient River Communities

Resilient River Communities

Regionwide river berm transition programme

This ambitious natural infrastructure project will increase the resilience of river berms for flood and erosion protection, and foster regeneration of native flora and fauna across 23 rivers throughout Canterbury.

River berms and margins are the strip of land directly adjacent to the active part of the riverbed. Planting trees in and around river margins is essential for for flood resilience, providing a buffer to slow floodwaters and prevent bank erosion.

The margins of braided rivers are critical to their function and form and are rich in environmental values. Many are currently choked with weed growth which is likely to accelerate with climate change. In addition to flood protection, natural infrastructure generates multiple benefits such as greater biodiversity, weed control, enhancements to wetlands and mahinga kai as well as opportunities to establish community recreational areas.

Decisions on the scope and detail of the work for each site will be determined by considering the overlapping benefits of these values with the flood protection function as the primary value at each worksite. The figure at right depicts the multi-benefit concept adopted in this project.

Berm transition will be achieved by:

  • Targeted invasive weed control
  • Strategic flood protection vegetation planting
  • Under-canopy native planting
  • Establishing good access
  • Creating and enhancing mahinga kai, native habitat and recreational opportunities

For more information:

View the case study here