Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillor Hinewai Ormsby is one of many people who will be heading to Napier’s Cross Country Drain pathway on Sunday 17 July to plant native trees and shrubs.

The Cross Country Drain (CCD) is  a 4.3km open drainage channel located south of Napier running east between the Napier/Hastings Expressway and the pump station located on Te Awa Avenue, at Awatoto.

The drain has plenty of space either side of it and a few years ago local resident Gordon Anderson conceived the idea for a pathway suitable for walking and biking to be built alongside the drain.  

He and his wife had been regularly walking on a dirt mound beside the drain, observing bird life.  “We counted some 42 exotic and native species,” he says.  Among them long-tailed cuckoo, rare grey ducks, kingfishers, bellbirds, tui, kotuku, water fowl and swamp hens .

Gordon’s idea was taken on by the Pirimai Residents Association and with help from the Napier City Council, the pathway was funded and built as a Covid ‘shovel- ready’ project. The Pirimai Residents Association then led a community initiative to start slowly planting along the pathway. 

Last year some 1,800 native trees and shrubs were planted. This year that figure will triple when more than 4,000 trees and shrubs go into the ground. Of these 1,000 have been donated by Hinewai Orsmby and her whanau who have been growing the natives at the side of their house. Trees That Count (also known as Project Crimson) has partnered with The Bupa Foundation to donate a further 3,300 plants. These will contribute to Bupa’s Legacy Forest programme. See bupa.treesthatcount.co.nz

Others contributing plants include Ravensdown Napier Works (30 kowhai) and Hawke’s Bay QE11 National Trust representative Troy Duncan who has facilitated the growing from seed of 20 rare Heart Leaf Kotuku that will also be planted.

 “As well as a place for people to walk and bike, we are creating an avarian pathway,” says Gordon Anderson. “This will attract even more species of birds as a place for them to rest or simply travel through.”

Richard Catley, Chairman of the Pirimai Residents Association says the planting day is a community event and chance for people to get together and get involved. “Each year we will plant a little more of the drain,” he says.

Adds Councillor Orsmby:  “In the decades to come these trees will suck thousands of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.”

See: https://www.facebook.com/pirimaicommunity/
Sunday 17th July, Start 9am

Cross Country Drain,
Corner Ulyatt Road and Harold Holt Avenue, Pirimai, Napier


Join the Conversation


  1. Why are the rules for planting different between urban and horticultural areas around HDC!
    In both situations the aim is to suck up CO2 and nitrates, and to stop silt etc entering the Bay!

  2. 40 Titoki trees will also be donated from the Napier Branch of Forest & Bird in addition to the funding provided.
    It is hoped that many Napier Branch members will be assisting with the planting on Sunday 17th July.

  3. How is it that I’m allowed to have my dog off leash here, where there is so much exotic birdlife, but my dog is banned from the Ahuriri Estuary walkway when on leash?

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