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Karaihe sedges thrive in Wairarapa Moana

Updated: Jun 17

Higher lake levels in Wairarapa Moana are no problem for the special brown Karaihe sedges planted by community members at Featherston’s Lake Domain on 21 April. In fact, the Karaihe love having their feet wet.

Over 50 dedicated individuals braved the rain and cold to contribute to our ongoing moana restoration work. The collective efforts of Pae tū Mōkai o Tauira hapori māori ropu, the He Kōtare Native Plant Nursery, and our community members have made a significant impact. The carex buchananii, grown from seed, is a testament to our unity and shared commitment to the environment.

The He Kōtare team eco-sourced seed and propagated the Karaihe (or “carex buchananii”) specifically for planting back along the lake shoreline. This sedge is naturally occurring at the moana and has big benefits to water quality. The sedge performs well in clumps and close to each other like a whānau.

Volunteers at Lake Wairarapa carrying Kairahe sedges

On 21 April, Pae tū Mōkai o Tauira and volunteer planters from Featherston and further afield put almost 1200 Karaihe into the shoreline. Rains since then have raised lake levels, but the plants are thriving. We would like to thank all our supporters who purchased plants for our moana and for the support from our friends at GW.

The nursery team has another 3000 Karaihe; these are also destined for the Moana. More planting days will be organised in the coming months, ideally when lake levels decrease. The sedges might like their feet in the water, but not so much the planters! To find out more, please email us at

Article written by Karen Mikaera

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