A Maori adviser to a large inland restoration project in Waikato, Wiremu Puke, has praised Hamilton City Council for not cutting the project's budget.
Under its 10-year plan, the council wants to cut its total operating costs by $14.5 million but has guaranteed funding for the restoration of forest in part of Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park, which is owns.
Fifteen of 60 hectares have has already been planted with trees such as kahikatea, totara and kauri.
Mr Puke says the council has guaranteed funding of $105,000 a year until 2019.
He suspects support from local residents has helped.
Mr Puke says it's obvious people in Hamilton have a real passion for the environment.