Filter news by category

All News Events Flora & Fauna

We love hearing local news, so please submit your articles and ideas to  and we will follow them up.

Award for Dune Revival - from Hutt News 23 May 2017

A Hutt volunteer group has been recognised for its efforts to restore the sand dunes at Petone Beach.

The Friends of Petone Beach won the award for Best Coastal Community group at the recent National Conference on Coastal Restoration, held in Christchurch.

Convener Graeme Lyon said the award was well deserved recognition for the group’s members who had planted thousands of native plants to rebuild the sand dunes in the last few years.

It was confirmation of a job well done and he hoped it would inspire members to keep up the good work.

‘‘It cheers them on and helps motivate people to keep doing what they’re doing.’’

The Friends of Petone Beach was formed in 2004 as part of the Petone Dune restoration project.

The aim of the project was to restore the natural features of the dunes along Petone Beach.

The group has been planting coastal species such as pingao, golden sand sedge and spinifex to help form the dunes which have been absent from parts of the beach for a long time.

‘‘It used to be just bare sand in front of the [sea] wall. There were hardly any [dunes] here 20 years ago.’’

Lyon said the dunes played an important role in trapping sand on the beach and minimised the effect of it blowing on to the Esplanade, into houses and further into Petone.

The dunes also serve to protect against potential rising sea levels, storm surge and tsunami damage, and contribute to the restoration of native biodiversity.

Aside from planting efforts, the group have also been working to eradicate foreign weeds such as gorse, broom and marram which are common European dune species that compete with local plants.

Lyon said the group’s aim this winter was to continue weeding and to concentrate on planting down the western end of the beach.

We are a finalist in the 2017 Green Ribbon Awards!

Our nomination ‘Restoring natural form and function to our coastlines to benefit the public and the environmentin the “Protecting our Coasts and Oceans” category has been short-listed as a finalist in this year’s Green Ribbon Awards.

The ceremony and announcement of the winners will be held on 8 June. Our chair Greg and one of our other trustees will be attending.

How can we save the last 63 māui dolphins?

These precious animals are unique to New Zealand – but with only a tiny number surviving, they’re in big trouble.

The latest estimate is that there are currently around 63 Māui dolphins left – making them the world’s rarest marine dolphin. Our Māui dolphins are only found on the West Coast of the North Island, and only half of their habitat is protected.

So what can we do to help? This year, the Māui Dolphin Challenge is bringing people from all over New Zealand together to raise awareness about the plight of our native dolphin through online fundraising, and as a New Zealand conservation platform and network we would love to have you join us to help inspire and motivate others to join the challenge.

It’s easy to get involved with the Māui Dolphin Challenge. Find out how here.

NZ Marine Sciences Society Conference 4-6 July

Mahi Ngātahi: Working together for better management into the future

This conference is to be held in Christchurch 4-6 July. If you are quick you can still get the early bird rate, which (at this stage) finishes on Friday 19 May.

This conference will include special sessions on Marine governance through partnerships, Mātauranga Māori, Biosecurity and on the effects of the Kaikōura Earthquake. There will be workshops on Science Communication, Innovation and Technology, and Emerging Issues as well as plenty of networking opportunities including one focused on emerging professionals. Sessions covering topics such as fisheries, marine management, protected areas, marine mammals and more will encompass the full range of general submissions received.

From Aidan McLean, one of our 2017 award winners

Firstly, I would like to thank the Coastal Restoration Trust for their support in awarding me one of the postgraduate study awards for this year, this award will go a long way in assisting with some of the financial pressures faced during my study.

The Masters Research project I am working on at Victoria University of Wellington, in conjunction with the University of Auckland, is focussed on taking a geochemical approach to solving a long running scientific debate in the Coastal Science literature; ‘What processes dominate shore platform development along the rocky coast?’ Are they cut through the action of waves or by the sub-aerial weathering of the cliff that backs the shore platform? This is important as we want to identify the suite of processes which represent the baseline conditions for shore platforms. This informs us of how human action in the recent past and going into the future has and will affect these baselines.

To answer this question I am undertaking an analysis of Cosmogenic Nuclide accumulation on two of New Zealand’s prominent shore platforms at the Kaikoura Peninsula and at Okakari Point near the Leigh Marine reserve in Auckland. This method will tell us the long-term history of development for these shore platforms, how old they are, and how fast they form. With this information we can take a numerical modelling approach to work out which processes have been at work on these interesting coastal features, and work out how the sea cliffs respond to changes in sea level and what this might mean for coastal hazards in the future.

So far I have completed field sampling at the two shore platforms and I have almost completed the lab chemistry for the Kaikoura samples, I expect to have the first set of results In July.

Next Page

Page 1 of 16