Pio Shores Coast Care
Location of Main site: Bowentown, Southern end of Main Waihi Beach, Bay of Plenty
Date started: 2005
Purpose of group:
- Restore the back dunes to their original vegetation through clearing of weeds and replanting with appropriate native back dune plants.
- Restoring and enhancing of the fore dunes by planting with native fore dune plants.
- Developing community ownership of the project, via participation and educating the wider community.
About the Group:
The Pio Shores Coast Care group comprises a small group of predominantly nearby property owners who are keen to see their dune environment restored to its natural pristine condition.
This section of Waihi Beach historically had a very healthy fore and back dune eco system. The back dunes have suffered badly from the introduction of noxious weeds -gorse, blackberry and pampas as well as Kikuyu grass.
Storms and foot traffic over the last 30 years has seen some erosion of the fore dunes.
With assistance from Coast Care and Bay of Plenty Regional Council the group has embarked on a spray programme, annually spraying gorse, blackberry and pampas along a 2 km length of back dunes.
10 volunteers have completed the Growsafe Agrichemical Certification Programme and each is responsible for an area of the dunes.
Once the areas are cleared of weeds they are replanted with predominantly flaxes, toetoe, wiwi, cabbage trees and kanuka at a rate of approximately 1000 plants/annum for the last 5 years.
Follow-up spraying is required annually to manage regrowth gorse.
Fore dunes are planted with pingao and spinifex and we are now seeing good fore dune enhancement on most of this section of Waihi Beach.
In 2016 the group were proud recipients of the Coastal Restoration Trust of NZ’s award for the Best Coastal Community Group in New Zealand.