Ruapuke Beachcare Group

Ruapuke Beachcare Group

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Ruapuke Beachcare Group

The Ruapuke Kaitiaki Group started in 2007 following concerns by local community members about damage caused to the dunes and coastal environment from recreational vehicle use. The dunes have since been fenced off to allow only quadbikes used by fishermen. Waikato District Council manages the beach accessways to reduce damage to the environment caused by recreational users. Community volunteers, including landowners and students from Te Mata School, have been steadily working over the years to plant native coastal species.

The group has planted sand-binding pingao and kōwhangatara/spinifex in the fore dunes, and coastal grasses, shrubs and trees planted in the backdunes and near the car parks. The vision is for a restored, native coastal ecosystem, including a thriving wetland and an ecological corridor from the mountain to the sea.

Challenges include the burning hot, dry iron sand, strong prevailing winds, extended dry periods, flooding, coastal erosion and motorbikes on the beach and dunes. Myrtle rust has also made an unwelcome appearance on young pōhutukawa, with the devastating effects on new growth able to be partly mitigated by vigilance and the application of fungicides.

2023 restoration and planting season wrap-up

This year, the Ruapuke group have planted over 1300 native plants at the north and south ends of Ruapuke beach. The Ruapuke Stream flats and areas adjacent to the southend toilet and access path are bursting with new native growth. Water celery, which at a time completely covered and choked the stream, is being kept at bay with very careful application of herbicide and Mother Nature flushing dead or weakened weeds out to sea. A bin, which was installed in 2021 for the disposal of plastics and other inorganic waste that gets washed up on the beach, is proving to be very successful.

  • Ruapuke North - 4 Coastcare events; 1650 plants; 64 volunteers; 130 volunteer hours.
  • Ruapuke South - 1 Coastcare event; 58 plants; 1 volunteer; 2 hours.

Looking ahead

  • The summer will likely throw some very dry spells so vigilance will be required to protect the young plantings with watering and mulching.

Ruapuke Kaitiaki Group fosters the social aspect of its cause by holding BBQs and refreshments after planting or weeding bees, or just to catch up with like-minded people.

Penny Knuiman: [Enable JavaScript to view protected content]
Jon Thompson: [Enable JavaScript to view protected content]
Waikato Regional Council: [Enable JavaScript to view protected content]

WRC Phone: 0800 800 401

For questions relating to government policy or the coastal management plan contact [Enable JavaScript to view protected content]