Whitireia Park Restoration Group
Date started: June 2005
Purpose of group: Restore coastal ecosystems in Whitireia Park including dune systems, coastal escarpment, Onepoto estuary and stoney beaches.
About the group: The park was previously managed by DOC and now is jointly managed by Ngati Toa and Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC). The Onehunga Bay Restoration Group (previous name) were granted GWRC ‘Take Care” funding in 2006. Prior to this we started work on replacing marram with spinifex and planted a wetland with funding from the Rotary Club. Funding is provided by the Key Native Ecosystem programme and the Parks department of Greater Wellington Regional Council. We apply for extra funding from time to time when our budget does no stretch far enough.
We have had excellent support from the public and can have upt o 25 volunteers help on planting days. We have a dedicated team of volunteers to run the predator control programme in the whole of the park (180ha) and a lizard monitoring programme is running to determine if mouse control is benefitting lizard numbers. We have a small core team of organisers and run three public planting days a year and weed busting days.
Key lesson learnt: Our biggest learning has been to ensure money is put aside for weed spray releasing, as kikuyu is a real problem for us. All the dunes are now planted in local sandbinders, spinifex and pingao, and we are now concentrating our efforts on extensive areas of back dunes. The reintroduction of ‘missing’ flora which was previously recorded in the park is also a focus as is restoration of a plant barrier around the Onepoto estuary to help prevent dogs form disturbing wildlife.
Fernbird and falcon have self introduced due to habitat restoration and predator control and kākā sign has been seen in the forest remnnant.
Contact: Robyn Smith