Whitireia Park Restoration Group
Date started: June 2003
Purpose of group: Restore the dunes of the park and to create habitat for marine birds
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 had planted a wetland with money from the Rotary Club. We lost most of these wetland plants to cattle who gained re-entry. The cattle were an ongoing battle for a number of years but since a huge fire (arson attack) which swept through the Park in 2010 there have been no cattle grazed in the park.
We have had excellent support from the public with local newspaper coverage being the best way to advertise planting days. We apply for extra funding from two charitable trusts in our district and have been successful for two years. We have a small core team of organisers and run three public planting days a year. Whitireia Park is part of the backdune project with the Coastal Restoration Trust.
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 foredunes are now planted in local sandbinders, spinifex and pingao, and we are now concentrating our efforts on the back dunes.
Contact: Robyn Smith