News article

Coastal Restoration Award 2024

The Coastal Restoration Award recognises on the ground results achieved through team work and tenacity. The award is generously sponsored by Coastlands Plant Nursery.

This year at the Kāwhia conference, the award was presented to the Kūaotunu Dune Care Group.

This group in Kūaotunu, on the eastern coast of Coromandel Peninsula north of Whitianga, originally formed to tackle a growing weed problem in their dunes. With 3 kilometres of dune to restore, they broke up the area into manageable sections and identied weed species and notable plants. They produced a restoration plan, set up a Facebook group and wrote articles for the local paper. This has resulted in large turnouts of volunteers at their regular monthly working bees.

With a grant of almost $10,000 they started work in Zone 1. Under the weeds they found the site had dumped concrete and metal pipes but because of the cultural significance of the site and the presence of native skinks they removed all the rubble by hand. They have complete 7 large restoration plantings and are involved in four sites along the coastline.
The group is supported by Thames-Coromandel District Council and Waikato Regional Council.

We applaud the incredible hardwork of the Kūaotunu Dune Group and look to seeing their progress in the future.

If you are involved in a group that you think deserves this award, or would like to nominate a group, keep an eye out for when nominations open for next year!