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April 2021 Pānui – Newsletter

Kia ora and welcome to our Restore Hibiscus & Bays April 2021 Pānui.

In this newsletter...

Ngā mihi nui, 

Rachael & the Restore Hibiscus & Bays team

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We would like to promote your future events and working bees on our website and in our newsletters! Please send us an email to, including event name, date, time, location, RSVP details and any links for further information.

Network Hui, Tue 13 April, 7-9pm

Orewa College, Room D13, 76 Riverside Road, Orewa
Please see the map here to find the room
Please join us at our April network hui, where you will have the opportunity to:
  • Become one of the very first members of our new Restore Hibiscus & Bays Incorporated Society.
  • Hear from Mary Stewart from Friends of Long Bay, who will be presenting about the volunteer-led pest animal and bird monitoring in Long Bay Regional Park and surrounding wetlands.
  • Connect with other members of our community who are involved with or interested in environmental conservation.
Everyone welcome, so please feel free to bring a friend :-) Please RSVP on Facebook or by emailing

If you would like to be one of the first members of the Restore Hibiscus & Bays Incorporated Society, please contact Rachael to see a copy of the draft constitution (subject to final legal review) in advance of the hui:

Nominations open for our Steering Committee

Help drive the Restore Hibiscus & Bays initiative through its next chapter
The Restore Hibiscus & Bays Steering Committee will help to drive the initiative through its first year as a separate Incorporated Society. Responsibilities include:
  • Meet at least monthly, either in person or online (meetings are currently scheduled at 12.30-2.30pm on the second Wednesday of every month, but this can be rescheduled to suit all Committee members).
  • Review reports from Members, subcommittees, staff or contractors.
  • Delegate responsibility for the management and operation of the society to an executive committee and/or duly appointed manager within the policies and strategies approved by the Society and the Committee. 
  • Ensure that the Society has in place appropriate policies and procedures to address its legal and other obligations.
  • Conduct a top-line review and provide general feedback on key draft documents and resources developed by staff or contractors.
  • Approve key draft documents and resources developed by staff or contractors.
  • Approve key strategic decisions, e.g. decisions to apply for funding grants, employment of contractors and their job descriptions and KPIs, broad focus areas for the Society, etc.
  • Raise any red flags to the staff or contractors, e.g. regarding communications, projects, finances.
  • Promote the Society within own groups, projects and networks, e.g. on social media, in meetings, at events, and signpost people to staff and contractors where relevant. 
  • Suggest ideas for communications and projects where possible.

According to our proposed constitution, the Committee should include representatives from groups and projects covering a geographical spread across the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board area. The Committee shall not include more than a maximum of two representatives from a single organisation, group or project. The Committee should also ideally include representatives from:

  • Whānau, Hapū, Iwi with an interest in Hibiscus and Bays
  • Te Herenga Waka o Orewa marae.
  • Other non-Pākehā communities, e.g. the Chinese community
  • Youth
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Restore Hibiscus & Bays Steering Committee, please contact Rachael at to ask any questions, express your interest or submit your nomination.

Open Day for our Tool Libraries

Saturday 8 May
Browns Bay, 9-11am – 712 Beach Road, underneath the Baha'i Hall
Whangaparāoa, 1-4pm – 719 Whangaparāoa Road, shipping container behind Whangaparāoa Hall, next to Whangaparāoa Library
The journey to restore our precious natural environment can start at home. If you’d like to learn what you can do in your own backyard, pop along to the very first Community Tool Library Open Day at locations in Browns Bay and Whangaparāoa.

Chat to the Restore Hibiscus & Bays Restoration Advisor for information and guidance on controlling pests in your backyard or local reserve, and borrow tools, herbicides and other resources.
The Hibiscus Coast event will be jointly hosted with Forest & Bird Pest Free Hibiscus Coast, who are offering free, pet safe, humane tested rat traps to anyone in the Hibiscus Coast area. All you need to do is commit to registering your trap and recording your catches. Order your trap online and collect in on the Open Day For more information about the Pest Free Hibiscus Coast Project, please email project manager Jenny Hanwell

Ongoing Open Days will be scheduled in future, depending on the level of interest and demand.

Our online shop has launched!

Order your Restore Hibiscus & Bays T-shirts and hats
You can spread the word and show your support by picking up one of the Restore Hibiscus & Bays tees or bucket hats, now available to buy from our website here. T-shirts are available in youth, women's and mens' sizes and styles, and hats are one size fits all. Once you order online, we will be in touch to arrange pickup from one of our  tool libraries in Browns Bay or Whangaparāoa.

Community pest plant disposal bins

Browns Bay – 712 Beach Road, next to the Bahai' Hll
Whangaparāoa location coming soon
Our pest plant disposal bin is for our communities to use to dispose of certain parts of some pest plants that pose the greatest threat to our indigenous bush. Correct disposal of seeds, seed pods, seed heads and roots greatly reduces the risk that the pest plant will spread to other areas after removal. Please use this bin for the following pest plant parts only, securely tied inside a plastic bag:
  • MOTH PLANT – Seeds, pods, roots
  • WILD GINGER – Seed heads
  • CAPE IVY – Seeds only
  • WOOLLY NIGHTSHADE – Seed heads, flower heads
  • JAPANESE HONEYSUCKLE – Roots, and stems if seeds present
  • CLIMBING ASPARAGUS – Roots, or whole plant if seeds present
  • MADEIRA VINE – Aerial nodules, seeds, seed pods, roots
  • ARUM LILY – Seed heads only
  • BONESEED – Seed heads only
  • BANANA PASSIONFRUIT – Roots and seed pods only
  • AGAPANTHUS – Flowers, seed heads

Do not put anything in this bin that is not listed above. For other pest plant species, please get in touch at and we can advise on pest plant disposal options for your site/project. Parts of some pest plants, such as tradescantia, can instead be composted in a black pest plant bag, available from our tool library. For more information and guidance on controlling pest plants, visit

We will also soon be organising a pest plant disposal bin in Whangaparāoa. Stay tuned for further details!

Water Testing Training Day for Long Bay-Awaruku catchments

Saturday 17 April, 2-4pm, meet at 14 Carex Way
Are you willing to commit to testing water quality four times a year along two of our local streams - Awaruku Stream and Awaruaika (Vaughan's) Stream? In particular, we'll be testing for nitrates, phosphates, dissolved oxygen levels, pH, water clarity and macro-invertebrates - all of which are indicators of the health of the streams. Over time, we hope to be able to measure the impacts of our stream restoration programme, which includes native planting to reduce sediment and contaminants and community education on the impacts of pollutants entering our stormwater. 
At the training day, Rachael and Mary will bring along some water testing kits and we will go through how to carry out Waicare water testing and talk about how our project might work. Don't worry if you can't make this date we will have another opportunity later on. Email for further details and to RSVP.  

We're very interested in hearing from residents at the top of Vaughan's catchment, north of Glenvar Road and east of East Coast Road. We would love to find out more about the sections of stream that run through private property at the top of the catchment. Please contact 

April predator pulse

For those predator projects that follow a pulsing regimen, this is a friendly reminder to set your traps and place the bait inside your rat stations, if you haven't already. We recommend pulsing four times a year in February, April, August and November for controlling rats, possums, stoats and ferrets, as detailed in our guidance documents and in alignment with Auckland Council guidance. Don’t forget to record your results! You can use apps such as Trap.NZ to report your catches or bait taken. If working with established groups or projects, please ask your project coordinator for resources specific to your project. To express your interest in volunteering to maintain one of our pest animal control lines, email us at For more info, visit

Report your March volunteer time

Keep track of your volunteer hours to document your valuable work!

Please follow this link to our website to complete your reporting for March. And click on the link 'Project Hours Tracking form’, as highlighted above. On an ongoing basis, you can enter each event separately, or if you wish, you can aggregate the data for all your project activities across a month. 

East Coast Bays Schools Conservation in Action

We had a blast at the East Coast Bays Schools Conservation in Action event last week. Over 30 teachers, principals, property managers, and parent helpers from schools across the East Coast Bays joined us to learn how we can help to empower students to care for their environment – at school and within the school whānau whānui (wider community). A special thank you to the Auckland Council Sustainable Schools team who helped to organise the event and to Northcross Intermediate School and team of students for their hospitality, home-made kai and for running some of the sessions!
Restore Hibiscus & Bays can support schools on the Hibiscus Coast or East Coast Bays in three ways:
  1. Educational workshops on ecological restoration and threats to our native biodiversity.
  2. Plans, logistical support and funding to become pest free schools, as well as native planting plans for school grounds – to be actioned by students, as part of educational workshop programme.
  3. Link the wider school community (students and their families) to conservation projects happening in their communities.
Get in touch if you'd like your school to get involved:

Funding deadline coming up on 19 April

Send your applications in for our Volunteer Initiatives Programme
Thank you to all those of you who have already sent in your applications for the Restore Hibiscus & Bays Volunteer Initiatives Programme (VIP). VIP aims to provide funding to individuals, groups, neighbourhoods and schools wanting to carry out short-term projects to eradicate pests, restore native habitats and improve water quality across public and private land in the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board area. This is specifically for projects that would be difficult to find funding for elsewhere, for example because they are on school land or private land along streams. Communities can apply for funding up to around $3,000 for a project that they have identified as important to the conservation and restoration of native biodiversity in their area.
We are particularly encouraging schools within Hibiscus & Bays to apply for VIP funding to help them to become pest-free schools. If you are connected to a local school in some way, please think about how you might be able to use this funding.

If required, the Restore Hibiscus & Bays staff team can support all VIP-funded projects with technical advice, pest control plans and coordination of eco-contractors.

The deadline for applications is Monday 19 April. For more information, download the overview brochure and application form from our website. We have a separate application form for schools. Email Rachael at with any questions.

Pest Plant of the Month: Pampas

Pampas is an invasive grass which forms in clumps up to 6 metres tall. Sometimes mistaken for our beautiful native toetoe, the leaves of pampas are razor-sharp hence its common name, ‘cutty grass’. Unlike toetoe’s drooping creamy-coloured flowers, pampas produces flowers from February to April that are erect, dense and uniform – generally white, pinkish or purplish in colour.

Pampas is a serious threat to some natural areas like sand dunes, stream banks and coastal cliffs where it can completely replace native plants. It is also a problem on roadsides, as it reduces visibility. Pampas can be a fire risk and harbours animal pests such as rats, mice, rabbits and possums.

Take action as soon as possible before the seeds form next summer:

  • Report the weed using the app.
  • To avoid nasty cuts, wear gloves and protective clothing.
  • Remove the pampas heads before the seeds mature and spread, and dispose of them inside a securely tied plastic bag to go to landfill.
  • For young plants, the best option is to loosen the soil and pull them out. Despite their size, hand digging is possible - best to cut the foliage back first. A digger or bulldozer can be used to drag or dig out very big plants.
  • If using herbicides, they’re most effective on pampas during spring and early summer before the plants are flowering. Slash plants about 30cm from the ground and spot spray the regrowth with glyphosate 15ml/l (plus penetrant). Ask at your local garden centre, hardware store or RD1 farm supply store. Always wear appropriate Personal Protection Equipment and read the manufacturer’s label for guidelines and recommendations. 
  • For more experienced volunteers with Growsafe qualifications, other herbicide methods may be used.
  • Leaf matter can be left on site, acting as mulch and shading out the seed bank.
  • Speak to your neighbours to encourage them to take action too!
  • Download a printable leaflet/poster about pampas and other pest plants from our website here. 
  • Please email us with any questions to 
  • Look out for our pampas article in the April issue of Channel Magazine! This part of a series of 'Pest Plant of the Month' features aimed at raising awareness of pest plants, why they're a problem and what to do about them. Its a collaboration between Restore Hibiscus & Bays and other environmental networks across the North Shore.

Video of the Month: Honey bees at work on the Nikau flowers

Video credit: John Kinloch. You'll need to click on the picture above and join our Restore Hibiscus & Bays Facebook group to view the video :-)

Do you have any cool photos or videos of wildlife, landscapes or people helping nature within our rohe? Would you be happy for us to include them on our website, newsletters, Facebook, leaflets and other communications? Do you have any stories that you would like to share? Please send them to
Restore Hibiscus & Bays is a community-led, not-for-profit initiative that aims to bring together, empower and grow the network of restoration groups, neighbourhoods, individuals, schools, businesses and other organisations working to eradicate pests, restore native habitats and improve water quality across the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board area.

Our mahi is supported by funding grants from the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board, Auckland Council, Foundation North and the Lottery Environment and Heritage fund, and we are part of Heart of the Bays (formerly the East Coast Bays Community Project), which has charitable status.
Every month we send news, information and events from our network of community groups working to eradicate pests, restore native habitats and improve water quality along the East Coast Bays and Hibiscus Coast. Please complete your full details via the link below, so we can ensure you receive information tailored to you. We also ask that you share this email with your friends and contacts and encourage them to sign up here for future newsletters.

Are you looking to connect with an existing group or project in our network? Click on our map here to see more information on the local community group or project working to protect and restore native wildlife and habitats in your area. If there isn’t a current project in your area of interest or if you would like to add a project to the map, please get in touch at We would love to support you in whatever way we can. 
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Restore Hibiscus & Bays · The Bays Community Centre · 2 Glen Road · Browns Bay, Auk 0630 · New Zealand

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