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November Pānui – Newsletter


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

In this newsletter...

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. 

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.

Christmas Network Hui and End-of-Year Celebration **SAVE THE DATE**

Thursday 10 December, 7-9pm
Orewa Community Centre – Small Hall, 40-46 Orewa Square, Orewa
Thank you to all those of you who joined our October network hui – such as positive meeting with inspiring stories shared from many of our network's groups and projects. The wonderful Kathy wrote up the minutes – please email if you would like to receive a copy.

We hope that as many of you as possible will come along to celebrate the end of a challenging but busy year at our Christmas hui on 10 December in Orewa. We will have a special feature on collaborating with schools. The team at Restoring Takarunga Hauraki will join us as special guests to talk with us about their schools programme, and we hope that others will also share about their experiences and discuss key principles for building effective relationships with schools. RSVP on Facebook.

Strategy Review

We need your participation and input
In 2018, restoration groups across the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board area came together to develop a biodiversity and pest free plan, which for the past two years has formed the basis of the Restore Hibiscus & Bays strategy. Restore Hibiscus & Bays sits within a changing regional and national context, and so to remain flexible and responsive, it was agreed that the strategic plan should be reviewed every two years.
To that end, we will be holding some facilitated sessions at the beginning of 2021 for our Steering Group and wider Network to get together to discuss and agree how we wish our strategy to evolve and move forward for the next two years. We will also be reviewing our governance structure. We would very much appreciate your participation and input at the Network Strategy Review session in Browns Bay on Tuesday 9 February 7-9pm.

2020 Volunteer Awards

Request for Nominations
We are so thankful to all the volunteers from all the many projects across the Restore Hibiscus & Bays network – including those newly emerging groups as well as those who have been volunteering for many decades, and everyone in between! We would love to express our thanks with a fun volunteer award ceremony at our December network Hui and end-of-year celebration on 10 December.
Please nominate your favourite person for an award and a special gift – they deserve it! Send us a quick email to and tell us why you think they should receive an award. We will aim to give all nominees a token of our appreciation. Don't be shy, nominate someone today!

Out and About with Kane

Highlights from our Ecological Restoration Advisor
The Restore Hibiscus & Bays team were pleased to be invited to run a learning activity for the
Auckland Council Sustainable Schools Adventure Race at Wenderholm Regional Park. A whopping 84 teams participated, most of whom were from schools in the East Coast Bays or Hibiscus Coast. We were very impressed at how many of the students were able to pick up knowledge of our native flora so quickly! We hope to continue to collaborate with schools across the Hibiscus And Bays Local Board area to nourish that knowledge and to help to turn it into action for environmental protection and conservation.
There was a great turnout for our first pest plant workshop at Waiwera Scenic Hill Reserve. Around 10 keen members from the local community came together for a day of learning on how to control tree privet encroaching into the remnant coastal broadleaved forest. Control methods used included 'cut and stump' (for small juveniles), 'ring barking' plus herbicide (for larger and mature trees), as well as the 'drill and fill' method. After being controlled and left in place, large pest trees leave the canopy in tact to prevent more environmental weeds establishing and provide valuable habitat for emerging native trees. For more information and guidance on pest plant control methods, see the pest plant resource section of our website here.
For our October pest plant control workshop in Riverhaven on the Hibiscus Coast, we were lucky enough to have the Auckland Council community parks ranger team out to give us a hand on site, as well as local residents who have been hard at work for a few months now. Substantial progress was made in controlling mature ginger infestations. The site will now be prepared for the eco-contractors to go in and control the japanese honeysuckle, jasmine and climbing asparagus, which will be funded through a Restore Hibiscus & Bays Volunteer Initiatives Programme grant. 

Clean Streams Campbells Bay:
Community Action Brainstorm

Wed 25 November, 7-9pm, St John's Hall, 327 Beach Road, Campbells Bay
Do you love Campbells Bay streams, beaches and the Hauraki Gulf? Are you connected to a business or organisation keen to help clean up our streams?   
  • Be part of the Campbells Bay Urban Sanctuary vision - what are your own dreams for the Campbells Bay streams?
  • Hear about neighbours who are already taking action through the Stream Savers Beacon to Beach pilot project
  • How can we remove barriers to restoring the stream in our backyard and our neighbours' backyards? 
  • How can we all contribute to raising the funds we need?   
Clean Streams Campbells Bay is a collaborative initiative involving Centennial Park Bush Society, Restore Hibiscus & Bays and the Sustainable Business Network's Million Metres project. Find our more at:

Help us publicise this event by printing off our flyer and sharing with with your family, colleagues and friends. 

Local Job Opportunity

Pest Free Hibiscus Coast Hub Activator x 2
Do you have a passion for the Hibiscus Coast environment and the drive to make a difference? Can you work with our community to increase understanding and engagement with predator control? Looking for flexible paid work for 10 hours a week working from home? Forest & Bird wants to hear from you!

The Pest Free Hibiscus Coast Project is looking for 2 community based Hub Activators, one to work in Gulf Harbour and one for Whangaparāoa / Arkles Bay. You will be working within a small team to support and enthuse members of the community to start trapping pest animals in their backyards. You will organise events, manage communications and work with groups across the community towards getting 1 in 4 households involved. The project is looking for someone who has a good knowledge of New Zealand wildlife, is self-motivated and well connected within the community.

Contact PFHC Project Manager Jenny Hanwell on for a Job Description and application details. Deadline for applications is end Sunday 15th November.

Volunteer of the Month: Lezette Reid

Chair of Friends of Okura Bush
In 2013, Lezette's son Geoff noticed that there was very little bird song in Okura Bush. Feeling strongly that something needed to be done, the family of five went to Devonport to meet with the Department of Conservation to talk about how they could help. Shortly after, Geoff went away on his O.E., but Lezette's interest had been peaked.

Having always loved the bush and nature, and with her kids now grown up, Lezette got stuck into the work of setting up a new community group to care for Okura Bush and its surrounds. She distributed flyers throughout Okura village and held a community meeting in Okura Hall. To her surprise, over 40 people came to that meeting and Lezette knew she had fantastic community backing behind her. The Long Bay Okura Great Park Society initially umbrellaed the initiative, as Lezette had been a Committee member for the society for many years. However, the East Coast Bays Coastal Protection Society, which had been successful in advocating for the establishment of the Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve, offered Lezette to take over the Society, with the new focus being Okura Bush. Subsequently, Committee members decided that a more public friendly name was required and it became Friends of Okura Bush (FOOB).

Lezette and the FOOB Committee have built up a team of hundreds of volunteers over the years – trapping, undertaking pest plant control, advising locals about tackling pests on their own properties, running the popular Okura Forest Festival and many other projects. Some volunteers have come and gone; some have committed for the long-term and are still going strong in their 80s.

According to Lezette, there are two main reasons for why she keeps going. "I aim to encourage people to live with nature, as part of it, not against it. This not only heals our environment but also ourselves, as our natural spaces are away from the usual busyness of life and make us feel good again," she explains. "I also want to build a strong sense of community and camaraderie. Everyone involved with FOOB can apply their own particular skills and passions to contribute to our kaupapa."   

Get in touch at if you'd like to join Lezette and our many other volunteers working across the East Coast Bays and Hibiscus Coast – we can signpost you to a nearby group or project or support you and your neighbours to initiate something new. Even a couple of hours a month can make a massive difference!

Pest Plant of the Month: Japanese Honeysuckle

Japanese Honeysuckle is a crawling/climbing vine that is capable of shading out and smothering native seedlings, as well as causing canopy collapse by forming dense mats on top of the trees. It is very hardy, tolerant of salt and frost. It is most likely to invade bush margins, disturbed forests and river networks. Japanese honeysuckle also supports habitat for faster growing weeds such as Moth Plant. Light green growth appears in early spring, and this is a good time to control it.

If you notice Japanese Honeysuckle on your property, take action as soon as possible:

  • Report the weed using the app.
  • Dig out small infestations, trying to remove all parts of the root system – Japanese honeysuckle can regrow from stem fragments that are left in the ground.
  • Hand release off native trees where possible. Make a cut at the base of the stem and apply a thin film of Met Gel to both ends of the cut stem. 
  • Large vines can be left on the tree after applying Met Gel to both ends of the cut stem. 
  • For large/mature infestations and ground cover, foliar spray with 0.5g/L metsulfuron plus penetrant. Always wear appropriate Personal Protection Equipment and read the manufacturer’s label for guidelines and recommendations. Talk to our Restore Hibiscus & Bays Ecological Restoration Advisor for further guidance.
  • Follow up in three months to reapply herbicide and ensure all regrowth has died (mature infestations usually need multiple applications).
  • Talk to your neighbours and encourage them to take action too! 
  • Download a printable leaflet/poster about Japanese Honeysuckle and other pest plants from our website here
Please email us with any questions to

Volunteer Role

Communications & Social Media 
We'd love to hear from anyone who could help with putting together some of our communications, particularly keeping our social media updated (Facebook and Instagram). If you have some skills in this area and a little bit of time to help, please get in touch at

Events Coming Up

Browns Bay Community Garden Group BBQ and Planting Day
Sunday 15 November, Baha'i Centre, 712 Beach Road, Browns Bay
Come along to meet and share ideas with this local group of organic gardeners
Contact Sylvia 021 144 9204
A Very Coastie Christmas
Join Forest & Bird Pest Free Hibiscus Coast, Restore Hibiscus & Bays and Auckland Council Parks
Sunday 22 November, 12–3pm, Whangaparāoa College, 8 Stanmore Bay Rd
More info here
Clean Streams Campbells Bay
Wednesday 25 November, 7–9pm, St John's Hall, Campbells Bay
More info here
Auckland Pestival Weekend
Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November
More info here
WEEPS (Wairau Estuary Environment Protection Society) Big Day Out
Sunday 29 November, 11am–3pm, Milford Reserve
More info here
Restore Hibiscus & Bays Christmas Network Hui
Thursday 10 December, 7–9pm, Orewa Community Centre
More info here
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

A Ranger at Shakespear Regional Park was lucky enough to spot this very rare, endangered Matuku (Australasian Bittern) on a trail camera – possibly the first photographic record within the park. Read more info on Matuku here

Restore Hibiscus & Bays is an umbrella community-led, not-for-profit initiative that aims to bring together, support 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 and Foundation North, and we are part of Heart of the Bays (formerly the East Coast Bays Community Project), which has charitable status.
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Restore Hibiscus & Bays · The Bays Community Centre · 2 Glen Road · Browns Bay, Auk 0630 · New Zealand

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