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July Pānui – Newsletter

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

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 across the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board area. 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.

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We are excited to announce that our website is now live!
Take a look at Please share with friends, family and neighbours – we hope as many of our communities as possible can learn more about the Restore Hibiscus & Bays network and how we can all do our part to protect and restore our unique and special natural environment. Thank you so much to our incredible designer Nina van Lier, whose talent has been invaluable in helping to bring our kaupapa, resources and stories to life.
See a map and information on the local community group or project working to protect and restore native wildlife and habitats in your area. Learn how you can get involved with Restore Hibiscus & Bays at home, in your local area, with your school or with your organisation, and find out how you can sponsor our work.
Find resources to support your projects from Restore Hibiscus & Bays, including guidance around methods, best practice and health and safety in pest plant and predator control. We also link to useful resources from Auckland Council, the Department of Conservation and other trusted organisations.
Īnanga hotels in our local streams
Keeping our native freshwater fish safe and healthy
One of the highlights this month for Kane, our Restoration Advisor, was his visit to Awaruku Wetland to catch up with Mary from Friends of Long Bay and Sophie from Whitebait Connection. They were looking for īnanga eggs and fish, which spawned on 10 May. Thankfully, Friends of Long Bay were rat baiting again, which is super important for the survival of these at-risk native fish as rats eat the īnanga eggs.
They also saw long-finned tuna (eels) in the stream, kotare, pied stilts and herons and visited the 650 year old kahikatea in Awaruku bush.

We hope to collaborate more with Whitebait Connection in the future to identify and monitor other īnanga spawning sites along our Hibiscus & Bays streams, so that we can specifically target these areas within our stream restoration and predator eradication programmes.
It's time to get out in your backyard for the NZ Garden Bird Survey!

Every year the NZ Garden Bird Survey gives us a vital insight into the health of our environment. The more people who participate, the better picture we will get of our environment.

To participate there are 5 easy steps.

1. Choose your spot – your own garden or a nearby park or school

2. Choose one day from June 27 to July 5

3. Get comfy and look/listen for birds for one hour

4. Record the highest number of a bird species observed at one time. So if you see 1 tūī at 8:05am, 4 tūī at 8:32am and 2 tūī at 8:59am, the number of tūī you record is 4.

5. Submit your survey results online here.

Keen to join one of our local network events?
Here are a few opportunities coming up soon
Park Rise Planting Day:
Saturday 4 July, 9am
Meet near 100 Park Rise along the edge of Park Rise Bush, Campbells Bay
Bring the whole family to our epic planting working bee! We have a huge amount of plants that need to be planted in their new home in the bush at the top of Park Rise. This is big job and we’d love as much help as possible - bring the kids, stay for as little or as long as you’re able. Many hands make light work! Bring: water, a snack, sunscreen, protective clothing, and if available gardening gloves and a spade. Contact Richard Hursthouse with any questions 021 216 1296. In case of bad weather, may be re-scheduled to Sunday 5 July.
Shakespear Regional Park Planting Day
Sunday 19 July, 10am–1pm
Follow signs at the park entrance to planting site
Dress for the weather and wear closed footwear suitable for a muddy slope. Please watch the weather forecast, but planting usually goes ahead regardless of the weather (if in doubt check the SOSSi Facebook page). Gloves and spades are provided but feel free to bring your own. Planting will be followed by a free BBQ. 

Friends of Okura Bush Planting Day: 
Sunday 9 August, 10am
Meet at 1 Duck Creek, Stillwater

Lunch provided. Please remember to wear closed-in shoes or boots, suitable clothing for planting and gardening gloves. Bring water, protective sun or rain wear and a spade.

August Network Hui:
Thursday 13 Aug, 6–8pm
Venue and location to be confirmed

Everyone welcome! More details to come closer to the time.
Tony – Our local Moth Plant legend! 
When walking through your local park or reserve, its not uncommon to bump into the tireless Tony clambering through the bush to poison that moth plant vine or bring down those 8 metre high pods with his make-shift pod plucker fashioned out of old fishing rods!

Four years ago, Tony decided to make a change. After having lost his wife 6 years earlier, he sold his business and retired early in order to make a positive difference for the local environment and his own well being. When out walking with his two daughters in Okura, he came across a sign advertising a volunteer weeding day with Geoff Reid from Friends of Okura Bush. His daughters said, 'You should do that Dad!'. He did and immediately got hooked. He soon started noticing moth plant everywhere and has made it his mission to get rid of as many as possible. He has single-handedly disposed of an estimated 2000+ pods so far this year! 

"I love getting out into the bush. I can do it in my own time when I feel like it and there's no commitment, but I can see what a difference my efforts are making. Year after year there are fewer and fewer moth plant pods at the sites where I've been working."

During lockdown, Tony got a nasty surprise to see thousands of parachute-like seeds floating passed his own window! He discovered that they were coming from a mature moth plant vine in the backyard of an elderly lady a few doors down on his own street. Her lawn was covered in seeds. He left a brochure in her post box and after lockdown Tony helped her get rid of it.

"When I was young, I used to look across at Tiri Tiri Matangi which was farmed at the time and it was always unnaturally brown in summer. Now, I look across and see the beautiful lush native bush that is a result of thousands of hours of volunteer planting. When we all do something small to help, what a difference our collective efforts can make!"

Get in touch at if you'd like to help Tony and join our pest plant hit squad, or let us know if you can support in any other way.

Agapanthus forms dense umbrella-like clusters with white root rhizomes and dark green leathery leaves that prevent and displace native species from regenerating. It’s purple flowers are visible from December to February and they produce thin, papery, black seeds that are wind dispersed. The plant can also spread from fragments of the root rhizome in contaminated soil.

If you notice agapanthus on your property, on a nearby berm or in your nearby parks, please follow these guidelines:

  • Report the weed using the app.

  • Dig out small infestations trying to remove most parts of the root rhizomes – Agapanthus can regrow from rhizomes that are left in the ground.

  • For medium to large infestations, use a pruning saw, spade or another hand tool to cut the stem close to the ground. Quickly apply a thin film of MetGel onto the cut stump or rhizomes.
  • Follow up in three months to reapply herbicide and ensure all regrowth has died.
  • Dispose of the flowers and any rhizomes and roots in your rubbish bin to go to landfill, securely tied inside a plastic bag - to stop it spreading to other areas.
  • Talk to your neighbours and encourage them to take action too! Download a printable leaflet/poster about agapanthus and other pest plants from our website here.
Please email us with any questions to
The deadline for applications for the first round of the Restore Hibiscus & Bays Volunteer Initiatives Programme (VIP) is this Tuesday 30 June. This fund is to support people and groups in our community to carry out short-term projects to eradicate pests, restore native habitats and improve water quality across public and private land. 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. For more information, download the overview brochure and application form. Email with any questions.
Volunteers needed! Are you a social media whizz or a GIS expert? Do you know your bird calls really well and would like to put those skills to good use? Do you have fantastic fundraising ideas or would you been keen to help out distributing tools and equipment from our tool library? If you have any skills that you would like to share and have a little bit of time to help, either as a one-off or on a regular basis, we would love to hear from you! Please contact
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

Centennial Park is Recreation Aotearoa’s winner of the Healthy Park Award for 2020!

Congratulations to the team at Centennial Park Bush Society and Campbells Bay Urban Sanctuary NZ. Very well deserved!


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.
Restore Hibiscus & Bays is an umbrella community-led 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 and Auckland Council, and we are part of 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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