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January 2021 Pānui – Newsletter

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

Volunteer Initiatives Programme 2021

Funding available for your community conservation project.
The Restore Hibiscus & Bays Volunteer Initiatives Programme (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. For the 2021 VIP, thanks to a grant from the Lottery Environment and Heritage, we have $40,000 available for pest plant control that is too difficult for volunteers to tackle on their own and that will require professional eco-contractors to undertake the initial control. We also have $10,000 that can be allocated to other kinds of restoration projects, such as monitoring tools or native planting, thanks to an Auckland Council Regional Environment and Natural Heritage grant.
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 the first round of 2021 applications is Monday 22 March. 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.

Out and About with Kane

Highlights from our Ecological Restoration Advisor
At the beginning of December, Kane co-hosted a workshop with Forest and Bird Youth, focused around pest plant control and the part it plays in restoring areas back to self-sustaining ecosystems. Around nine keen individuals turned up to learn different methods, including cut and pasting arum lily and woolly nightshade, as well as hand releasing Japanese honeysuckle and banana passion fruit from emerging native trees. We hope to continue this collaboration with Forest & Bird Youth into 2021! For resources on pest plant control, including our best practice guidelines, see our website.
The Rotary Club of Orewa joined Kane at Western Reserve to learn how to control environmental weeds in preparation for the site to be planted in winter. This site is adjacent to the Orewa Estuary – Te Ara Tahuna, and the project forms part of the Orewa Estuary Restoration Plan, which was commissioned by the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board in 2017 and is now being co-delivered by Forest & Bird Pest Free Hibiscus Coast and Restore Hibiscus & Bays. Rotary volunteers learnt about control methods for arum lily, wild ginger, agapanthus and monstera. Another site visit will be required to complete the initial control. 
In Waiwera, the final workshop for 2020 was spent marking tree privet and drilling identified and marked privet. Once the tree privet are mature and established in the dense canopy it can be difficult to identify them, so we have been identifying these mature trees with red markings to then be controlled by the community. We have also been scoping out a predator control plan for the Waiwera Scenic Hill reserve. This predator control activity will be rolled out with the local community in the coming months. For resources on predator control, including our best practice guidelines, see our website. If you are keen to set up and help run a new predator line in an area near you, please email

Myrtle Rust found on Swamp Maire in Bushglen

Sadly, just before Christmas, myrtle rust was discovered on some of the precious swamp maire trees in Bushglen Reserve. Myrtle rust is a pathogen that poses a major threat to these already endangered species of native trees. We are all devastated. Although we don't yet know what this will mean for the survival of the important stands of swamp maire in Bushglen or their ability to reproduce, the best thing we can do now is to avoid interaction with them so as to stop further spread. Kathy from Bushglen Restoration Project will be working closely with biosecurity advisors at Auckland Council to organise some risk management approaches for working in the reserve. Please visit to learn more about myrtle rust, how to identify it and how to report it using the iNaturalist website. It is important to understand where myrtle rust has spread to and where it is active. Please avoid touching any infected plants.

2020 Volunteer Awards

Congratulations to all Award Winners!
We were delighted to be able to thank some of our hundreds of valued volunteers through our 2020 Volunteer Awards at our Christmas Network Hui and End-of-Year celebration. Thank you so so much to New World Long Bay, New World Browns Bay and New World Orewa, Cut and Paste, Yealands Wine, and EcoStore for their wonderful and exceptionally generous donations! 

It has been a privilege to work with every single one of our volunteers throughout 2020 to support with your amazing community mahi and to help grow our collective impact. We can't wait to implement our ambitious collaborative plans for 2021!

Strategy Review

We need your participation and input on 9 February, 7-9pm
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 at Northcross Intermediate School, Browns Bay on Tuesday 9 February 7-9pm. Please RSVP to or on Facebook here.

Reporting your valuable time

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

Restore Hibiscus & Bays has been working with our Auckland Council Community Parks Ranger to develop a simple, user-friendly form that volunteers can use to keep track of and report your awesome mahi. We hope this will reduce your administration and email load down in future. We welcome any feedback as we start this collaboration going forward. We want to make this as easy as possible for you, and want to hear how we can improve it for the community user. Please follow this link to our website to complete your reporting for December. 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. If you currently report your volunteer time to Sinead at Auckland Council Community Parks, you will be receiving an email from her also outlining this new process.

Hibiscus Coast Schools Learning Expo

Conservation in Action
Are you a teacher, board member, property manager, or parent helper at a school on the Hibiscus Coast? If so, please join Sustainable Schools, Forest & Bird Pest Free Hibiscus Coast, Restore Hibiscus & Bays and others at the Hibiscus Coast Schools Conservation Expo on Wednesday 24 February, 3.30–5.30pm, Red Beach School. Network and learn how the range of local programmes can help improve both student and environmental wellbeing and help you achieve your school's learning goals. Download the flyer here. Book your place:

For teachers, board members, property managers or parent helpers at schools in the East Coast Bays, there will be a similar conservation expo at Northcross Intermediate on Wednesday 31 March. Stay tuned for more details coming soon.

Pest Plant of the Month:
Moth Plant

Moth plant is a particularly nasty pest plant as it spreads so quickly and smothers our native bush. It is poisonous to people (and traps Monarch butterflies!) and its sap can irritate our skin.

From January, the vines form bell-shaped creamy coloured flowers, occasionally with pink streaks. Over the next few months, these flowers turn into large, green, pear-shaped pods. If left, each pod will release thousands of fluffy parachute seeds into the air infesting more and more of our gardens, parks and bush. This is where you can help. If you notice moth plant on your property or in your nearby parks, please take action as soon as possible:
  • Report the weed using the app.
  • Pull or dig out any small seedlings, including roots.
  • For medium-sized vines, find the stem where it goes into the ground, cut it near the base of the vine, and immediately paste a thin smear of MetGel onto the cut stem.
  • Dispose of all seed pods, flowers and roots in your rubbish bin to go to landfill, securely tied inside a plastic bag - to stop it spreading to other areas. Unfortunately, they can't be composted.
  • Leave the vine hanging in the tree to die.
  • Talk to your neighbours, tell them about moth plant and encourage them to take action too!
  • Download a printable leaflet/poster about moth plant and other pest plants from our website here. 
  • Please email us with any questions to 
Look out for our moth plant article in the Dec/Jan issue of Channel Magazine! This is the first in 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: Its exhausting being a grey warbler parent!

This tiny riroriro (grey warbler) has been feeding it's constantly demanding shining cuckoo chick in a Torbay backyard for a couple of weeks now. Shining cuckoos lay their eggs in the riroriro nest and then leave the parenting work to the unsuspecting little warblers. Video credit: Annette Peard.

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 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, 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.
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Restore Hibiscus & Bays · The Bays Community Centre · 2 Glen Road · Browns Bay, Auk 0630 · New Zealand

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