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April Pānui – Newsletter

Kia ora and welcome to our Restore Hibiscus & Bays April 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 thinking of all our supporters, volunteers and communities during this time of lockdown. We hope that you and your loved ones are all safe and well. Take care. Heartfelt thanks to those of you who work in essential services – we appreciate that you are there to look after us. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou. 

Rachael and Kane are continuing to work from home – planning, working on funding applications, and developing our communications channels and keeping them updated. As always, you can contact us at

He waka eke noa

We are all in this together

You may have noticed our new logo at the top of this email. It was created by local designer Nina van Lier in consultation with our Steering Group. The curved and horizontal lines represent the 35 stream catchments within Hibiscus & Bays and the flow of water ki uta ki tai from the mountains to the sea. The thick bottom line represents Papatūānuku from which all living things, including people, are born and nourished. Papatūānuku is the foundation for human action, and the koru speaks to the growth of new life which results from the mahi put in by our network of communities. We love the design and its meaning and hope you do too!
In lieu of our network hui scheduled for Thursday 2 April, 6–8pm, we are hosting a video conference via Zoom and we would like to invite you to join us. Kate Hamilton from the Department of Conservation will overview the government's new Predator Free 2050 strategy and action plan, Jenny Hanwell will outline the exciting three-year plan for the Pest Free Hibiscus Coast project, and Rachael will introduce our Restore Hibiscus & Bays Volunteer Initiatives Programme (VIP) and let you know how you can apply to help fund your environmental project. To join the Zoom Meeting, click on this link: 
And enter the following meeting ID: 709 367 357 
The Restore Hibiscus & Bays Volunteer Initiatives Programme (VIP) aims to provide funding to our network of groups, neighbourhoods, schools, and other individuals 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. 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. Rachael will endeavour to answer any questions you may have during the Zoom meeting on 2 April.
For many of us, lockdown will be a hectic time - juggling working from home, schooling children, and other commitments. However, if you do feel that you have some extra time on your hands and you want to use it productively to help restore our native biodiversity, Kane has prepared some ideas for helping nature in our backyards. These include:
  1. Getting to know your backyard biodiversity
  2. Tackling those backyard pest plants
  3. Seed sourcing
  4. Suppressing backyard predators
  5. Becoming a bird song expert
Please refer to our blog post, for more information on these activities. For questions and further advice, feel free to email Kane at

The Hibiscus Coast Forest and Bird Facebook page is also publishing daily posts with various ideas for kid-friendly, nature-based activities that can be done from home and the awesome rangers at Auckland Parks have created a Backyard Wild Child programme. Check them out!
Several of our planned events during March were unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19: The Hibiscus Coast Forest & Bird AGM, the Bushglen Bush BBQ and the Introduction to Predator Trapping course. We hope that the predator training workshop will be rescheduled as a Webinar session, and we'll send you the details as soon as they are confirmed.

We did still have some great events in March, including the Wilderness Connection Day with Friends of Okura Bush and a bat hunt in Bushglen Reserve (pictured above). We didn't find any bats this time, but we know we have the appropriate habitat in many of our reserves, so stay tuned for details of future bat hunts later in the year
The Hibiscus & Bays Local Board are currently consulting on their three-year plan. Members of the public can provide feedback online here. It’s simple, quick and easy for people to tell their elected representatives their priorities, in order to impact local funding for the next three years. It’s a great way to advocate for predator and pest plant control, restoration of our native bush, rivers, streams and marine environments and more funding to support community-based action.
Do you have any cool photos 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
Pest Plant of the Month: PAMPAS
This invasive grass 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.
  • For young plants, the best option is to loosen the soil and pull them out. A digger or bulldozer can be used to remove big plants.
  • To avoid nasty cuts, wear gloves and protective clothing.
  • 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.
  • Talk to your neighbours (over the phone or over the fence from two metres away) and encourage them to take action too!

For more information, please see the Council website or email any questions to 

Are you part of a community group or project working to protect and restore our local environment? We would like to promote your events and working bees on our website and in our future 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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