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August 2021 Pānui – Newsletter

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

Ko te tūmanako e noho ora ana koutou ko tō whānau i tēnei wā. We hope you're all keeping safe and well back at COVID-19 Alert Level 4.

As always, we thank all those of you who work in essential services – we appreciate that you are there to look after us. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou. 

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.

What COVID-19 Level 4 means for our network

As with previous lockdowns at both Level 3 and 4, all volunteer activity in Local and Community Parks is prohibited. Hopefully, if you are following a pulsing regimen for predator control, you will already have had the chance to complete your August pulse. If not, do not worry – you can postpone it to when we are back to at least Level 2.

If you do have some extra time during the lockdown and you want to use it productively to help restore our native biodiversity, take a look through our website for ways we can all help nature in our own backyards, and find informative resources to get you started. Some ideas include:
  1. Tackle those backyard pest plants
  2. Collect seeds from your nearby bush
  3. Suppress backyard predators with the trap you have stored in your garage
  4. Become a bird song expert
For questions and further advice, feel free to email us at

Watch a recording of our August network hui 

With just a few hours notice, our August network hui was moved online, following the announcement of the COVID-19 community case earlier in the afternoon. We are sorry to those of you who were no longer able to attend, due to online accessibility issues or because of having to make preparations for lockdown. The good news is that we still had 26 attendees and were able to take a recording of the hui. This means you are able to watch in your own time the:
  • Presentation on bird surveys on pest free islands and elsewhere by Kaye Milton and John Stewart from Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi
  • Project report from Whitebait Connection by Sarah Dimitrijevic
  • Update from Restore HB by Rachael Randal
Click here to view the recording:
Passcode: d9XS&IYF

Don't forget to sign up as a member of Restore Hibiscus & Bays

We announced in our last newsletter that Restore Hibiscus & Bays is now an Incorporated Society with charitable status. We encourage you all to sign up as a member of the Society, which will give you voting rights at our AGMs and special general meetings. Please update your details here and tick the box requesting to become a member. If you've been forwarded this newsletter and would like to sign up as a member of Restore Hibiscus & Bays, please use this online form, which can also be found on our website.

Check out our new video

Our new video is an overview of the mahi we support and the ‘why’ behind it all. There's some beautiful footage of our local area and certainly some goose bump moments. We'd really appreciate it if you could all share this video with your friends, whānau and online communities as much as possible. Let's make it go viral in Hibiscus and Bays :-) 

Out and About with Kane

Highlights from our Ecological Restoration Advisor
The 2021 planting season is almost complete. Across July and early August, Kane directly supported or coordinated plantings at 7 sites across the Hibiscus Coast and East Coast Bays

Predator control
Predator control lines have been set up across 5 new sites across the East Coast Bays and Waiwera, with bait stations and traps added to New volunteers will be trained and supported to maintain the lines and record their data.

Pest plant control
Eco-contractors have been briefed, organised and funded to carry out pest plant control that is too challenging for volunteers to tackle. 7 sites were allocated funding for eco-contractors via our Volunteer Initiatives Programme and eco-contractors will also be working across at least 10 of our catchment project sites - all thanks to the grant we received from the Lotteries Environment and Heritage.
School and community ecological restoration workshops
Through July, Kane continued to share his on-the-ground technical knowledge and expertise with various groups, projects and schools through the delivery of educational workshops:

**Students and teachers from St Johns School contined with their hands-on learning, controlling agapanthus, tree privet, ladder fern and woolly nightshade. 

**Sherwood Primary School students participated in their very first weed control workshop in Northcross Reserve, involving education on how to protect our ngahere.
**Residents around Winstones Cove in Torbay took up the challenge to remove watsonia, agapanthus and other weeds to prepare the site for planting this August. The site will need regular, ongoing maintenance to keep the weeds down and prevent them from smothering the young natives.

**Now that the Riverhaven community has completed the initial control of wild ginger, jasmine and banana passion fruit vine through the reserve land along Fairhaven walkway, they have begun their regular weeding bees through the adjacent bush on private property.

Opportunity to get upskilled in seed sourcing

Our friends at Upper Harbour Ecology Network are organising a seed sourcing workshop led by Charmaine Baille who is a facilitator for the Iwi, Hapu and Community Nursery Network. She will be running through appropriate tikanga and protocols for volunteers wishing to contribute much-needed seed to local native nurseries. If you are interested in getting involved, please complete the Expression of Interest form here. Spaces are very limited, and will be allocated to individuals who can commit to volunteer long-term and who have some pre-requisite knowledge around native plant identification and restoration.

Ōrewa Estuary ecological bike tours

To kick off Conservation Week, Auckland Council is running two guided ecological bike tours around the Orewa Estuary–Te Ara Tahuna, in collaboration with Forest and Bird Hibiscus Coast.
When: Sat 4 Sept 10am–12 pm and 1pm–3pm
Where: Western Park carpark, 214A Hibiscus Coast Highway, Ōrewa.
Who: General public – suitable for ages 9+ with a reasonable level of fitness. Competent bike riders only please. Children must be under adult supervision. Bikes and helmets provided.
Cost: Free (bookings essential, spaces limited to 20 people per bike tour).
For bookings: book online at

Help us secure a significant boost for our Awaruku-Long Bay project

Add your small contribution and Speights will double the impact!
A massive thanks to Speight's for their generous donation to our Long Bay - Awaruku project via our partnership with Million Metres. The Long Bay - Awaruku project aims to restore two catchments in the Hibiscus & Bays area by planting up the stream edges and monitoring water quality, as well as removing weeds and educating landowners. Thanks to Speight’s, donations for this project are now being matched up to $10k, potentially boosting the project by $20k in total. Please donate today and help us improve water quality and wildlife habitat in the Hibiscus and Bays area.

Report your July 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 July. 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. 

Pest Plant of the Month: Climbing asparagus

Climbing asparagus is a scrambling vine that is capable of smothering and shading out seedlings, eventually creating thick mats throughout the forest understory and prohibiting indigenous forest regeneration. This pest plant is of high threat to our native biodiversity, as the vine is able to grow in shaded areas – invading throughout the bush, not just around the edges. The berries ripen from green to red-orange and the seed is spread by birds. It can also be spread by dumping of garden waste. 

Take action as soon as possible: 

  • Report the weed using the app.
  • Dig out small infestations trying to remove all parts of the root rhizomes – climbing asparagus can regrow from rhizomes that are left in the ground.
  • If using herbicides, they’re most effective in spring and early summer before the seeds have ripened. Hand pull any climbing vines off non target plants and seedlings before spraying. Spray with glyphosate 10ml/l (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.
  • Dispose of seeds, rhizomes and roots in your rubbish bin to go to landfill, securely tied inside a plastic bag - to stop it spreading to other areas. 
  • Stop pest plants invading again by replanting with non-pest plants (preferably native plants) once regrowth is no longer a problem.
  • Talk to your neighbours and encourage them to take action too!
  • Download a printable leaflet/poster about climbing asparagus and other pest plants from our website here. 
  • Please email us with any questions to 
Look out for our climbing asparagus article in the August issue of Channel Magazine! This is 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.

Photo of the Month: Long finned tuna (eel) in Awaruku stream

Long finned tuna (eels) are legendary climbers and can make their way well upstream, even when there are natural and man-made barriers. It is not unheard of for an eel to climb a waterfall of up to 20 metres! Tuna are culturally very important to Māori, but sadly they are under significant pressure and are considered At risk, declining. Photo credit: Mary Stewart.
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 East Coast Bays and Hibiscus Coast. 

Restore Hibiscus & Bays is a registered Incorporated Society with charitable status. Our mahi is supported by funding grants from the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board, Auckland Council, Foundation North and the Lottery Environment and Heritage. To find out more, get involved and donate visit
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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