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September Pānui – Newsletter

Kia ora and welcome to our Restore Hibiscus & Bays September 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 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.

Ngā mihi nui, 

Rachael, Manager Restore Hibiscus & Bays

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Our connection with nature
Did you get some time to explore nature this recent lockdown? Do you feel inspired to do more to look after your local environment?
Research from Manaaki Whenua– Landcare Research carried out during the March to May COVID-19 lockdown, or rāhui, confirms what we all know about the benefits for our wellbeing of being out in nature: "Connecting with nature generated a sense of calm, brought joy and eased numerous anxieties." People surveyed typically wanted nature to get more attention and better care.

At Restore Hibiscus & Bays, we're all about encouraging communities to value nature and to participate in helping it to thrive. Visit our website to learn how to get involved: 
Watch a recording of our August Network Zoom Hui and
Thanks to everyone who was able to join us at short notice over Zoom on 13 August, in lieu of our in-person hui that had to be cancelled due to the raising of the COVID-19 Alert Level a couple of days prior. For those who missed it, do not worry - you can watch it all at this link! Passcode: .sYT?h7e

Grab a a cuppa and enjoy :-)

We have our fingers and toes crossed that we wil be able to catch up with you all in person at our next hui scheduled for Thursday 22 October. We'll confirm details of venue and agenda closer to the time. 
Out and about with Kane
Highlights from our Ecological Restoration Advisor
At the beginning of August, Kane ran the first of a series of workshops for neighbours living near the Fairhaven walkway on the Whangaparāoa peninsula – this area has one of the last mature coastal broadleaved forest habitats on the north shore. The workshops are intended for locals who care about this special place and who want to learn how to address the environmental weed issues that threaten the indigenous forest.
Most of the day was spent controlling wild ginger along the walkway and the coastal edge. Dense patches of ginger covered many parts of the understorey, preventing the natural regeneration processes of many mature native trees such as pūriri, koekoe, tairere, kōwhai and nikau. With a dedicated core group of volunteers it is impressive what progress can be made in just a few hours! Many thanks to Jenny from the Forest & Bird Pest Free Hibiscus Coast project, Sinead from Auckland Council Community Parks and, of course, all of the local residents who came down to do some serious ginger control! 
Just before lockdown, Kane and Rachael, as well as Sinead from Auckland Council Community Parks, had the pleasure of meeting up with several residents who live near the special Winston's Cove in Torbay. Many members of this awesome community are keen to get involved in restoring the native ecology of this coastline, which supports pōhutukawa–pūriri broadleaved forest. Introduced predators, environmental weeds, erosion, stormwater drains and urbanisation have negatively affected and reduced this habitat to small fragmented remnants.
Kane is currently working on a plan to establish two new community-managed predator control lines through the council-owned land around the cove and along Marama Reserve to the north, as well as an environmental weed control plan. Eventually, we hope to expand the predator and weed control through some of the surrounding private property to create a protective halo for native wildlife, with a particular focus on restoring along the sides of the stream that runs onto the beach. 

Please get in touch if you are keen to get involved with any of these projects or if you would like Kane's support to help you care for a place that is special to you:
Have your say on the new Hibiscus & Bays Local Parks Management Plan
The draft local parks management plan covers 287 parks and more than 600ha of land owned and managed by Auckland Council along the East Coast Bays and Hibiscus Coast. Volume 1 sets out the purpose and scope of the plan, outlines the principles and values which guide the management philosophy and sets directions for now and the future. Volume 2 has specific information about each park and reserve in the Hibiscus & Bays area, including intentions for management. We encourage all members of the Restore Hibiscus & Bays network to review the plan, including the individual sheet for the park or reserve that you have particular interest in, and submit your feedback before the deadline on 4 September. If you would like to include your feedback as part of the Restore Hibiscus & Bays submission, please just let Rachael know and she can give you a call at a convenient time to discuss: 
Rescheduled Events
Unfortunately, many of our network's events planned for August and September had to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Taonga o te Ngahere Exhibition at Estuary Arts Centre has been postponed to 27 September and will run until 18 October. This event has been organised by Hibiscus Coast Forest & Bird, in order to raise public awareness and encourage more of our communities to participate in conservation initiatives. The exhibition will feature artwork from the local ecology of the area, including species such as bats, fungi, beetles, weta, geckos and butterflies, as well as the little blue penguin. Interactive art-based activities will enable visitors to make their own contribution to the exhibition and will make this a fun event for children and the whole family.
A couple of our network groups will need to reschedule their AGMs – please see some info below on what they have in store. As soon as it is possible for them to confirm new dates and times, we will let you know.
Friends of Okura Bush AGM
**Postponed until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted**
Okura Hall, Okura River Road
Join Friends of Okura Bush for their Annual General Meeting. Hear from guest speaker Professor Jacqueline Beggs – a renowned New Zealand ecologist at University of Auckland, specialising in the biodiversity, biosecurity and restoration of Aotearoa’s natural, agricultural and urban ecosystems. Dr Beggs will talk about some of the key challenges for conservation she has learnt from her extensive conservation research, including her work with the kākāpo and the impact of artificial light at night on our natural environment. Everyone welcome!
Are there BATS on the Hibiscus Coast? + HBC Forest & Bird AGM
**Postponed until further notice**
Estuary Arts Centre
NZ Batman Ben Paris is here to excite and inspire you to discover our incredible native bats! All ages will be enthralled with Ben's stories about these elusive creatures. The Annual General Meeting for Hibiscus Coast Forest & Bird will precede this informative talk. This is an open meeting, all welcome! Come and hear updates on our projects and activities, including Pest Free Hibiscus Coast highlights from the last year.
Do you love our local beaches and the Hauraki Gulf?
Find out how you can help protect them by cleaning up our streams
One of our ambitious long-term goals at Restore Hibiscus & Bays is to restore all the waterways throughout the 34 catchments within our local board area, connecting native biodiversity across our significant ecological areas and other fragmented native ecosystems and contributing to the protection of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park – Tīkapa Moana/Te Moana-nui-ā-Toi. We are starting with three initial catchment-scale projects that will link up all the excellent stream restoration activity already happening in those areas. 
We are collaborating with the Sustainable Business Network's Million Metres team to crowdfund to enable us to implement these catchment-wide plans over a five-year period. The fundraising pages are now live! If you or your organisation would like to sponsor our stream restoration programme, please feel free to email to arrange a time to chat. Also, stay tuned for more details on upcoming opportunities to learn more about how you can contribute to the health of the Gulf and protection of your local waterways.
Update from Forest & Bird Pest Free Hibiscus Coast
At the end of July, the Pest Free Hibiscus Coast Project team installed a new network of trap lines in the Bonair Crescent area of Millwater, targeting possums, rats and mustelids – adding 30 more traps and bait stations to their already established network of 230 predator control tools around the Orewa Estuary area. Volunteer Craig caught two large possums in the first few days after installing the new flipping Timmy traps.
Prior to lockdown, Project Manager Jenny Hanwell, new Hub Activator Mark Whittington and a team of volunteers worked with 180 students at Red Beach School to teach them all about the importance of predator control, and to build trap boxes to take home for their backyards. In addition, Jenny visited Stanmore Bay School, showing the year 3 students how to become pest detectives in their local reserve, and introducing 125 students to our incredible native birds and the pest animals that threaten them. Stanmore Bay school students will build rat trap boxes this term, ready to take home and start trapping rats in their community. 
The project team also trained 10 new volunteers, all keen to get out there trapping and keeping our native species safe. Existing volunteers have been experimenting with different lures such as Connovation's blue “Smooth" and aniseed spray for possums, which has seen a significant increase in catches. 

For further information contact Project Manager Jenny Hanwell,
Kathy – Bushglen Restoration Project
In 2012, Kathy McKormack responded to a note in her postbox from East Coast Bays Rotary and Auckland Council asking for people to come to an event about a new community project to restore Bushglen Reserve. There she met Vic Lange who led the protest in the 1990s against a proposed development that would turn the entire hillside into a residential subdivision. The group was successful in saving a  large section of the bush after they discovered three stands of rare swamp maire trees. It is likely that these trees are the only swamp maire in the whole Auckland area that plant nurseries can collect viable seed from, so they are incredibly important to protect!

Kathy was keen to extend the weed control and native planting work she had already been doing in her own backyard. Inspired by the work of Vic and others to save this place and its treasures of local and national significance, she involved herself wholeheartedly in the work of controlling the tradescantia, japanese honeysuckle and wild ginger that had begun to take over the understorey of the bush, participating in the monthly working bees and eventually taking over the role of coordinating the group of local volunteers. 

After a successful application to Predator Free New Zealand for funding to install traps throughout the reserve, Kathy has also been able to protect the bush and its wildlife from introduced predators. Having more traps than she needed for the reserve, she decided to keep going and has extended the network of traps to residential properties surrounding the bush and through Browns Bay. She is now keen to work with Restore Hibiscus & Bays to continue to develop a comprehensive predator eradication grid throughout the Taiaotea catchment. 

Every year, Kathy collects berries from the maire trees to pass onto the Kaipātiki Project plant nursery. Together, they are helping to save these trees from extinction. There are plans for construction of a new footpath through Bushglen Reserve, which will enable people to visit a plateau to view these very special maire trees.

If you're keen to get involved in the very important work to protect and restore Bushglen Reserve, come along to their next working bee this Sunday 6 September (Father's Day) at 9.30am to 12pm. As usual, health and safety procedures will be followed, including minimisation of any COVID-19 associated risk. If you can't make it this Sunday, the next working bee will be on Sunday 27 September and monthly after that.
Get in touch at if you'd like to join Kathy 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!
English Ivy

English ivy is a fast growing, creeping vine with hairless, dark green or green/white leaves. Roots and stems can reach up to 30 metres, strangling host trees and smothering the understorey and prohibiting native forest regeneration. Ivy is spread by birds dispersing the seeds as well as by dumping of garden waste, as it can regrow from stems.

If you notice English Ivy on your property, please follow these guidelines:

  • Report the weed using the app.
  • Dig out small infestations, trying to remove all parts of the root system – ivy 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 the cut stem.
  • Large vines can be left on the tree after applying Met Gel to both ends of the cut stem. For large infestations and ground cover, foliar spray with 0.5g/l metsulfuron with glyphosate(15ml/l) plus 2 ml/l 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.
  • Talk to your neighbours and encourage them to take action too!
  • Download a printable leaflet/poster about English Ivy and other pest plants from our website here.
Please email us with any questions to
Volunteer Roles
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

Lots of activity around Kathy's sugar water bird feeder at her home in Browns Bay. There's often 20+ hanging around their trees at a time – it's become almost a full time job for her hubby! Read here for advice on setting up a feeding station to attract native birds to your backyard.

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 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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