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Restore Hibiscus & Bays – February 2020

Kia ora and welcome to our first ever newsletter! 

Every month we will be sending you 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. If you know of anyone else who might be interested in receiving our news, please forward this email to them and ask them to sign up here.

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We have a new name! Formerly known as Hibiscus & Bays Pest Free, we have decided to make the change to Restore Hibiscus & Bays, in order to encompass all the various components of our strategic plan and better communicate our end goal – to restore our environment back to health. We also want all our 'pest free' groups to be able to refer to themselves as being part of a larger-scale umbrella initiative, without confusing our audiences with names that are too similar! 
We have a new staff team! At the end of last year, we recruited a Manager, Rachael, and a Restoration Advisor, Kane, to help focus and drive our initiatives and increase our impact. Our expert Steering Group will continue to meet every month at Te Herenga Waka o Orewa Marae to plan and set the direction for our work. We have lots of exciting plans for the year ahead to support our amazing network of community groups working hard to restore native biodiversity in the East Coast Bays and Hibiscus Coast. Watch this space!
Please come along to our first network meeting of 2020 on Wednesday 13 February, 6-8pm, at the Local Board offices on Glen Road in Browns Bay. This is an opportunity to meet and share stories and ideas with other individuals and groups interested in or involved with pest control or restoration. We will present on Restore Hibiscus & Bay's vision and plans for the coming year. Staff and elected representatives from the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board will also attend to consult on their three-year plan. Come with feedback on what concerns you have around the environment and what you would like to see happen within the East Coast Bays and along the Hibiscus Coast to protect and restore our native biodiversity. 
We're super excited to be part of the Okura Forest Festival on Saturday 15 February, hosted by our very own Friends of Okura Bush. We'll be there with information about Restore Hibiscus & Bays and all the groups within our network, as well as resources relating to our kaupapa. We would appreciate any offers of help for our stall! Please email if you're able to help for an hour or two. If you're part of a reserve or community restoration group within our rohe and you'd like to set up your own stall or provide information to give away at our stall, please let Rachael know at
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
We plan to establish two community tool libraries, from which groups and individuals can borrow tools, herbicides, predator bait and bait stations, traps, composting weed bags, ginger barrels and other equipment. We will be lending them out on the understanding that they will be used on public or private land within the local board area on projects aimed at controlling pests and restoring our native biodiversity. We already have a potential location in mind for the East Coast Bays tool library and are now on the hunt for somewhere on the Hibiscus Coast. Please get in touch if you have any ideas. We also need an office for our new staff team - ideally in the Browns Bay/Torbay area. Again, please let us know if you can help in any way! 
Explore and discover the taonga of one of our beautiful regional parks with a new app created by volunteers at Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society Inc. (SOSSI). It features two self-guided trails to download before you go and then use any time you visit. The Kaitiaki Trail takes you through the stunning Waterfall Gully bush walk, out onto farmland with breath-taking views. It brings to life the nature conservation stories of the Sanctuary and includes an interactive 360 degree panorama from the lookout. The Tamariki Trail is aimed at children ages 5+ and begins at the Old Woolshed information centre. Featuring your guide Kare the Kiwi, it also includes hidden quiz signs to be discovered in a fun adventure around some of the Sanctuary’s main highlights. Check out the SOSSI website for more info.
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 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 coming months, these flowers will turn into large, green, pear-shaped pods, which each release thousands of fluffy parachute seeds into the air infesting more and more of our gardens, parks and bush. So now is the time to take action!

If you notice moth plant on your property or in your nearby parks, please follow these guidelines:
  • Dig out any small seedlings, including roots
  • For larger vines, find the the stem where it goes into the ground, cut it near the base and immediately paste a thin smear of MetGel onto the cut stem (can purchase at any hardware store or garden centre)
  • Dispose of the flowers, roots and any pods 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 and encourage them to take action too!
For more information, see this awesome factsheet from our friends at Pest Free Kaipātiki or visit the Council website. Please email us with any questions at
Other events coming up soon...

Hibiscus and Bays Local Board Community Forum
Wednesday 5 February, 8pm
Hibiscus & Bays Local Board Offices, Glen Road, Browns Bay

Our Chairperson, Manager and Restoration Advisor will be presenting a deputation to the recently elected Local Board to share about what we do and our plans for the future. Please come along – we would very much welcome your support!

Hauraki Gulf's 20th Birthday Celebration
Thursday 27 February, 5.30–8pm
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Westhaven

Join Hon. Eugenie Sage for networking, launch of the 'State of the Gulf 2020' report and a panel discussion hosted by Clarke Gayford. Dress: Business casual. RSVP:

Pest Free Hibiscus Boating
Saturday 29 February, 8.30–10.30am
Gulf Harbour Yacht Club & Boat Ramp

Forest & Bird Hibiscus Coast invites all boat owners to their Pest Free Hibiscus Boating event: Free BBQ breakfast, free rat trap for your backyard, advice on how you can protect wildlife at home and on the islands.
Are you part of a community group 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 organisation 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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