Te Ara Awataha restoration

Since March 2019, Kaipātiki Project has had the privilege working with mana whenua and members of the community as part of the Panuku Development Auckland "Unlock Northcote" project. Working to deliver on the aspirations of the Take Mana Take Hono mauri indicator framework developed by mana whenua, Kaipātiki Project is piloting this whole systems approach for community restoration. This framework will guide efforts to boost the mauri (life essence) of the stream, improve water quality and allow it to become a habitat for birds, insects, and tuna (eels) once more. It will also reconnect the community to this lost environmental taonga (treasure) through the wider stream daylighting project.

Following the mauri indicators framework, Kaipātiki Project has co-created a regeneration plan for the Jessie Tonar Scout Reserve where the spring or ‘puna’ of the stream begins. Central to community engagement, there are monthly working bees at the site, with initial focus on the removal of a large stand of running bamboo. In addition to these events aimed at encouraging engagement with immediate neighbours and locals, we have also been supported by corporate groups, local schools and community groups. One of the highlights has been working regularly with volunteer Street Guardians working in conjunction with the City Mission and the Tomorrow Inc charity. Another significant highlight was recently finding our first tuna (eel) after a year of monitoring. Seeing this confirms there are tuna returning to the stream, and continuing a 30 to 80-year reproduction life-cycle.

Credit: Panuku

Our amazing community stewards

We have been really fortunate to have had so many community members and groups contribute to this work. Some of our younger volunteers have come from the local school, Northcote Intermediate, as part of the William Pike Challenge. Others have come from Carmel College and beyond. We have had Nick Monks from Auckland Libraries help us out with a few videos!

Credit: Nick Monk from Auckland Libraries (Kaipātiki Local Board)

A growing number of neighbours have spent considerable time with us over 2019. We have had some neighbours participate in almost every single community restoration day. Some neighbours have been our eyes and ears, taking photos and recordings of all the interesting "going-ons" when we aren't able to be there. We've had reports of kōtare, tuī and kererū in the reserve to sightings of the banded-kokopu in the stream. We have even had a sighting and photograph of kākā - a first in 30 years by neighbours. Another one of our amazing neighbours has generously watered the garden when we have not been able to be there.

Thank you to our funders and supporters!

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