Te Ara Awataha restoration
Te Ara Awataha is a 1.5km greenway corridor in the heart of Northcote. The key focus of the project is to bring mauri back to the Awataha Stream, which includes regenerating the Jessie Tonar Scout Reserve, also known as Kākā Reserve.
Since March 2019, Kaipātiki Project has been delivering the community-led restoration of this reserve on behalf of Eke Panuku in partnership with mana whenua, Auckland Council's Healthy Waters and the Kaipātiki Local Board. Working to deliver on the aspirations of the Take Mauri 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.
Credit: Eke Panuku Development Auckland
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.
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.
We thank our funders and partners!