News from Friends of Te Wairoa

Kia ora to all Friends of the Wairoa River Catchment!

Friends of Te Wairoa are closing off on a highly successful year. We have continued to work with you, the landowners, to collectively improve the health of the Wairoa River. Bit by bit we make a difference, as we provide education opportunities and physical resources to arm you with the tools needed for ecosystem restoration.

Our crack willow eradication programme has begun, and we are encouraging residents to deal to any trees on their property. Crack willows can regrow from any broken pieces. Fallen branches block the waterways and continue growing, creating dams and diverting waterflow, leading to erosion and increased flooding risk. Watch this video for why we want to eradicate the willows, and how to do it yourself. Next year, we hope to progress on the project and amp it up in scale, getting some further assistance for residents.

The Hūnua Halo is going from strength to strength, as more and more properties that border the Hūnua Ranges undertake predator control in order to protect the taonga species that reside within the forest. We have been working with other community groups to extend this concept around the entire Ranges, to reduce reinvasion of predators from surrounding farmland.

A massive thankyou to those who are regularly reporting catch tallies via the app. It really helps to efficiently keep track of what’s happening out there. You’re welcome to email any catch data since 1 July 2023 to me to upload on your behalf, so that we can ensure our records are as accurate as possible and reflect our work, and provide accountability to our funders who allow us to purchase predator control gear to distribute.

Christmas is on its way, and we have a challenge for you. This year, we challenge you to give back to the whenua. Here are some ideas:

  • Plan a low-waste celebration, by choosing locally made gifts with little packaging
  • Re-use wrapping paper or wrap gifts using fabric or scarves
  • Make Christmas cards with a personal touch by using cut outs from advertising material and previous years cards
  • Buy a native tree to use as a Christmas tree, and then plant it on your land. You could build a small forest of native ex-Christmas trees if you pick up this tradition!
  • Ensure food scraps are composted, to help replenish our top soils that have eroded away or been depleted this year.
  • Check and rebait your traps and bait stations before going away. Remember to unset any live traps on your property.
  • If you head into the water, take a bucket to pick up some beach or stream-side rubbish while you’re there.

Upcoming events:

In 2024, we will be holding a volunteer day at the community nursery on the second Wednesday of the month from 8.30am. Find us on the right up the driveway next to Art Industry on the Clevedon main street.

  • 10 January
  • 14 February
  • 13 March
  • 10 April
  • 8 May
  • 12 June
  • 10 July
  • 14 August
  • 11 September
  • 9 October
  • 13 November
  • 11 December

The community nursery welcomes locals to come and purchase plants for their property, at $2 each. We have a selection of $1 seconds, and if you wish to save even more money, you can purchase a small tray of 100+ seedlings for just $5 to prick out yourself and grow on ready for the Winter planting season. At the moment, we have Carex umbellata and Cabbage tree seedlings available, and a wide range of other plants ready to be planted. Contact to visit the nursery by appointment.

Together, we are working towards restoring the mauri of the awa. We’d like to thank you all for your ongoing support of the mahi we do – it’s what keeps that ball rolling forward. We’re excited for what 2024 has in store for us, and look forward to continuing to provide the services that have become our core business, and adding another layer of normalised everyday conservation to that. Enjoy the season, and we’ll see you again next year for more positive outcomes for our whenua!

Happy trapping,

Lenny van Heugten
Communications and Predator Control Co-ordinator
Friends of Te Wairoa