Stories

We’re back and our 2021 Impacts

Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ) is back for another epic year in 2022. We’re very proud of our achievements in 2021 despite it being a very challenging year for all. We built on lots of great projects such as our Conservation Work Skills Programme, wrapped up the planting on Forest at the Heart of Wellington and added new restoration sites including Dallington Landing in Christchurch, the Papakura Stream Catchment in Auckland and the Ōwhiro Stream Catchment in Wellington.

We worked with many new partners, planted lots of trees and pulled lots of weeds. Best of all, we met and worked alongside so many new and old volunteers and because of you, achieved so much. ⁠

In 2021 with the help of 6,077  volunteers on 563 volunteer events, CVNZ planted 212.675 native trees and shrubs across New Zealand. We also collected 4,000 kg of rubbish and weeded more than 10 hectares of conservation land. Across NZ 6,077 volunteers planted 212,675 native trees, removed more than 10 hectares of invasive weeds and collected more than 4,000kg of rubbish from in and around our waterways. That’s not to mention our predator control, wasp control, species monitoring and the scores of people who have found full time employment through our Conservation Work Skills programme.

Here are some of our highlights:

Bullock Creek, Punakaiki

Restoring Nature at Bullock Creek

We are very excited to be delivering a Jobs for Nature, Restoring Nature, funded project at Bullock Creek, situated approximately 2kms north of the Punakaiki village. This area is Department of Conservation Stewardship land and borders the Paparoa National Park.

The former farmland and wetland we are restoring covers 153 hectares, and incorporates the old Inland Pack Track which runs for 25 kilometres from Fox River through to Punakaiki River. Other tracks which can be accessed from here include the Cave Creek and Mt Bovis walks. It is a stunning landscape backing onto the Paparoa mountains and is surrounded by tall cliffs, and dense beech and kahikatea forest. It’s also a rich fauna habitat with karearea, kereru and other native bird species being spotted frequently as well as kiwi being recorded in bird monitoring surveys.

The four year $3.7 million Restoring Nature project will restore this unique landscape with around 375,000 native trees.  All the trees planted will be eco-sourced locally and raised in our Punakaiki nursery. In 2021, we planted approximately 87,000 native trees at this site alone. The team are well on their way to meeting their final target.

Papakura Stream Restoration Project, Auckland

At 63 kilometres long and with a catchment of 4,100 hectares, the Papakura Stream is a significant freshwater system. Reaching from Brookby in East Auckland to the Manukau Harbour in the West, the stream has seen a lot of change over the years. This area was once covered in indigenous forests, including kahikatea swamp, but most of this habitat has been lost due to agriculture, industry and urban development. Tree cover is now extremely low in this catchment and the upper rural Papakura Stream now has one of the highest E. coli levels in Auckland and ranks among the worst 25% of rural sites in New Zealand. This has reduced habitat for native species and increased sediment and pollution entering the stream and travelling to the precious Manukau Harbour.

The Papakura Stream Restoration Project aims to improve the health of the stream and the wider catchment through fencing of unprotected stream sections to keep livestock out of the stream and to protect mature trees. Focus is on removal of invasive weeds and litter and restoration planting of riparian margins, hills and wetlands and to restore linkages between indigenous forest remnants and the stream. 

This project kicked off in May 2021 working across 4 sites on both public and private land to plant 12,500 native trees, install 400m of fencing and remove a whole lot of weeds. This project aims to grow year on year, with 9 landowners identified for 2022 and a goal of 30,000 trees planted. 

Dallington Landing, Forest of Peace and Rememberance

Christchurch’s red zone, formerly residential housing, and vacant space since the February 2011 earthquake is being replanted  in natives as part of the Rotary Forests of Peace and Remembrance. The Forests of Peace and Remembrance is a New Zealand wide project to celebrate the centenary of the Rotary Foundation and aims to establish 100 forests throughout  the country over the next decade. The forests are intended to tackle climate change through the reestablishment of native eco systems in as many communities as possible around Aotearoa.

CVNZ are working with Christchurch City Council and the local community to establish a forest in an area of the Red Zone known as the Dallington Loop, specifically in the Dallington Landing area. This former residential area will be planted in seven different stages over the next few years, with over 40,000 plants.  The area will continue to be accessible to the public, with exotic trees, many of them fruit trees from former gardens, retained to provide shelter and structural habitat complexity until the indigenous forest performs this function. 

We will be holding regular events over the planting season (May-Sept) in 2021 and 2022. 

We aim to make 2022 even bigger than ever. We’ll have weekly events in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. Check out our events page to see what’s coming up or contact [email protected] to find out more.