This week we launched our newest initiative, The Papakura Stream Restoration Project, at Brookby Wildlife Habitat. Sixty volunteers from Mondelez New Zealand, Fonterra Brands, Aleph Beauty, Million Metres Streams and community volunteers joined us for the day to plant 2,000 native trees and wetland grasses in a kahikatea wetland that runs into the stream. We were also joined by Radio New Zealand and the AM show who came along to cover the event. It was an amazing day. A huge thank you to everyone who came along.
The Papakura Stream Restoration Project
The Papakura Stream in South Auckland runs from Brookby to the Manukau Harbour via the Pahurehure inlet and is approximately 63 km long with a catchment covering 4,100 ha. The restoration of this significant freshwater system will include installing fencing, planting native trees and shrubs, weed control, litter cleanups and community engagement. Working on both private and public land, this multi-faceted project will kick off with the planting of 12,500 trees this winter and the installation of nearly 1km of Future Posts fencing, made from recycled soft plastics.
The stream restoration project also includes an educational element for schools focused on the longfin eel, one of New Zealand’s threatened species which calls the Papakura Stream its home. Poor understanding of the species has led to general disregard for the important role this species plays in freshwater ecosystems. The survival of the longfin eel is intricately linked to healthy waterways and requires action to help ensure its protection.
Beyond the longfin eel, protecting the Papakura Stream will help many native species including inanga and banded kokopu which live in the stream itself. Increased tree cover will also provide food and habitat for bird species including kākā, bellbirds, kereru, tūī and New Zealand’s only native mammal, the long-tailed bat.
“The Papakura Stream Restoration Project is a multi-stakeholder programme that encourages local boards, landowners, corporates and the community to work together on a common goal – the restoration of the Papakura Stream. We aim to not only make a difference to stream health, but also mobilise and educate as many people as possible on the importance of getting involved in the protection of our waterways.” Siobhan O’Grady, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Conservation Volunteers New Zealand.
In 2020, CVNZ, in partnership with the Papakura, Manurewa and Franklin Local Boards and Auckland Councils Healthy Waters Team, conducted a landowner engagement survey which identified community members keen to get involved in the project. Since that time, CVNZ has engaged additional partners and sponsors such as Mondelēz New Zealand, One Tree Planted and Million Meters Streams Project to grow the programme.
“Community involvement is an essential aspect to any restoration project. Engaging with those that have the Papakura Stream running through their property, as well as those that operate businesses or reside in the wider catchment, is paramount to ensuring there is a community who are supported to take on a role as caretakers and guardians.” Bianca Lily, Intermediate Healthy Waters Specialist, Healthy Waters Team, Auckland Council.
The Papakura Stream Project will run for many years and will require the ongoing support of funders, partners and volunteers to help with the weed control, litter collection and tree planting. For more information or to learn how to get involved, contact [email protected]
You can donate to the project here.