Riparian Restoration at Te Whanake (Point England Reserve)

Conservation Volunteers New Zealand have been delivering an exciting riparian restoration project along the charming Omaru Stream in Te Whanake (Point England Reserve). The project is supported by Ngati Paoa and is also part of a wider Greenways initiative, providing cycle/walkways via the Glen Innes to Tāmaki Shared Path.

The work here has been made possible due to generous funds from: Foundation North, The Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board, Million Meters Stream (Sustainable Business Network), Auckland Council (through our CPP programme) and the Mayor’s Million Trees. It has also been made possible through important collaborations with several local community groups.

Ecological Significance

The Omaru stream is home to many native creatures including New Zealand’s nationally threatened taonga species, the tuna (Longfin eel). The Tāmaki Estuary, which the Omaru stream flows into, is also home to several significant shore birds including the endangered New Zealand dotterel and Caspian tern.

Environmental Issues at Te Whanake

The surrounding areas at Te Whanake have seen vast land clearance, development and urbanisation which has led to high levels of pollution such as sediment, excess nutrients and litter being fed into the waterway via runoff. This has reduced the water quality in Omaru stream (and Tāmaki Estuary) and caused it to lose some of its mauri (life force), noteably numbers of tuna have been declining.

Our Response

Over the last five years, with the help of over 1,000 wonderful volunteers from the community, local groups and businesses, CVNZ have:

  • – Planted over 13,000 trees and plants along the stream side.
  • – Removed 1.4 tonnes of litter from in and around the waterway.
  • – Weeded an area of more than 51,000m2 (to make sure our trees are not outcompeted once planted).

We also:

  •  – Delivered workshops for local school groups on tuna.
  •  – Coordinated litter clean ups in partnership with TEEF (Tāmaki Estuary Environmental Forum) and Sea Cleaners around the Tāmaki Estuary, alongside educational presentations on the harmful effects of microplastics on the marine environment.
  •  – Partnered with Madav Community Trust to provide environmental development training for young residents in the area.
  •  – Support a group of volunteers undertaking important animal pest control along the stream in partnership with Auckland Council.

Our riparian planting is reversing some of the clearance that has taken place and is bringing back Omaru Stream’s mauri by helping reduce the pollution entering the waterway. It will also create shade for the stream and maintain a more comfortable, cooler temperature for our native freshwater species like the tuna. Last but not least, it will provide more food and habitat for other native species along the creek such as birds, lizards and insects.

Our litter cleanups are removing litter from the environment and helping reduce its negative impacts on our native wildlife such as getting injured and/or stuck, mistaking litter for food (which can lead to starvation), and the build up of microplastics in living creatures.

Get Involved

We have made a great start to restoring Omaru stream and improving the habitat for our tuna and other native species. However, there is still more work to be done – we need your support to make this project a success and restore more of the waterway.  

To get involved or to find out more about upcoming volunteering opportunities call 0800 56 76 86 or email [email protected].