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