November 7, 2022

QEII and KMR working together in South Head

Kaipara Moana Remediation and Queen Elizabeth II National Trust are working in partnership to ‘lock in’ the biodiversity benefits of fencing and planting waterways through KMR grants.

On a beautiful Saturday morning on the 5th of November we joined 40 landowners from around the South Kaipara catchment area to explore strategies for conservation and remediation.

With an early morning start we drove from Matapouri to Wilson Road singing the first verse of “E tu kahikatea” to warm up. With some trusty whanau help, we set up our little KMR table in a marquee in the middle of a paddock on the edge of Lake Karaka, close to the amazing Kereta dune lake.

Jessica Reaburn from the QEII National Trust, Ellice Protheroe from Auckland Council, Ed Donald from South Kaipara Landcare and Mark Pengelly from Pest Free Kaipara shared their work with us, highlighting the incredible range of support available for landowners.

After a quick feed, a free coffee and lots of kōrero we went on a short hīkoi around the dune wetlands at Lake Karaka, a land covenant protected with QEII National Trust. This was a great opportunity to walk and talk, immersed in nature and making sense together of the massive potential to promote conservation, pest management and landscape remediation in an integrated way.

We spoke at length with Andy Holst from the Native Project a locally owned and operated nursery accredited by KMR to provide plants for riparian and wetland zones. He told us about his small family enterprise, some of his challenges with ecosourcing local seed, and his vision for getting trees back into the farming landscapes of south head.

Local Kaumatua Elon Bycroft, with a lifetime of local experience delivered a carload of free trees to give away to attendees. He told us some of the history of the dune lakes, his days of harvesting manuka for firewood, and a long history of planting thousands of trees all around South Head and Ōtakanini Tōpū. We spoke at length about his mokopuna, the role of rangatahi as local kaitiaki, and the coming together of worldviews for the healing of land and people.

Gill Adshead, local landowner, founder of the Forest Bridge Trust and recipient of KMR grant funding to fence and plant her family farm, was happy to put faces to names of KMR staff, thanking us for the support, and congratulating KMR on doing a great job to mobilise action and build momentum.

Shona Oliver one of our most experienced Field Advisors, and local weaver of networks in the Auckland Region, gave us some great insights into the role of farm advisors being able to give integrated advice to landowners, cutting through the complexity and giving certainty with simple clear advice.

Many of the locals were very interested in KMR’s practical approach, signing up for more information, understanding the important role of our KMR Field Advisors, the Sediment Reduction Plan, and learning how to get on board with an Expression of Interest.

This kind of face-to-face conversation with landowners, looking at maps, is a great way to build relationships and trust, exploring on-farm challenges, and working out together how KMR can help reduce sediment on a farm-by-farm basis.

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