June 13, 2024

Volunteering spirit alive and well with KMR and CVNZ on World Ocean Day

A team of volunteers from Auckland have joined forces to plant over 1100 native plants on a Kaukapapa lifestyle block in a matter of hours.

Representatives from Conservation Volunteers New Zealand and Kaipara Moana Remediation teamed up with landowners Richard and Tanya Wilson. By the end of winter, they will have planted 3200 natives along the banks of Te Kuru Stream, which flows into Kaukapakapa River.

Richard and Tanya’s lifestyle block was hammered by flooding during Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023 and they have since been on a mission to remove willows from Te Kuru Stream to improve waterflow, while also planting appropriate native plants on both sides of the stream to protect the banks from erosion and slow future floodwaters.

CVNZ Regional Manager Kiri Huddleston says it was an inspiring day and is she and her team of volunteers are looking forward to two more planting days (July 7 and July 27) when KMR and CVNZ will partner up yet again to make a positive environmental impact to help restore the mauri of the Kaipara Moana.

“Our collaboration supports the KMR project – which is amazing! –  to get more volunteers on the ground at every planting day,” says Kiri.

“We are stoked to be able to help out and add our expertise to such a huge initiative as KMR. Our kaupapa as an organisation is about empowering people to be kaitiaki for nature and guardians of a healthy and sustainable environment and inspiring them to keep making a difference by managing and protecting our environment. This really aligns with KMR’s kaupapa, too,” says Kiri.

KMR Pou Tātaki Justine Daw says that the planting day took place on World Ocean Day to highlight the importance of taking action on the land to protect our seas, as well as clearly show the positive impact the KMR programme is having on the health and mauri of the Kaipara Moana.

“I am so pleased to be partnering with Kiri and her team at CVNZ because this really adds momentum to the KMR movement.  Not only does KMR’s partnership with CVNZ bring together like-minded people together to get even more natives in the ground, it also brings communities together – young and old – to engage with nature and understand its importance.  The land connects with the waterways, and these connect with the sea,” says Justine.

“This is just the start of our collaboration with CVNZ and based on the success of this planting day, we look forward to working with even more Auckland volunteers at our upcoming collaboration planting days.

“Since our establishment, we have had over 1000 landowners and groups submit an Expression of Interest to KMR and through working closely with these people, the KMR team has supported the development of over 600 sediment reduction plans or projects, which is a great achievement.”

Justine says KMR aims to protect and restore the mauri of the Kaipara Moana, with a long-term aspiration is to halve sediment flows into the harbour.

“The projects KMR invests in focusing on restoring wetlands, fencing off rivers and streams, planting trees and regenerating forests on erosion-prone land. This brings wider benefits including thriving rural communities and enhanced connection to local waterways, greater protection for valued species, and resilience to extreme weather,” she says.

In total, more than 1.7 million plants (largely native grasses and trees) have been planted or are contracted to go in the ground this winter.

In fact, more than 730km of fencing has been completed or contracted, which is nearly the distance from Cape Rēinga to Taupō.

Over 440 hectares of riparian margins, wetlands or hill country have been planted, or are under contract to be planted, and in total, more than 127,000 hectares of land is now managed under KMR plans, says Justine.

You can sign up for future CVNZ run events via their website, Volunteer with CVNZ, we’re planting again July 7th, and July 27th.

Left to right: Tanya Wilson, Heays Cooper, KMR Field Advisor Shona Oliver, Cash Cooper, Richard Wilson and CVNZ’s Kiri Huddleston.

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