Photo: Anna White

Forestry projects restore biodiversity, waterways, and jobs to Awhitu Peninsula

Date: 01 Mar 2021

Media contact: MPI media team

Telephone: 029 894 0328


Restoring native trees and biodiversity and improving waterways on Auckland’s Awhitu Peninsula will be accelerated thanks to 2 projects supported and funded by the One Billion Trees Fund, administered by Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand).

Henry Weston, acting deputy director-general, Te Uru Rākau, says these projects will enable between 15 and 20 jobs to be created for propagation, tree planting and maintenance, and for the expansion of Matakawau Community Nursery’s infrastructure to upscale seedling production from 15,000 to 62,500 stems per year.

The 4-year Te Korowai o Papatūanuku Awhitu Peninsula Project received nearly $1.7 million to grow and plant 250,000 native trees, including the planting and maintenance of up to 49 hectares of high ecological value sites.

“The project is being led by partners Awhitu Landcare, Ngāti Te Ata and Auckland Council, and is a great example of how working in collaboration with our stakeholders delivers environmental and economic outcomes and value for our regions,” says Mr Weston.

Eligible landowners in ecologically sensitive areas will get access to a planting plan, and subsidised native trees to plant and maintain. Planting and maintenance will be undertaken by Awhitu Landcare and Ngāti Te Ata.

“The project will include investment into Ngāti Te Ata’s cultural landscape restoration activities, supporting Kaitiakitanga through a training programme on seed propagation and Mātauranga Māori learnings,” Mr Weston explained.

Auckland Council’s head of natural environment delivery, Phil Brown, said it was a great opportunity to partner with mana whenua, community, and government agencies on this project.

“It’s so satisfying to see the work the Landcare group is carrying out to protect our environment. Any work that benefits the environment, benefits us all,” Mr Brown said.

Mr Weston says waterways in the Auckland region will also benefit from an $80,000 investment by Te Uru Rākau in the Million Metres Streams Project.

Established by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) in 2014, the project’s goal is to plant one million metres (1,000 km) of waterways to restore water quality and habitat health. SBN connects businesses, people, and landowners as part of the project.

“This investment will help support the organisation and the delivery of 20 projects to restore approximately 20 kilometres of waterways with 100,000 seedlings over the next 8 months.”

Alaina Pomeroy, Million Metres Streams Project lead, says Million Metres works with passionate people around Aotearoa to help them take care of their waterways.

“While our work is national in scope, we are currently working with community groups that are focussed on planting in wetlands and streams that flow into Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf.”

The Hauraki Gulf will benefit from these projects, with waterway restoration reducing erosion and sediment movement into the Gulf.

Visit Million Metres Streams Project website for more information about their work.