Members of our committee formed a subgroup
called WIWI and although at present the subgroup is small, one big
project undertaken has been a great success. This is the school wetland
project in conjunction with Waiheke schools, particularly the High
School. A wetland area near the school, previously infested with a
variety of weeds has been turned back into a thriving wetland. Students
have helped with planting and weed control. Plant growth is excellent
and work on a boardwalk has commenced. It has received very favourable
coverage from local media.
Branch owned reserves
Presently the branch has rangers for all three of its reserves. In the
last two years the Onetangi reserve has increased in size with the
generosity of an adjoining neighbour who sold (with a special discount
and conditions) their land to the Society. This has allowed new
vegetation planting to occur and increased the potential pest management
coverage in that area. The Atawhai Whenua reserve (near Matiatia) was
affected by several serious slips during the huge dump of rain in
January and some remedial work on tracks is being carried out there.
Pest management is by bait stations and the branch is experimenting with
newer types of baits.
The branch faciliated a pest management workshop in 2010, which included
a range of speakers and material. It continues to encourage landowners
to carry out pest management on private land by selling bait at the
branch’s weekly market stall. The market stall, also, sells forest and
bird products and displays conservation material.
The branch’s Weed Trust, which operates as an independent contractor to
the private and public sector has been focusing on moth plant and willow
reduction in the early part of this year.
Waiheke is still free of this disease, according to all surveys, and as
a branch we have been working strenuously with Auckland Council
biosecurity to draw the public’s attention to the disease and ways of
preventing its spread to our island.
Onetangi Reserve Cottage
This beautiful, solid little cottage at the edge of our reserve on Scott
Terrace continues to be fully booked during summer. The branch
continues to upgrade and maintain facilities at the cottage and the
charges per night remain well under the average nightly rental in other
visitor accomodation on the island. The committee contact for the
cottage is Robin Griffiths; email -
Submissions on various matters from local development projects to local
and national relevant political issues continue to dominate the branch’s
work agenda. The burden of these have increased over the last two years
with the change to the Super City and major issues affecting the Hauraki
Gulf and surrounding areas e.g. the possibility of mining etc.