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August 2023 project update

It’s been another busy winter month on the Te Hōnonga a Iwi Restoring Rosedale Park project. The following actions have been achieved by stakeholders across August:

· We are indebted to Ventia and Landscape Solutions for their investment in this year’s extension. The team undertook two low mows of the kikuyu grass that lies 500 mm deep across most of the extension. The significance of their commitment is notable. Te Hōno needs Council approved personal to undertake machine clearance on public land. The weather and the steepness of the slope made for challenging conditions. Their expertise and commitment enabled us to manage a lot of the infestation. All working bees across July and August have focused on hand clearing the remainder of the kikuyu with rakes and flax knives as best possible to reach the soil. This enables us to plant the cover crops and generate better outcomes across the year ahead. Huge thanks Ventia and Landscape Solutions for your mahi.

· Biomass collected from kikuyu clearance and felling small Shea Oaks will generate approximately 4 tonnes of organic matter for the bioreactors this year to produce compost ready for phase 3, 2024 extension.

· Matt from Untangled Landscapes is on site most weeks supporting students at the community working bees. Consulting and educating. The body of work Matt and Svea have achieved for Te Hono is unparalleled. Huge thanks for your ongoing loyalty. One of the onsite reviews centred around checking the progress of the 2022 cover crop as it kicks back into life ahead of the spring growth. We are delighted to report that in the heavily infested kikuyu section where Kristin School and Wairau Valley Special School students planted 1200 natives last year, plantain, chicory, clover rye grass, parsley and dock (volunteer species) are thriving and competing nicely for space preventing or reducing the advancement of the kikuyu and other invasive plants on site. Crops like the radish, fava beans and mustard should begin their growth soon. The rectangle strip from the Pou Whenua down to the stream remain thick with the 2022 cover crops seeds flourishing once again. The dense kikuyu that inhabits the control section adjacent to this piece has not been able to penetrate the area a year on.

· The control section has now been hand released five time compared with once across the rest of the restoration. The control area was not cleared to the soil. It did not receive bioorganic compost across the area or cover crops. It was planted with natives that received two handfuls of bioorganic compost when planted into the kikuyu. The different in growth rates between the control section and its cover cropped neighbouring section that was a recipient of bioorganic compost after it was machine cleared of pest plants is now palpable. So not only have we markedly reduced the need to release the natives from pest plants, the growth in the area that was cleared and received compost is significant compared with the control. As such, our youth leader, Ceinwen and mum, Selma are going to measure growth and survival in the control area, and compare results across the restoration. At the same time, Matt will do an on-site soil microscopy of the sections. Please join us for a slice of cake and see how we undertake soil microscopy and measure plant survival and growth rates from 9am to 11.3oam on Sunday, September 10.

· One pathway to decarbonising is to increase our circularity. Dan Marrow, Park Ranger, Auckland Council supports us by lending us the tools we need to undertake our planting, sowing and hand pest control work. Across the year we share buckets, spades, rakes, secateurs, flax knives, traps, chew cards. The rotation of tools from within Dan’s work streams allows users to reuse, recycle and at times repurpose manufactured capital, extending the equipment’s life cycle outputs and enabling us to refuse to purchase new equipment that carries its own carbon footprint. Dan’s approachability and willingness to invest in decarbonising initiatives has been instrumental in the pilots’ successes. Huge thanks Dan!

· We have two new sustainability initiatives being scoped or underway this month. The first is a very exciting Seed Whakapapa model that has been made possible through Iwi support, specialist nursery support from stakeholder Nicholas Mayne, Auckland Council education opportunities and a willingness of the model’s investors to work in a circular way to increase social equity and realise greater value within our local community’s social value chain. This piece consists of Iwi guidance and education, AC education, specialist plant expert Nicholas sharing knowledge, material and stock, a new youth leader from Rangitoto College, Olivia, taking on the role of seed harvester and cultivator of seeds, Kristin Junior School Principal Jayne de la Haye and Kristin JS IB Coordinator, Sandy Paton creating an opportunity for Year 2 students to transplant newly spouted seeds into pots and caring for them across the year, and year 5 students planting the nursery plants in 2024. We have approached a new retirement village to ascertain if they would be willing to care for the students’ plants across the Christmas break until all stakeholders meet at Te Hono for a social planting event mid 2024. This model is proudly supported by Mana Whenua who will support tikanga practices as we meet each other, share knowledge, and care of the plants and ultimately gift the natives back to Tamariki to plant. Nicholas continues to gift Te Hono with more locally sourced and grown natives in robust health to enable us to increase our biodiversity on site. We are beyond grateful to Nicholas for his generosity and expertise. Thank you.

· The second new initiative is in the early stages of being scoped and relates to introducing a new regenerative agricultural technique on the steeper slopes of the 2024 extension. Council, Matt, and Te Hono are working in partnership to develop a proposal for consideration. We will inform the team of any outcomes in this space.

· Across this month our communications team continue to put in significant mahi. Thank you, Sam, for your graphic design, your fliers, and ideas. Massive thanks to Ashley Han for her translation work to enable us to communicate with our local Chinese Community more effectively. Journalist, Sheryl Blythen, BeMedia, has delivered another comprehensive news package that elevates all we do at Te Hono into the public arena. Thank you, team, for your tireless work! Please take time to like or follow our Insta and Facebook posts. We would like to bring you on the journey! And hear your thoughts or feedback. Reach out to us on

· We are still seeking two youth pest animal managers. If you know a young person who might like to learn trapping skills, please email us.

· Les Wootton and Stephen Cammell have used the time we have between pest managers being appointed to double the trap lines and introduce rat traps. Huge thanks for the undertaking to improve our control as we have more seeds on site with natives maturing and more cover crops being sown.

· Te Hono has supported UWEN, our regional umbrella ecological group, with developing KPIS and a Strategic plan on a page.

· Quarterly Council KPIUS have been submitted.

· We secured Women’s Football World Cup scrim from the waste stream to use as a base for the new plant nursery at Kristin School. All the 2023 plant pots have also been recycled into the nursery supplies.

· Phillip caught the third wild cat. The cat was immediately taken to Albany vet for assessment. The plastic wrap Philip placed around the live cat trap proved effective in keeping the cat warm in the rain until he arrived at work to take the cage inside until collection. Thank you very much Phillip and Albany Vets for your work in this space to manage the cats safely and humanely.

· Our youth pest plant leaders have both worked on site this month. They are storing the seeds from pest plants in a large, sealed container with water sourced from Dan’s waste stream. Te Hono understand an updated version of the CAMS pest plant app is due for release. We will begin to record our pest plant management data on the app as soon as we can.

· North Harbour Hockey Association applied to the Sustainable Business Network Regenerating Nature Award on behalf of Te Hono. NHHA will update stakeholders of any outcomes.

· Our journalist and soil specialists have been contracted to produce two education pieces for Te Hono in the nex four months. Funds for this development have been kindly gifted by Brightstar. Thank you for enabling us to produce education pieces on increasing soil health.

· North Harbour Hockey Association invited 30 of the region’s gifted hockey players and managers to a working bee. The National Hockey Competition players put in some hard graft to clear kikuyu, harvest it for the reactors, plant and sow cover crop. Huge thanks for this work that gave the extension a massive boost!

· Rangitoto College continues to invest heavily in Te Hono with another 3 working bees with a total of 90 students working hard on site. They are great young people and many are returning for their 4th visit now! Bravo!

· Huge thanks to lead teachers, Ben Pollard, Gail Goodwin, Toni Shaw, Sandy Patton and Chris McCleod. They fit in the coordinating work on top of full teaching loads to make student engagement and authentic learning opportunities happen daily!

· Rangitoto College have booked an IB service day in September for 65 students. We hope that they will complete the 2023 planting and cover crop season!

· The EDS released new work that directly relates to the regeneration of NZ. Of special interest is the NZ Wildlife Act reform – a transformational piece of law that last occurred in the 1950’s. Please take a look at what will be happening in these areas:

· SBN released their seminal Regenerating Nature Report in August. Please take a look

· NHHA have applied for the Business North Harbour Environmental Award for Te Hono. They will keep us informed of any outcomes.

· Westminster Christian School and Kristin School both came with 15 students to working bees on site. Thank you for your fantastic vision and investment in the extension. Remember both these school, like ASHS walk to site to reduce emissions and increase wellbeing.

· Te Hono attended a Sustainable Schools hui which was inspirational. The day was spent thinking about greater alliances and sharing innovations. We thank Ben from Sustainable Schools and AC for inviting us to engage in great dialogue and vision at Kaipatiki, a brilliant venue and opportunity to learn from Kaipatiki’s outstanding leadership.

· Wairau Valley Special School student leaders returned to the restoration once again! We value the hard work and perspectives these young leaders share and thank the team for making the journey down from Whangaparoa to work together again. The students focused on increasing the cover crop coverage in the Rangitoto College area. We look forward to seeing their results!

· We have a new local health care organisation committing to undertake a business working bee in November! Comprehensive Care will be bringing 65 staff to their business working bee. We need businesses to consider having a team building Christmas function at Te Hono to support us to undertake land preparation work for the 2024 extension. Please get in touch on if you would like to make a positive difference to the future by being a part of developing a special legacy now for staff events or celebrations.

· Kristin Year 6 personal project students Isabelle and Henry visited the site to enquire about regenerative agriculture and pest animal management. We welcome all community members to visit us and share knowledge together!

Untold thanks to all members of the Te Hōnonga a Iwi team for the important part you play in trialling different solutions to regenerate nature and positively contribute towards addressing the climate crisis.

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