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February 2023 project update

We take a look at what’s been happening on the site across the summer months and what’ coming up.

- Massey University are undertaking an extraordinary ‘bioblitz’ in the bush behind the Albany campus. Massey have extended an open invitation to the community to attend their open day. Bioblitz’s of this scale are rare. We have Matt Cummings and Warwick Smith talking about our project’s integrated value on Saturday March 4. Please do take the opportunity to head to Massey to see what the gifted academic team at Massey are undertaking to take a deep dive into assessing the biodiversity of fauna and flora of the Albany escarpment.

- Saturday 25 March 9 – 11 am will be our first community maintenance working bee for 2023. Please come to help us on the day to care for the land and the plants.

- Since November 2022, volunteers at Te Hōnonga have been quietly getting on with their regular work at the restoration site, interviewing for the documentary or in the back room developing the integrated value report, carbon emissions report and our communications strategy.

- Our youth leaders continue to proactively protect the environment or the restoration outcomes week on week. Sophie Haine and Matthew Lee monitor and manage animal pests each week across the last quarter. Worryingly they have caught a stoat and continue to catch possums in the traps. Caleb Young’s work to ensure the bioreactors have a water supply is also instrumental to the success of the project. He checks the pump filters and that it is operating (someone keeps turning the pump into the off position), checks the irrigation is in situ and places orders for recycled water if needed. To date, given our wet winter and summer season, we have accessed Watercare’s recycled water only once during the initial setup. However, Watercare and Ventia continue to remain on call to transport recycled water if we need it. Ceinwen Evans and whānau have just completed our first advanced plant survival and growth rates assessment with support from Matt Cummings and Sarah Wakeford. The weather and the need to have support identifying native plants correctly resulted in this piece of the restoration puzzle being delayed until now. We have elected to use Trees for Survival data collection methods for plant survival and growth. Lavender Feng, our water quality leader, managed to assess the streams water quality in January. We welcome a new student, Alicia Stowers from Kristin School, to the Water Quality assessment team. When it is safe to do so post cyclone, Peter Felstead and Lavender Feng will orientate Alicia and her whānau to this role to ensure we have adequate succession planning in place for ongoing data collection in this space. Finally, Briar Broad, Whitebait Connection, together with the water quality leaders and Alicia, Renee Lee and Racheal from Kristin School, undertook the restoration’s first bio aquatic diversity analysis, now uploaded to Teams under the Data Collection channel. Gambusia were present in large numbers in the lower reaches of Rosedale Park indicating the stream is warmer than it should be to support the wellbeing our native bio aquatic species. We did find banded kokopu, common bully and sizable short and long fin eels. We are concerned for the wellbeing and survival of the streams native species post cyclone Gabrielle. Youth in this project continue to be supported by their schools and the Sustainable Schools network to maximise learning opportunities that are driven by students to mitigate climate change.

- We need to undertake more bird counts this year and are actively looking for a youth leader with knowledge of native birds to lead this important aspect of the project. Please contact if you would like to undertake this role.

- Matt, Untangled Landscapes, Dan our Park Ranger and Nicholas Mayne have continued to monitor the plants across summer. The cover crop has excelled and survived both the flood and cyclone events. The insect life is abundant now. No maintenance work on site has been undertaken since planting finished in September. We have determined there is a need to release natives and manage the encroachment of creepers.

- Cadey Korson and Natalie Matthews, Massey University, have continued their research into the Restoration’s social value chain with ongoing interviews with stakeholders. We wish Cadey well for the safe and happy birth of their baby and look forward to planting trees to celebrate the arrival of our youngest Te Hōnonga a Iwi member.

- In December, we approached Toi Tu to request they consider sponsoring Te Hōnonga a Iwi to undertake a ‘like-for-like’ comparative analysis of a similarly sized traditional restoration’s carbon footprint compared with the Te Hononga a Iwi carbon footprint (underway) that NEDF have kindly sponsored. The request was considered by management and although they were unable to offer sponsorship at this time, we are grateful for being able to approach Toi Tu for support. We do wish to do this analysis and seek financial support from our business community to fund this analysis ($3 000) that would enable us to understand the difference in carbon use and sequestration between traditional and sustainable regeneration models. Please contact if you would like to help us to undertake this valuable research.

- Chloe Brown, Ventia has won the Pressie Card for filling out our materiality matrix questionnaire! We hope to get the prize to Chloe soon! Congratulations Chloe and huge thanks to all our stakeholders who took time to respond to our questionnaire. The integrated value team, led by Warwick Stent, Sarah Hoessler and NHHA CFO Amanda Green are busy analysing the data that Sarah has captured in the materiality matrix. We undertook a second data collect from key stakeholders to identify if there were differences in project outcome priorities between the key stakeholder’s cohort and the wider respondent group. The results will guide NHHA to prioritise which aspects of the project NHHA will report on in their first integrated value report 2023. Organisations shift to delivering end of year reports that demonstrate integrated values as we recognise that a traditional financial report does not always adequately capture the organisations true value.

- Auckland Council have extended Te Hōnonga a Iwi an invitation to attend a bespoke seed collection education session. Moving to grow our own plants safely and successfully is important to further increase plant survival and ensure sustainable plant supplies at a time when the Mayors Million Trees is a seedling stream that is no longer available to us for the next few seasons under the new Auckland Council proposed budget plan. We attend this session in March. More to come in this space.

- In the meantime, Jan Knight at Greenwich Gardens, Nicholas Mayne with his significant backyard nursery and Rotary Albany have all generously offered to supply plants for this season.

- Auckland Council members Anna Halliwell, Anna Harrison and Dan Marrow have supported the project to consider extending the restoration site by 2000m2 this year on the basis that we have a highly engaged community but less work in the pilot restoration than we anticipated with the current success of the cover crop reducing the need for human capital (volunteer labour).

- We have approached Ventia to ascertain whether they might be willing to low mow the new extension to enable us to sow the cover crop in May 2023. They are kindly assessing the site in the next few weeks.

- We will need to secure funding for the new cover crop seeds ($1600). Davenports law generously funded half the 2022 cover crop seed mix. If you wish to fund the 2023 crop please contact us on

- Rotary Albany secured $4000 funding for a permanent Te Hōnonga a Iwi sign that will help the community to identify the restoration site and provide QR codes to link to our website education pieces when visiting the site. Thank you, Michael Belgrave, for the work Rotary Albany has undertaken on our behalf to enable us to increase our education offerings. We will be purchasing a beautiful rock to make a sign. This part of the project will be led by our graphic designer and hockey player, Sam Weston. She is supported by the communications team, Sheryl Blythen and tech specialist Ashely Han. We thank this powerhouse team for their ongoing investment in the project. Please ensure you visit the website news section that Sheryl writes for us profiling all the people who contribute to the integrated project’s successes.

- Ventia’s lead, Anacia-Dawn Cochise, continues to provide ongoing back support to the project, often linking us in with professionals who help to guide our development. We remain deeply appreciative of our business partners intellectual, natural, manufactured and financial capital. Without support from our SME partners, this project could not progress at the pace and scale needed to mitigate climate change.

- Brendon Doharty, Watercare, is considering whether Watercare run a controlled trial in the upcoming restoration extension. We have offered to create a ‘recycled water only’ bioreactor watering system and water testing collection in the new extension. Watercare will decide on the viability of undertaking this opportunity prior to the budget. Gaining water quality data from the freshwater and recycled water bioreactors may offer value going forward when water will become a scarcer commodity.

- Park Ranger Dan Marrow is continuing to communicate with local business and a cat rescue centre, Lonely Meow, regarding the known issue of cats that have made the park their residence during the pandemic.

- North Harbour Hockey is hosting the Te Hōnonga team as they present a schools update session and site visit for our contributing schools on Thursday 23 March 11- 12 30 pm. Matt Cummings, Untangled Landscapes and Nicky Shave, North Harbour Hockey will present regenerative agriculture and sustainability updates, run a Q&A session and offer new insights at the restoration site.

- NHHA has requested to present at the upcoming hearing run by the Upper Harbour Local Board in response to the draft Upper Harbour Local Parks Management Plan. This enables us to highlight areas of concern or potential development within Rosedale Park including the instability of the aging pines that sit next to the new bike path and a request to support extending the reach of the restoration along the riparian boarder of the park to increase land health, stream health and biodiversity in the park.

The recent local floods, the cyclone, and perhaps future pandemics, if they prove to be a result of climate change, are stark reminders of what our lives and livelihoods might look like on a more regular basis within the next decade as global temperatures rise beyond 1.5 degrees, which is now a given according to the WEF (2023). Our Montessori children will be 12 by then. Decarbonising every facet of our society, our transport, food, our businesses, our schools, our homes and our public places to facilitate climate positivity, reverse the heating of our planet, save biodiversity, lives and livelihoods has never been more urgent than it is now. At a time of immense challenges with the pandemic, when business as usual was challenging enough, all our stakeholders found meaningful ways to prioritise investing what they could into our collective vision to create a climate positive change within the Albany basin. The restoration results are very positive. So much so, that this has enabled us to consider scaling the reach of the project four years ahead of when we expected to be able to. You are extraordinarily good people. Real thanks for your willingness to take a risk, invest what you could and act quickly in response to our climate emergency. If we can do it, we can support others to do so too.

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