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February 2024 project update

Welcome back to Te Hōnonga a Iwi as we enter our third year of regenerating a special part of Rosedale Park. We have a lot to look forward to in 2024 with the Upper Harbour Local Board and Auckland Council supporting the use of chickens to clear land in the 2024/25 extensions as well as introducing the use of bees to promote biodiversity in the restoration.


The health of our awa, Alexander Stream, and the region’s waterway is the top priority for 2024. As we start our 3-year term focussing on increasing water quality, we can share Alexander Stream eDNA results, taken by Mountains to Sea lead Briar Broad, working with long-time water quality investor Westminster School.


The results are concerning and reinforce that the mahi undertaken by conservation work upstream at Unsworth Heights, led by Nicholas Mayne, Gail Goodwin at Westminster School, and Jan Knight at Metlifecare, is crucial for improving our water way.  Our community also has positive water action happening by Hilton Brown Swimming, ICB and the National Hockey Centre, other areas of Rosedale Park with Kristin School, the Escarpment with Massey University’s Living Laboratory project, and near Lucas Creek with Albany Senior High School, Kristin School and residents at The Landing.


The actions iwi, business and the local community choose to do next along the length of the streams across the Otēha Water Catchment really matters within the lifetime of our local school students.


Te Hōnonga a Iwi is a part of a wider water catchment project led by Mountains to Sea to ensure we maximise our local capacity to improve the water flowing out to sea at Lucas Creek. Be assured that the mahi you invest at Te Hōnonga a Iwi will positively impact the quality of water flowing through the restoration to support life on land and in the sea.


Having confirmation of both short and longfin eels strongly present in Alexander Stream with kākahi, banded kokopu, freshwater jellyfish and common bully in small numbers, offers hope and serves as a reminder that each action you take to regenerate the land will positively impact people and our ecosystems now and for future generations.


We join the Upper Waitemata Ecology Network (UWEN) in taking action to celebrate World Ocean Day on Saturday March 23 by working in Alexander Stream. If you would like to be a part of this day email


Te Hōnonga a Iwi people have also taken the following action to promote climate positivity across January and February:


-          15 members have attended cultural inductions offered by Auckland Council to increase their cultural knowledge and safety.

-          Seed whakapapa Youth Leader Olivia Li has had remarkable success growing manuka seedlings sourced from Te Hōnonga a Iwi! Olivia has her own back yard nursery. Thank you so much for your mahi Olivia! We look forward to a future pipeline of natives that are grown to suit the conditions we have at Te Hōnonga a Iwi! Please read Olivia’s story in the news this month.

-          Milo, another Youth Leader from Rangitoto College, who previously managed pest plants at Te Hōnonga a Iwi, will begin their own backyard nursery this month, responding to a request by nursery expert Nicholas Mayne to have support with potting seedlings. If anyone else would like to take action to grow natives to plant at Te Hōnonga a Iwi, please email us.

-          Settlers Village seed whakapapa team has had huge success with caring for the harakeke seedlings that Kristin Year 2 students re-potted and cared for after receiving 350 seedlings from Nicholas Mayne in September 2023. The expertise and commitment from the team at the village kept the seedlings growing at pace across the heat of summer and at a time the school students are on leave with their families. We love the new seed whakapapa model and appreciate everyone’s efforts to make this new model such a success.

-          Te Hōnonga a Iwi talked with Samantha Penman, Kaipatiki Project, about our work as she compiles data on sustainable restoration work in the community

-          Journalist Sheryl Blythen @Bemedia and Regeneration Specialist Matt Cummings @Untangled Landscapes led the first working bees for 2024. Thank you both for your leadership!

-          The Sustainable Business Network published a case study on North Harbour Hockey Associations’ sustainability development, featuring the partnerships at the restoration

-          A wild kitten was caught in the live trap in January. He was determined to be able to be domesticated. Urgently finding a place for him to be cared for by reputable, skilled rehoming specialists proved very challenging. All the cat rescue centres we contacted are overcapacity, some were not able to respond at all. Some who could offer guidance were very helpful but unable to help us on this occasion. Caring for a wild kitten who is the result of several generations of feral cats is specialised work. We are especially thankful to ICB and Albany Vet clinic who work hard to assess the health and wellbeing of the wild cats we trap in the park. When there are severely limited options in Auckland for rehoming wild cats, we urge the community to handle pets responsibly. In this case, after days of attempting to find a solution, we did secure a safe option.

-          We welcomed Theo Jaycox, the new Community Park Ranger, Auckland Council to Te Hōnonga a Iwi this month. Sheryl and Matt introduced Theo to the restoration. We appreciate his extensive expertise, his commitment to Te Hōnonga a Iwi and the environment and look forward to working alongside him in 2024.

-          Thank you, Sam Weston for your graphic design work with our working bee fliers! We recognise we get more support with your investment in communications design and appreciate the hours of work you invest in the restoration.

-          Sheryl continues to invest heavily in communicating our mahi too. Enjoy the education resources the communications team have developed with Matt Cummings and funding from Brightstar. Sharing what we are learning from the actions we take to regenerate nature is an important component of being able to scale climate action at pace.

-          One example of the power of action that needs to be celebrated this month. Kate, a Year 6 student at Kristin School, initiated a fundraiser in late December for trees at Te Hōnonga a Iwi. To date the project has raised $4.5k, in effect paying for our tree requirement for 2024. Huge thanks for your leadership at the restoration Kate, congratulations. As project lead, North Harbour Hockey Association set up a swipe payment system for generating proceeds for the restoration. The system will be used in the future to enable donations to be made.

-          Rachael, UWEN manager, is representing the restoration at a bespoke water quality course run by Landcare research to help us build capacity to improve water quality in the area. Thanks for your time and effort Rachael.

-          Sheryl represented us at the Rangitoto College Service forum at the end of January and noted many young people continue to understand the importance of sustainable investment in the environment and are actively seeking opportunities they can offer service. We welcome young people who wish to serve across our rohe through UWEN and in Albany at Te Hono. If you wish to find out where you can make a positive difference, please email or Rachael, UWEN Manager on We welcome you and will find a place for you that suits your needs and expectations. If you live in the Greenhithe area, please contact Nicola on

-          We continue to work with our business partners to provide bespoke action opportunities both onsite with working bees or by utilising business skills, expertise or materials to deliver integrated value within the restoration. This month, we have worked closed with the Dingle Foundation to develop an all-day working bee that enables the Dingle Foundation to invest in local socio-ecological action, sustainability and the promotion of biodiversity with their main sponsors. If your business would like to contribute sustainable value to become part of the team at Te Hōnonga a Iwi, we know how to make that easy for you. Do connect with us if you have decided you’d like to take action to mitigate climate change. We specifically require support from business able to help us with land clearance of pest trees, finance for microscopies to measure soil health improvements, and investment into research of regenerative agricultural techniques in the urban environment with Massey University.

-          The Kristin Prefect Team, led by Head Girl Lily, spent three working bees helping get the 2024 access path cleared, consolidate biomass in the reactors and move three reactors up to the 2024 site, which was not an easy feat in hot conditions. The prefects nailed the brief and should feel pride in their investment in the park. Untold thanks for kicking our season off. Please come back soon when the chickens are up and running!

-          Documentary maker and academic Cadey Korson, who lives in the States at the moment, is hoping that the documentary on the social value chain at Te Hōnonga a Iwi will be started in July 2024. We thank her for her work and think of her whanau often.

-          A reminder to the team that the sustainable actions you take when you work at or for Te Hōnonga a Iwi fall under categories 3,5,6,10,11,12,13,14 and 15 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.



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