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June 2023 project update

The following actions and outputs have been achieved across June at Te Hōnonga a Iwi Restoring Rosedale Park:

- We celebrated National Volunteer Week by thanking all our stakeholders, all of whom are unpaid investors in the project. Te Hōnonga a Iwi relies on the passion and skills of hundreds of contributors across the year without whom the project would not be possible. Real thanks to every person who has gifted Rosedale Park time, resources, and expertise. You are extraordinary people and organisations. And you have achieved great outcomes that have been recognised nationally.

- Two of our key people are stepping back from their pivotal roles in the restoration. Pest leader Sophie Haine and Water Quality assessor Lavender Feng are taking a well-earned break from their roles. Sophie has delivered outstanding results in the pest management space, with week-on-week checking and maintaining the traps along Alexander Stream. We wish her well as she heads into her final years at Rangitoto School. Lavender has worked hard to maintain the monthly water quality tests across her year of service. At times it is a cold, wet and quiet undertaking for people working in this space in the restoration. Both these roles are essential pieces, and the people who have undertaken them are extraordinary. We will miss them both and we thank Sophie and Lavender for their mahi and loyalty. They become Te Hōnonga a Iwi Alumni and are forever a valued and appreciated part of the fabric of our place.

- Cadey Korson, Massey University lecturer and social scientist extraordinaire, has returned from parental leave. Cadey is working to complete her research on the social value chain. Sadly, for New Zealand, Cadey will be working on her research from America, where her family is relocating in July to unite with her wider whānau. The insights and new knowledge that our academic teams generate from their work with our project is priceless. We will miss you Cadey. Thank you for your courage when we first asked for your support and investment in the model. We understand the work you have achieved is unique and of high value to all restorations in Aotearoa.

- Parker Ranger Dan Marrow, from Auckland Council, organised a review of the restoration site with particular emphasis on the process of managing pest plant growth, especially our pest that have been historically growing on site: Japanese honeysuckle, nut grass, blackberry, wild ginger dumped by members of the public, palm grass, wattle, Elaeagnus, kikuyu. Woolly nightshade has popped up when it wasn’t apparent prior. Working through trialing methods to maintain control of the pest plants without the use of sprays is important for this restoration. The two new pest plant leaders, Jerry and Milo, will be collecting seeds from the palm and nut grasses and placing them in a closed, dark bucket of water for a year. We are digging out or pulling out other pest plants on a regular basis going forward.

- Health and Safety and skills-based orientation for the pest plant leaders has begun with a second session early July. Safety plans and plant removal equipment has been handed to the leaders. Jerry and Milo will spend a couple of hours per month managing pest plants on the site.

- The 2023 cover crop seeds have arrived at Untangled Landscapes. Davenports Law has generously funded the 2023 cover crop season, huge thanks Davenports Law!

- Ventia is preparing to undertake the low mow this weekend to prepare the 2023 extension for planting and a cover crop across July and August.

- The June Water Quality testing has been achieved. with our new youth leaders. We are revising the 2023 safety plans based on increased expectations for compliance. A final orientation will occur in the July school holidays.

- Te Hōnonga a Iwi has registered interest for consideration to become a part of Forest and Bird Give a Trap programme. We are waiting to hear if we have been accepted.

- Albany Senior High School Year 11 team arrived with a level of energy that makes you want to smile to help at weekly working bees. Incredibly, the team figured out how to extricate one of the bioreactors from the water pipeline, empty it and shovel the tonne of fresh, gold standard bioorganic compost to the side to enable us to reinstate the reactor into its original position in readiness for receiving mulch from the extension low mow. All organic waste is recycled into compost on site. The quality of the compost after 10 months in the reactors delighted soil health specialist Matt Cummings. Witnessing the power of the ability of youth to problem solve as a team is humbling and a valuable opportunity to learn together given the experimental nature of the project. We look forward to welcoming ASHS students on a weekly basis through Term 3.

- The schools have all been contacted and plans have been put in place to best suit their needs. It is a particularly challenging time for schools, teachers and students. Recognising the need for flex and having capability to respond to schools’ changing needs will be paramount going forward.

- Briar Broad, Whitebait Connection Freshwater ecologist, has worked hard to secure several eDNA tests for our stakeholders to test parts of the Alexander Stream for fauna and flora living in and around the stream. Thank you so much Briar for making this piece happen. We received eDNA data on the Oteha Stream last year and look forward to having a better understanding of any differences in the two streams as the Alexander Awa flows into Oteha Stream and into the Moana at Lucas Creek.

- Local businesses, Les Wootton and Albany Veterinarian Hospital have been pivotal in managing humane live trapping of wild or unhomed cats who have been resident in the park throughout the pandemic. One cat has been caught in the trap and transferred within three hours to Albany Vet Hospital who immediately assessed the cat for a microchip, whether she was spayed and her wellbeing. The process from that point is to ascertain if the cat is owned and unite the cat with their owner as soon as possible or find a rehoming shelter that will agree to take the cat. At times the vets need to hold the cats for a week to work through that process. If a cat is determined by the vet as feral, they connect with the SPCA for management as an animal pest. We have anecdotal reports from local business that the bird life has sadly declined since observing the cats use of the area. Kittens have been noted to be wandering that would indicate the cats are breeding, which will place greater stress on wildlife in the park. We are very thankful to Phillip Then, Les and Albany Veterinarian Hospital for their work in safely and humanely managing the cat population at the park.

- Matt Cummings, Untangled Landscapes removed the weeds that were growing in the reactors.

- Jan Knight, Metlifecare Greenwich Gardens, has cared for our 2022 plants, re-potting them and kept them alive for infill planting this year. We are thankful for Jan’s expertise and care. The natives have been collected by our Water Management Leaders, Caleb Young and. Miriam Scott, as the village is undergoing significant building processes The natives now reside at the restoration site, ready for planting.

- Nicholas Mayne, local resident and plant expert in Unsworth Heights, has kindly gifted Te Hōnonga a Iwi native seedlings that have been cultivated locally to plant this year. We have collected the natives from his nursery and have them ready to plant for Matariki on the 8 July. Please come join us on the day to celebrate the arrival of the new Pou Whenua, Rock sign and Matariki from 9 – 11 30 am at the site. No parking at Hilton Brown Swimming please.

- Our Community Winter Working bees are scheduled for 10am, July 15, July 22, August 5, August 12, August 26, Sept 9, Sept 16. Please come along and join us, rain, or shine. Cancellations for severe weather will be on Instagram and Facebook posts or ring Nicky on 027 270 2736.

- North Harbour Hockey Association is hosting a local schools Study Day on Wednesda7y26 July from 10am to 2 pm. All students are welcome to attend. Please connect with Nicky on if you wish to bring students along on the day.

- UWEN has organised Annette Lees as a guest speaker for their August Hui . Annette is an expert is supporting the development of conservation vision. Te Hono highly recommends taking time to attend this event. Find out more

- Sam Hill, Auckland Council, has kindly connected us with colleagues to enable us to showcase the council’s ongoing mahi as a key stakeholder in the project.

- Auckland Council is reinstating the public pathway leading to the restoration. In order to support public access, our volunteers will help to remove the pest plants that cover the path at this point.

- Matt Cumming, Untangled Landscapes and Sarah Colin, delivered our first soil microscopy workshop to a younger audience at Westminster School. Lead teacher, Gail Goodwin supported the session with her extensive knowledge in soil health. The learnings we took away from the session have been identified. Sarah Colin has developed a soil microscopy teaching session to enable us to deliver a better service in the future for students wanting to learn more about soil health.

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