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March 2024 project update

What a huge month it has been at Te Hōnonga a Iwi. As so it should be. Just last week, scientists released data demonstrating the world’s oceans have continued to heat daily across 2023, a disturbing late sign of the catastrophic impact of climate change on the world’s largest carbon sequester. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General, UN, recently labelled the current situation humanity faces with our rapidly deteriorating planetary wellbeing as “the highway to hell with our foot on the accelerator.” There has never been a more crucial time for all sectors in society within Aotearoa to act with tremendous urgency to immediately decarbonise and sequester as much carbon as possible now, and forever.


All Te Hōnonga a Iwi stakeholders have done exactly what the world needs to do, especially small businesses. All contributors offer Te Hōnonga a Iwi meaningful value that culminates into climate positive action that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Your service has enabled iwi, the commercial, public, NGO, education, and sports sectors to amplify our impact when we restore Rosedale Park sustainably using regenerative agricultural techniques. As we unite to increase local social equity, environmental justice and small to medium business reliance, we contribute to mitigating climate change and increasing biodiversity. Thank you.


The following actions took place across March 2024:


-          The Graeme Dingle Foundation and their sponsors worked alongside Untangled Landscapes, Be Media and North Harbour Hockey to construct the chicken enclosure. Twenty hens will shortly be moving on site to clear the pest weeds and offer inground comporting without the use of commercial fertilisers, herbicides or heavy machinery requiring fossil fuels. Real thanks to the Foundation and all their major sponsors: Argosy Property Limited, Brightstar, Fujifilm Business Innovation NZ Ltd, ITW Construction Asia Pacific, KPMG, Lion NZ, Sanford, Schneider Electric and Stride Property for your incredible investment in the project and the significant outcomes on the day.

-          Auckland Council and the Upper Waitemata Local Board have worked hard internally to support the 2024 regenerative elements. Thank you for enabling innovation in this regenerative space. We will continue to monitor and report our results.

-          Davenports Law has committed to sponsoring the costs of the 2024 cover crop for the third year in a row. Huge thanks to one of our founding businesses for their ongoing investment in Te Hōnonga a Iwi.

-          Six working bees have been undertaken across the month from Rangitoto College, Kristin School Prefect group, and the Graeme Dingle Foundation teams. Thank you all for your mahi completing the weed releasing across the site and knocking back pest plants as well as completing the chicken enclosure.

-          The Kristin team has cleared the old pallets from spent reactors and shifted the reactor materials up to the 2024 site, ready to collect biomass waste to produce compost for the 2025 extension. The remaining six tonnes of compost is ready for planting and sowing cover crops for the 2024 site.

-          Hilton Brown has continued to enable us to meet in their lower carpark, store rainwater on their land. This year all the original 15 bioreactors will be removed from their current position on Hilton Brown Swimming land as we use the final six tonnes. We are consulting with Hilton Brown how they wish that piece of land to be reinstated with native trees.

-          Both ICB and Hilton Brown have been instrumental to the success of the restoration. We would not have been able to achieve the outcomes to date without local small to medium business support and investment. Real thanks.

-          Business North Harbour continues to distribute communications across the business network and most recently, CEO Kevin O’Leary has agreed to meet with our new Youth Leader focused on business activation to discuss a pathway forward for Liam, Year 11 Rangitoto College, to connect with potential SME investors within the local business network. Thank you to both these volunteers for your work in this space that will enable business connectivity with nature-based local community, climate solutions.

-          Command IT continues to support Te Hōnonga a Iwi with their payment of the website costs.

-          ICB representative Phillip and Albany Vets managed their 10th wild cat live catch this month. We know that there are two large male cats and a female with a kitten left in the bush. Without the sustained actions of these two local businesses, we could not have started building for the chicken enclosure. Following consultation with the wider animal pest management leadership group, we will trial introducing new fresh bait and covering the cage with a cardboard box to catch the male cats who are very wary of the live trap so we can assess them at the vet. Sadly, the recent cat that was caught was determined to be feral and euthanised.

-          Settlers Lifestyle Village came for a site visit to see other aspects of Te Hōnonga a Iwi beyond their leadership within the seed whakapapa model. It was inspiring to hear what our adult team from Settlers thought about the restoration. Incredibly, we received home baking from the team to contribute to one of the working bees. Special thanks for making such an effort for us.

-          Te Hōnonga a Iwi has been selected as a finalist in the Kumara Awards Ma te haukainga hei tuapapa ki tea o tauroa (It takes a village) collaboration awards. Thank you to all our stakeholders and to North Harbour Hockey Association for leading the collaborative effort. Please let Nicky on know if you can attend the awards evening on behalf of Te Hōnonga a Iwi on Thursday 11 April 5 – 7 30 pm Ellen Melville Centre, Auckland.

-          We have entered the Sports NZ Environmental Sustainability Award category.

-          Te Hōnonga a Iwi database was updated.

-          Our work within the UWEN umbrella continues, with investing support to develop the UWEN Strategy and continuing to express the work we undertake across the rohe as quarterly KPI’s.

-          Sustainable Schools, AC, Mountains to Sea, UWEN and Kaipatiki Project all worked to connect us with people looking to invest in nature-based solutions and restorations. The results of these opportunities to grow include working in partnership with three new local schools (including AJHS and Westlake Boys High School) and possibly a local kura. We benefit so much from others supporting our connectivity and really appreciate the role those people have within the model’s success.

-          Our Park Ranger, Theo, also connected us with Mitre 10 Albany who have 20 staff hoping to come to work on site in the next month – welcome to the restoration Mitre 10! We know you have a lot of skills and knowledge to offer the team!

-          We continue to share learning and development opportunities offered by Auckland Council and UWEN to our stakeholders.

-          We developed a climate change risk, opportunities report for release in April.

-          We ran out of rainwater for the first time since the project started this month. The reactors were not watered for 4 days. After consulting Matt from Untangled Landscapes, we held off from approaching Watercare for recycled water delivery as the bioorganic compost is mature and able to withstand not receiving water for that length of time.

-          We have placed an order for 1000 trees with Trees that Count for the 2024 site.

-          Eloise, Animal Pest Management and Strategy Youth Leader, is developing a survey for youth to inform us about their needs and expectations within the project and how they feel Te Hōnonga a Iwi can improve. Elouise is also gearing up to run small youth focus group sessions. If you would like to contribute your ideas and share how you think we could improve, please contact Elouise on

-          Alicia, Youth Leader Water Quality. identified a drop in dissolved oxygen in the Alexander awa. She flagged the change from norm with water quality experts connected with the restoration. As a result, Amy Sandler, Mountains to Sea, is going to undertake more specific analysis of water health with Alicia. Thank you all.

-          The Working Bee, Animal and Plant Pest, Seed Whakapapa and the Water Management Youth Leaders continue to deliver significant outcomes to the project week on week. Eva and Marina have formally accepted roles as Youth Leaders for the Working Bees, joining Caleb and Miriam, who also manage the onsite water collection and storage. The leaders work behind the scenes and give time to ensure the project is running smoothly across all areas of the restoration. We look forward to hearing their feedback on how we can improve.

-          We have spaces available for youth leaders in the Rangatahi (Māori Youth), business activation and chicken carer areas of the restoration. Please contact Nicky on if you would like more information about the roles, we welcome your inquiries.

-          Met with Matthew from SBN to show him aspects of Te Hōnonga a Iwi and talk about how we could learn from other restorations, especially ones driven by youth to improve our model. We appreciate the investment in us and look forward to developing new pathways for innovation across the year.

-          Te Hōnonga a Iwi Mana Whenua team, led by Kaumatua Richard Nahi, is considering the development of a whakatauki that was recently shared with us.

-          Matt Cummings, soil health specialist, and Eloise, Youth Leader joined the coordinator in representing Te Hōnonga a Iwi at the Local Upper Waitemata Local Board UWEN presentation. Thank you both for your time sharing with Board members information about Te Hōnonga a Iwi regenerative methods and social equity development.


We wish you well across the Easter period and look forward to updating you at the end of April.

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