top of page

May 2024 project update

As we head into the busiest time of year approaching Matariki, the team has begun to realise our collective vision to offer landscape scale opportunity to support small businesses to work in partnership with iwi and their communities to decarbonise, increase personal wellbeing, environmental health and biodiversity using regenerative methods.


There are three primary pathways within our model to achieve this vision: to support young people to take sustainable action, to extend our reach locally, and to share our model nationally.


Throughout May, we have nearly doubled our youth leadership roles, welcomed two additional schools to the restoration, partnered with two new commercial entities and presented our seed whakapapa model to a national audience on TVNZ current affairs show Seven Sharp.


Scaling at pace is crucial to mitigate climate change. The following outcomes were secured to enable positive climate action and to enable us to enhance social cohesion and business resilience as we adapt in positive ways to cope with the impacts of our changing climate:


-          We are so excited to have the support of Fulton Hogan to use machines to clear and mulch the apex area of the restoration. The FH team will also be planting out the area post clearance. This commercial investment into improving environmental health and biodiversity within the restoration equates to over $30k worth of machine work that we are unable to achieve by hand. Massive thanks for your leadership on this Fulton Hogan and to Troy, who has been swift in his response to our request for help. Importantly, the area is dense with pest plants and pest trees, contains decades of accumulated inorganic refuse and is the current habitat for wild cats that were dumped at the park during Covid.

-          Businesses that boarder the park have feedback that the bird life has notably decreased since the arrival of feral cats in the park. The live trapping system is working well in partnership with Albany Vets and a local business.

-          Welcome to Strategi, a new SME investor in Te Hono. The team will be focussing on planting and sowing cover crops.

-          The Seven Sharp news piece on our Seed whakapapa model was a result of work by the team at Settlers Lifestyle Village. Huge thanks to Glenda and Jade from Alexander PR, for investing in promoting this part of what we achieve at Te Hono to a national audience. Thank you too Nicholas Mayne Native Nursery Specialist, the team from NZ Machine Hire, our gardeners at Settlers, youth leaders Olivia and Milo from Rangitoto College, Kristin Prefects and Enviro Science students, Youth leaders Gracie, Cam, Miriam, Ceinwen and Liam, lead teachers Corrie and Chris from Rangitoto and Kristin Schools, Kyle Parker from the UHLB, Auckland Council, UWEN, Journalist Sheryl from Be Media, the North Harbour Hockey Team, Tony Cunningham and Matt and Svea and the chickens from Untangled Landscapes! What an outstanding group to represent our mahi. We hope you enjoyed the experience. Thank you all for your massive effort on the day.

-          We have approached Youth Leader Ceinwen from Rangitoto College, Youth Leader Educational Psychologist Eadi Scott and Seed Pod to seek guidance on how we can improve our services to better suit people with neurodiversity. Ensuring inclusion of volunteers who think and interact in ways that differ is important to ensure all people are welcome. Additionally, we are mindful we need to foster opportunities to better understand the wider issues society faces with global warming and give ourselves a better chance to solve the problems that we face as a society with all our people at the table. The feedback we have received to date has been insightful and includes understanding neurodiversity and how language, motor skills, executive functioning, perception, and sensory skills can be impacted by neurodiversity. We have gained insight from this team on the benefits of neurodiversity and how we can improve to ensure our place is a good place for all people to belong. We are reflecting on how we can better manage noise on site, ensure we can clearly articulate why we do what we do and give clear instructions. The ways we communicate are important in terms of the resources we offer but also our verbal and visual instructions. Allowing time to process information that is delivered in concise form, preferably with visual supports like symbols, is very important to incorporate. Scheduling time to support neurodiverse volunteers so delays in receiving instructions in a busy sensory environment can be avoided. Thinking about creating working bees that offer a quieter environment when there are less tasks, people and machine distractions would also be beneficial. Developing awareness of signs of increasing distress for neurodivergent people such as increased irritability, expression of discomfort, pain, exhaustion, stimming, pacing, clenched fists, and tearfulness is very important to enable us to recognise things are stressful for that person.  Taking positive action together to lessen the risk of hardship and promote the restoration as a healthy place for all people to invest time, skills, knowledge, and energy is going to be an important strategic outcome to strengthen our values, increase individual wellbeing, enhance our commercial and community resilience, and increase local sustainability. Having a reasonably quiet, safe space to restore calm and enable re-engagement, like our staircase, is equally important to consider as a calming and safe strategy.

-          Following advertising for Youth Leadership roles we welcome Waihuia, Joanne, Zelie, Mariko, Amy, Martha, Lily, Alice, Evie, Mia, Victoria, Jocey and Zoe representing Northcote College, Rangitoto College and Kristin School. There are now 28 youth leaders investing hours of their time and developing skills and knowledge at Te Hōnonga a Iwi. The Plant Pest Manager, Bat Echolocation and Bird Count and Rangatahi roles are still open if you would like to commit to working independently and invest 2-3 hours a month into enhancing ecological wellbeing, please get in touch with Nicky on

-          We have reached out to Auckland Council and Sustainable Schools to ask for support to connect with our local kura kaupapa, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Raki Paewhenua. We last had contact during Covid and hope to partner with Māori to ensure rangatahi are included and welcomed into Youth Leadership roles within the restoration.

-          Te Hōnonga a Iwi has 10 school partners now including new schools: Wilson School, AGE and Westlake Boys High School joining Wairau Valley Special School, Rangitoto College, Kristin School, ASHS, Westminster Christian School, Long Bay College and home school students. We hope that we can support Pinehurst School and Oteha Valley Primary who have both expressed interest in investing in Te Hono and we would like AJHS and Albany Primary to become partners in Te Hōnonga a Iwi if they wish to. We are delighted to work in partnership with nearly all of the schools within the Oteha Basin and look forward to working with educators and students to ensure young people have meaningful experiences and learning opportunities within this sector.

-          Youth leaders met to connect with each other, and to listen to a presentation on the Te Hono model. Another youth leadership meeting will be organised for June 23,  2 - 4 pm at Harbour Hockey to enable other leaders an opportunity to meet and connect. Please rsvp to Nicky. If you would like a copy of the PowerPoint presentation, email us on

-          Meeting with Jo Cocker, Auckland Council strategy, to discuss potential for funding for youth strategic leadership skills development. Whilst the available funding pool is not for this purpose, it was positive to connect with Jo and talk about future growth and succession planning at Te Hono.

-          We have held six working bees this month, a huge shout out to AGE students who deconstructed a bioreactor and shifted it to the new site this month, the Kristin Prefect team who returned for their sixth  and seventh visits to dig up the freshwater pipes in readiness for Atlas Concrete to shift the IBC’s across to their new place at Atlas. The Kristin prefects have rolled their sleeves up to help clear land by the stream. Together with Rangitoto Students who have spent three working bees in the area, we are close to being ready to plant. Thank you to the 120 people who have made that happen and the teachers who work hard to connect us all.

-          We are entering the second year of seed whakapapa rounds now with Year Three students at Kristin transplanting seedlings, Settlers getting the harakeke ready to plant at Matariki, Youth Leaders Olivia, Milo and Evie joining Anne at Mayfair Retirement Village now growing locally sourced seeds in their own backyard nursery. This team continues to be supported by Nicholas Mayne. We have a new community member, Joy, who will help Nicholas in his nursery. If you wish to do some one off service mornings helping in the nursery in Unsworth, please email on

-          Louis Foot, UWEN pest manager and Les Wootton, The Landing, have generated opportunity to create an animal pest halo around Rosedale Park to protect ecological areas of significance as we move towards landscape scale change in the Oteha Valley Basin! Absolutely incredible mahi is underway as trap lines have been constructed by Louis, UWEN, in Fernhill and Burnside Escarpment, the Landing, Rosedale Park, and Centurion Park. With UWEN education and resource support, we have devised a schools-led pest management programme that enables schools to ‘own a local trap-line’. A schools-led model to scale predator management across the rohe is a national first. The important work that schools are undertaking will be amplified as we encourage the local business community to become eco-warriors and commit to a 90-minute Friday afternoon trapping programme. Please let us know if your organisation would like to take ownership of a local trap line or if you’d like to serve the community as a member of a team of five per trapline. It’s a neat way to get out of the office, become a local hero, and increase biodiversity, as we scale pest control in local suburbs including Albany, Unsworth Heights, Clemow’s Orchard and Schnapper Rock.

-          Eloise, Youth Strategy Leader, has received outstanding feedback from the youth leaders. She has shared the raw data and is in the process of compiling an executive summary that we will share with you in June. The insights are incredible with almost all respondents indicating the main benefit of being involved in Te Hōnonga a Iwi is promoting their mental health. All the areas youth have requested we make improvements are either already being addressed or able to be improved soon. We will act now to reflect addressing youth expectations and guidance. Thanks so much Eloise and youth leaders!

-          We hosted two sets of Kristin Environmental Science teams who are undertaking assessments and needed to plant natives. We really enjoyed working alongside students who may end up with careers in this space!

-          Sheryl Blythen, BeMedia and Te Hōnonga a Iwi Journalist, has drafted the content for our 3-D Graphic model that Graphic Designer Sam Weston has created for us. We are excited to have a model that captures all the social, environmental, and financial sustainability strings we pull to increase social and environmental health and mitigate climate change.

-          A new North Harbour Hockey Association resource about climate change, adverse weather risks, impacts and opportunities for the SME sector is now online with links to the full papers researched and written by North Harbour Hockey.

-          We have a team of six chicken carers who are ready to meet for the first time, develop skills and a plan to care for the chickens when they arrive onsite in the next fortnight. Matt, Untangled Landscapes is constructing a purpose-built, durable and reusable chicken coop that will be stable on the steep slope. He is working hard to ensure the coop is less than 100kg to enable easy transport over time.

-          We have approached the MoE for funding our Oteha-wide efforts to increase water quality improvement. We hope that students can learn about water quality, plant and animal pests and regenerative agriculture in a package over time. We will advise if we are able to progress to a funding application. The current catchment-wide water quality focus across the catchment is led by Mountains-to-Sea.  We have committed to support connectivity in the Basin and need to undertake more actions across the next year to meet the objectives that were set by MTS.

-          Regrettably, our trap toolbox and all our traps have been stolen. Louis, UWEN is kindly managing replacements for them. We hope that the traps are in use elsewhere.

-          Sustainable Business Network has announced its Nature and Business Symposium speakers. Te Hōnonga a Iwi is one of four restorations symposium delegates can visit in August. We are proud to welcome business leaders to the restoration and share our model of business-led positive climate action with them. Please consider attending this event. This is the right time to increase organisational resilience through investing in mitigating climate change.

-          UWEN has forwarded funding grant options for us to develop a paid coordinators role in addition to the current coordinators role to ensure we have good succession planning in place and have internal resources to scale.

-          We have represented SMEs in a SME climate resilience workshop series for SME adaptation, Climate Connect Aotearoa.

-          We thank Trees that Count for funding $3000 worth of natives (600) to enable us to fully plant out the 2024 site when the land is cleared.

-          Paremoremo Prison has gifted Te Hōnonga a Iwi 1500 natives for the 2024 restoration. We cannot thank the prison team enough for their generosity. We respect and appreciate the work prisoners and their matua are undertaking to positively invest in our local community. All the 2023 natives continue to thrive.

-          We continue to manage garden and inorganic waste, including a broken boat trailer, that members of the public are dumping. Please support your neighbours and colleagues to find positive ways to manage their waste to reduce pollution of public spaces and the risk of pest plants being introduced into the park ecosystem. UWEN has great fliers to help with community education in this problem area.

-          We have reached out to governance contacts to request support for UWEN to scale its governance skills base.

-          We have uncovered some rubble, an extensive metal water pipe and corrugated iron sheets that are buried deep in the 2024 extension. There is also a plastic pipe running alongside the metal piping that appears to be a water drain. Unable to dig the items out, we have informed Auckland Council that we will need help to remove the items that place volunteers at risk of being harmed.

-          Samantha Penman, Kaipatiki, has invited sustainable restorations to join her at sustainability workshops being held at Northcote Intermediate School. We are grateful for the opportunity to talk with school representatives and to Kaipatiki for their ongoing support of regenerative development in Auckland.

-          Restoration whanau continue to amplify value at Te Hono. We thank the Evans/Dancy whanau for their work over the years and for their clearing of small pines that are spreading and invading the restoration land from the NZ Post site. A huge effort and very much appreciated by the Te Hono team, thank you.


We look forward to Matariki next month and supporting the team to plant 2000 more natives and cover crops this season!

32 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page