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November 2023 project update

This is our final report for the year. It has been a fantastic, fruitful year. Thank you all for your incredible kindness and mahi.

This year we have gained consent to extend the restoration by another 6,000 m2, began restoring another 2,000m2, planted 2,350 more trees, generated 2 more tonnes of bioorganic compost, used three tonnes of our bioorganic compost in the new extension, monitored and reported on water quality, bio aquatic diversity, plant survival and growth, soil microscopy, water management, weed management, feral cat, possum, mustelid and rat pest management and sowed another 2000m2 of cover crops. To date, more than 2000 people have contributed towards this pilot project.

We celebrated Matariki and the new Pou Whenua, kindly donated by Rotary Albany. Thanks to NEDF’s investment, we undertook our first carbon emissions and carbon sequestration analysis, enabling us to identify how we can continue to make improvements in our quest to decarbonise and become regenerative, climate positive.

Massey University continues to invest in us, enabling us to realise our vision and improve. Massey contributes significant value with thought leadership and developing authentic learning opportunities for secondary and tertiary students.

Led by Associate Professor Warwick Stent, and Sarah Colin, Kim Green and Amanda Green’s knowledge and skills, we produced our first Integrated Value Report (IVR). This enabled us to capture more of our value in a holistic way. Insights from the IVR have opened our eyes to opportunities for innovation and diversification to increase our ability to mitigate climate change, increase social equity and develop stakeholders' organisational resilience.

We have welcomed new SME stakeholders on board, and we are thrilled to have begun our first seed whakapapa collection. With leadership from Nicholas Mayne, coupled with strong vision from Settlers Retirement Village, our nursery youth leader Olivia and the Year 2 team at Kristin School, we have begun to produce our own plants!

We actively seek to remain a part of the Upper Waitemata Ecology Network and continue to reap the benefits of learning from ecological and community experts who are willing to offer ongoing support to help us improve.

Special thanks to our irrepressible Kaumatua Richard Nahi and Ngāti Whatua o Kaipara for their inspiration and indigenous knowledge and guidance. Huge thanks to Dan Marrow, and his Auckland Council colleagues for the huge investment council has made at Te Hononga a Iwi. Council staff offer expertise, connections, leadership, equipment and support on a weekly basis for this project.

Matt and Svea at Untangled Landscapes are our regenerative soil experts. They are our taonga and continue to inspire so many of us to innovate. They are a driving force for good with their vision and belief in the role of regenerative agriculture to increase soil health. Their vision for using chickens and bees to trial more regenerative techniques to improve soil quality has been courageously supported by the Upper Harbour Local Board. We thank Auckland Council and the board for their diligence and their vision to try new methodologies in safe ways.

The Upper Waitemata Ecology Network and team continue to support, connect and educate. Their combined ecological expertise amplifies our successes and offers opportunities to manage our risks. Sustainable Schools and Enviro Schools have worked hard to inform, educate, collaborate. Their accessibility and willingness to help has activated new opportunities to scale and pace resulting in us being able to welcome invite more youth to invest in Te Hononga a Iwi.

Whitebait Connection and Mountains to Sea leader Briar Broad, has achieved an exciting and remarkable result for Te Hononga a Iwi and the Oteha water catchment. Briar perceived opportunity for stakeholders within the Albany Basin to unite and work on an 18-month project to build knowledge and capacity to offer a landscape approach to increasing water quality across the rohe. This outcome is what Tracy Davis, Kaumatua North Harbour Hockey Association, requested of us when we began this project. Iwi hoped we could better care for the whenua and waterways to better care for our people and our livelihoods. We feel pleased we are on the way to contributing towards realising iwi’s aspirations.

Sheryl Blythen at BeMedia, the person behind all the news stories and website actions, in collaboration with IT expert Ashley Han and our talented graphic designer Samantha Weston work weekly to bring our mahi to life, share our journey and educate stakeholders. Brightstar kindly funded our microscopy workshop and our first two Te Hononga a Iwi education pieces that Sheryl, Sam and Matt have crafted ready to showcase shortly. Sam has led a big piece this year. She has created a 3D graphic model outlining Te Hono’s actions and impacts! We needed a gifted artist to design images of our models' parts to make all the intricacies of the integrated processes easier to understand, value and replicate at scale if others wish to.

Phillip Then, Les Wootten and Stephen Cammell have worked tirelessly to manage animal pests within Rosedale Park and, with support from Louis frrom UWEN, improved our pest management strategy.

Special thanks to Scott and Tony Cunningham for their ongoing work at the site across the year. Huge shout out to Business North Harbour, Stormwater 360, Davenports, Rotary Albany, Paremoremo Prison, Trees that Count and North Harbour Hockey staff for their ongoing loyalty, encouragement and mahi.

The CEO at North Harbour Hockey Association Michelle Bentham, Board Chair Dave Kosoof, Sheryl Blythen, Sam Weston, our Sustainability Committee, staff and players have knocked it out of the park this year as we strengthen our response to coordinate the project’s stakeholders: North Harbour Hockey, our wonderful teachers at our seven schools, and the hundreds of students who come to invest their time and knowledge into Te Hononga a Iwi.

The most important acknowledgment of thanks goes to our youth and the teachers and whānau who support their involvement. They are on fire. They are leading from the front. They are our future, and we are grateful for their positive actions and impacts. Nineteen youth leaders from Wairau Valley Special School, Rangitoto College, Westminster Christian School, Auckland University and Kristin School have individual leadership roles in the project. These students work weekly at times to make the mahi happen. They monitor, report, protect and drive the regeneration of native bush and awa at Rosedale Park. You are the project heroes. Thank you all.

We have won more regional and national awards for the impacts we have achieved. Please showcase the awards on your websites. It is important to share that small businesses can achieve great things if they work with iwi and their communities to develop positive sustainable partnerships that allow everyone to contribute their value.

The actions we have taken this month include:

- We welcomed new UWEN coordinator Rachael and Louis, UWEN pest management coordinator, to Te Hononga a Iwi. We hope you get to meet these two exceptional community leaders in 2024, in the meantime welcome to the whānau Rachael and Louis!

- The EKOS emissions report will be available to view online. In essence, we produced five tonnes of carbon in 2022. Half our emissions are generated from our onsite composting. We sequestered 0.5 tonnes of carbon. We need to reduce our emissions by 4.5 tonnes per year to become carbon neutral. We have developed understanding of limitations in carbon sequestration analysis and have identified the need to measure soil carbon to better understand the impacts of our circular actions on our carbon footprint. More to come on this.

- We have talked with the Head of Sustainability at Massey University to signal a desire to work in partnership with ecology and soil specialists at Massey in 2024 to measure soil carbon, research the impact of using chickens in the urban regenerative environment to clear the 2024 site and offer inground composting extension. Also, we discussed the possibility of measuring the impact over time of injecting the ‘bioreactor juice’ 0.8 m into soil within a control area to ascertain if we can improve soil structure and health more quickly with this method. Finally, we continue to consider the possibility of researching the use of a native cover crop that could produce food for harvesting in the urban landscape. Te Hono will be supporting Massey University with their experiential learning offerings for accounting students as they increase their knowledge and skills in the Integrated Value Reporting space. Massey University Associate Professor, Business School of Management, Ralph Bathurst is looking to regenerate areas within Fernhill Escarpment. We look forward to meeting with Ralph soon and offering support for his vision. Te Hono is also meeting with academic leaders from the School of Built Environment to talk about how we can support their work in this academic area. We hope to increase the number of tertiary students volunteering their skills and knowledge and gaining a sense of belonging at Te Hononga a Iwi in 2024.

- Phillip Then, Les Wootten and Stephen Cammell continue to work hard to manage animal pests within the park. A cat was caught in the live cage and assessed as feral this month. And another possum has been caught in the traps.

- We wish to congratulate Phillip and his whānau on the safe and joyous arrival of their baby David. We have planted a tree to celebrate his arrival and look forward to welcoming him to the restoration in 2024.

- With support from Louis, and Les, the new Animal Pest Management youth leaders have their final training session this weekend before they roll out taking on the role independently. Special thanks to Elouise for coordinating the roster for the group and Haemish for his leadership on the ground. We thank Daniel and Madeleine for the commitment to trapping as valued members of the new team.

- Plant survival and growth rates are being analysed by our statistician Sarah Colin. Results will be available on Teams and shared in the February newsletter. Determining whether there is a correlation between the use of inoculated bioorganic compost and better plant survival and growth compared with the control plants will be an area we will be looking closely at. Thanks so much to Ceinwen, Selma, Matt and Sarah for making this data collection possible.

- We need to undertake our annual bird count now. If you have skills in this area, please contact Nicky on as soon as possible.

- Tony undertook a bat echolocation exercise this month. Sadly, there were no bats detected but it was fun trying to find them! Thanks so much Tony!

- We are thrilled to share that we have been granted landowner approval by Auckland Council and the Upper Harbour Local Board to trial the temporary use of 20 chickens within a locked enclosure to clear the 2024 extension and offer in-ground composting. We have been granted permission to arrange for a beehive too. Te Hōnonga a Iwi acknowledges and thanks iwi and Auckland Council for their support and courage with trialling this part of the project. Strong measures are in place to ensure safety and success, however it takes strong vision and a degree of trust in the partnership to innovate in this way. We will keep all stakeholders fully informed of the progress we make and will be reaching out to ask for help with areas we need to strengthen to ensure success.

- We are looking for four youth leaders to take on the role of caring for the chickens while they live on site from Feb - June in 2024. The beehive will be within the enclosure, so youth with bee allergies will need to consider applying for alternate leadership roles. Please contact Nicky on if you are interested in this short-term leadership role. No prior experience with chickens is necessary. Family consent is a must.

- North Harbour Hockey are in the process of applying for funding for the 2024 project. If your business would like to be a part of funding or sponsoring aspects of the 2024 extension that will be using regenerative agricultural methods for the first time we are aware of on public land, please contact Nicky on

- Subject to securing the funding needed to undertake the chicken and bee initiatives, we need to book in help across February to build the enclosure. If your company or people can help in any week of February, we will be grateful for your support. Please contact Nicky on if you can bring a working team to site to construct the enclosure.

- We have requested support from Trees that Count to obtain 2000 natives to plant in Matariki 2024.

- A Year Six student from Kristin School Kate has kindly contacted us regarding fundraising for trees for Te Hōnonga a Iwi. We are delighted to have this kind of youth support and vision. Funds will go directly into buying the trees we need to create biodiversity for 2024. Thank you, Kate and Kristin!

- Westminster Christian School and Mountains to Sea CEO Briar Broad are undertaking our first eDNA testing and second annual bio-aquatic analysis in Alexander Stream.

- The incredibly talented graphic designer Sam Weston has led a focus group to design and produce a 3D graphic Te Hōnonga a Iwi model. Feedback is in and we are working at populating the model with back-room text to enable the community to click on aspects of the model they are wanting to learn more about. We hope that the model graphic will help people more easily understand the integrated nature of the processes we use to mitigate climate change, increase social equity and connect local people and businesses for greater future resilience. We hope to showcase this piece early next year.

- Journalist Sheryl Blythen, together with soil specialist Matt Cummings and Sam Weston, have developed our first two online education pieces for the project. The education pieces have been made possible with funding from Brightstar, a valued stakeholder in Te Hono. Thank you all for your expertise and work to help us educate the community on aspects of regenerative agriculture and sustainable business action.

- Perhaps the most exciting outcome this month has been receiving news that Te Hononga a Iwi in partnership with all community water quality leaders, has been granted 18 months funding and support from Mountain to Sea and Wai Connection to reduce our siloed response to managing water quality in the Albany catchment, unite in our actions and impacts to increase water quality through more education, monitoring and reporting. This is an especially important development that will enable the Albany Community opportunities to realise landscape-based change and for iwi to have their request to better care for the land and waterways in the rohe one step closer to being realised. North Harbour Hockey Association is hosting a morning tea on December 14 at 10 am for anyone interested in understanding this project or wanting to be involved. Please contact Nicky on If you would like to attend, you are welcome.

- We have new teacher contacts for Rangitoto College and Albany Senior High School. We thank Ben Pollard and Toni Shaw for their service and support across the last two years and we welcome Kevin Harvey and Corrie Morrissey into the roles. We look forward to working in partnership with you both.

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