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September 2022 project update

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

Another significant month of mahi achieved on site and behind the scenes for Te Hōnonga a Iwi stakeholders and contributors. The following outlines achievements and outcomes throughout September 2022:

- Acacia Dawn Cochise, Ventia has offered personal support with exploring increasing our capacity to generate a better understanding of the meaning of the outcomes for the pilot from an indigenous research perspective. Acacia is an expert with developing partnerships and future thinking. She has also kindly linked us in with Ventia colleague, Omar Bassam, Construction Manager Ventia, with an opportunity to secure pro bono project management service on the project. Additionally, Acacia has connected us with Danny Bogue, Landscape Solutions who has offered to transport water in a 5000-litre carrier in an effort to streamline the work it takes for Ventia and Watercare to transfer recycled water to site. Nicky to follow up on all these opportunities. Huge thanks Acacia Dawn.

- Nicola Robertson, Greenhithe Community Trust has linked Te Hōno in with Ben Pollard, Rangitoto College and Sean Harris, ECB Rotary enabling us to develop our network of support on site and in the back room of the project. We appreciate all the support UWEN members constantly offer us. It really helps knowing members have our backs and are prepared to readily share knowledge, expertise and resources. Nicola also highlighted the potential for the high PH in the crushed concrete we are using to remediate the pot holes in the lower carpark to leach into run off. As a precaution, we are using it sparingly only on the flat.

- Ben Pollard, Curriculum Leader and Technology teacher, Rangitoto College supported the development of welcoming Rangitoto College as the 8th school in our partnerships with the primary and secondary sectors. To date Kristin, Wairau Valley Special School, Albany Senior High School, Albany Primary, Long Bay College, Westminster Christian School, Home school students and Rangitoto students and teachers all contribute sizable value to the project over a wide range of activities and leadership opportunities. Rangitoto have been instrumental in having two youth leaders as well as sorting the distribution of huge wood piles to prevent soil erosion, shelter cover crops and reduce fire risk. Retaining the organic matter on site also reduces our carbon footprint. Rangi have been main drivers in planting 1700 trees on site. Thanks so much Rangitoto International Students Year 9’s and a year 13!

- International students have heavily invested in Aotearoa with their ongoing work on this project, particularly from Long Bay College, Kristin and Rangitoto College. Meeting students, many of whom have just arrived in NZ and some of whom have not planted a tree before, has been a privilege for Te Hōnonga stakeholders. These students have overcome significant differences in cultural practices, got cold, wet, muddy. Made bioreactors and hauled bucket loads of mulch into reactors. This month they have enjoyed being able to plant natives and sow cover crops with the knowledge that they are making a positive difference for their host country and the planet. We are appreciative of their courage to try new things and their willingness to invest locally.

- Sean Harris ECB Rotary and Michael Belgrave, Rotary Albany and notable Massey University academic are new members of the project team. Michael has arranged for Matt Cummings and Nicky Shave to present to Rotary Albany members Wednesday 28 September and has kindly offered to supply Te Hōnonga a Iwi with natives in 2023. Thank you both for your willingness to become supporters of the project.

- Te Hōnonga a Iwi missed becoming a finalist for the SBN awards. We thoroughly enjoyed attending the Mayoral Conservation Awards 2022 as finalists and thank Brad Clark, NHHA, Matt Cummings, Untangled Landscapes and Sophie Haine, Rangitoto College, Pest management lead for representing us as finalists at the ceremony.

- Challenging weather conditions resulted in us cancelling the first bird count 4 times before the Bird Count team lead by the extraordinary bird call expert and bird photographer, James Gow. Thank you James, Sarah Hoessler and Louise Shave for your ongoing commitment. We enjoyed getting the first count achieved. We aim to will be doing monthly counts on the first Monday of each month at 12 30 pm if members wish to join the team to learn please contact

- A team of Albany stakeholders interested in freshwater quality have connected over coffee. It appears that this rohe is close to reaching a tipping point with schools, restorations, Council and others testing freshwater in silos that could benefit from working more closely together. There is a unique opportunity to unite and shift to a more integrated, meaningful model that may add greater value long-term. We are reaching out to Iwi/Mana whenua and key Council members who lead this space to explore the potential for improving what we are currently offering. We are hoping we could talk with stakeholders in the freshwater space around the table in early November. If members wish to join the freshwater team please contact Valuable references to read are the Auckland Water Strategy and thew Implementation plan available as PDFs here.

- We held a successful Business Working Bee that enabled 25 members from Business North Harbour, Harbour Sports, Stormwater 360, Untangled Landscapes, Great Families Chinese Trust and North Harbour Hockey to put in 3 hours work on a Tuesday afternoon, shifting another 2.5 tonnes of organic feedstock into the reactors, clearing the way for planting. Fifteen local businesses are now an important part of the project, injecting time, knowledge, resources and funds into supporting increasing sustainability locally. Local procurement is enabling us to drive down our carbon footprint further. North Harbour Hockey Association and Business North Harbour continue to support us regularly publishing our media releases and advertising opportunities to become a part of this special project. Thank you NHHA and BNH! We also appreciate Mike Bishop, CEO Harbour Sports immediate support of the project.

- Thanks to Aimee Donovan, Stormwater 360, we have worms in all but 5 of our reactors now. Stormwater 360 is an incredible local innovator for the betterment of the environment. This organisation has walking their talk and been very present across this year for Te Hōnonga.

- We welcome Davenports Law to the project and thank Tammy McCleod for supporting the purchase of $800 seeds to cover half the restoration site. Untangled Landscapes designed the cool planting seed mix for the cover crops.

- Wairau Valley Special school have arrived weekly on site throughout September to plant 80 trees with bioorganic compost and sow cover crops. WVSS have lead all the phases in this part of the project: putting worms into the reactors, cover crop sowing and tree planting. Real thanks to all members of the WVSS team for their active leadership.

- 120 Year 8 Kristin School students, supported by superb Kristin Teachers, Sarah Underdown and Sarah Wakeford and 10 parent helpers, arrived on site to plant 820 natives gifted from Trees For Survival. It was incredible to see the mahi the students put in to planting one quarter of the plants on site within a few hours. Special thanks to Kristin, Gail Allende (Trees for Survival) and Anna Baine, Auckland Council. It is clear that Kristin has done an extraordinary job of caring for the plants over the last year. To date, only two plants have succumbed. We applaud the school’s commitment to sustainability with their recent green gold Enviro School’s award and appreciated their walking to site to help us drive down our use of fossil fuels helping our carbon footprint.

- We welcomed 16 walking parents from Kristin School to the site to orientate them to the pilot project.

- Eight Impact Project students from Albany Senior High School (ASHS) spent the morning on site collecting 350 kgs mulch, laying out more branches and planting manuka. Huge thanks to their Teachers Kevin and Toni Shaw for their ongoing support of the project. The Impact Project Windmill team were filmed being interviewed by Massey University researcher, Natalie Matthews as they discussed their sustainability design to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels to shift recycled water from the IBC’s to the reactors. Instead, we are using gravity and wind power to feed the bioreactors with the water they need to ensure best practice for composting.

- 20 North Shore home-school students filled another two reactors with mulch in 3 hours! Unbelievable mahi from this team! They shifted the biggest wood pile to spread the branches across the contours of the land. So appreciate their reaching out to us to help.

- The team from Little Earth Montessori drove down our carbon footprint further by walking to the site, planting 40 manuka in their special grove and sequestering more carbon with the sowing of their cover crops. We look forward to welcoming them back to site for more cover crop sowing and checking on their plant survival.

- Jan Knight, Renee Johnston, and Grant Klenner from Greenwich Gardens Metlifecare handed over 3000 natives they have been caring for over winter months with Renee from Bark Ltd transferring the natives from nearby Metlifecare to the restoration site. Huge thanks Renee, Jan and Grant for your team effort to keep the plants healthy and in the same geographic region to increase their chances of survival once planted. Jan has negotiated taking back the remaining plants to re-pot 110 and care for them until we can plant again next season. Huge thanks to this team. The expertise and wisdom the older adult stakeholders offer this project is unparalleled. Jan is often on site and always willing to guide and support our responses to ensure we do our best for the environment. Other older adult leaders John Cambridge and Louise Shave are also valued for their extensive knowledge and commitment to the project.

- Matt Cummings, Untangled Landscapes and Renee, Bark Ltd (Auckland) devised a planting plan using syntropic planting principles. Both were working, with help from Tony Cunningham and Nicky until dark laying out the specimen plants in readiness for our first community planting day.

- 60 volunteers from Rangitoto College, Albany Girl Guides, North Harbour Hockey and Untangled Landscapes planted 1700 trees, with bioorganic compost in 3 hours. We welcomed Duane and daughter, Zoe Baxter, Albany Girl Guide leader and guide, to the project. Duane is interested in Girl Guides having an ongoing role in the project. They have participated in the planting and cover crop working bees and we look forward to a future partnership when possible.

- 400 natives were removed across the week by Pukeko’s. Tony Cunningham, Stephen Cammell, Richard Wallis, Steve Scott and Nicky Shave worked daily on site to re-plant natives. Across the week we were loaned a spy camera by Les Wootton, The Landing and UWEN, and sought advice from Matt, Council and UWEN experts. We refined planting techniques in readiness for the second community planting bee.

- With support from Graphic Designer, Ashley Han and NEDF, the comms team have promoted our adverts to a wider local community audience. We are now members of the Browns Bay, Schnapper Rock, Oteha and Albany community Facebook pages. This strategy has paid dividends. We have enjoyed welcoming new local community volunteers to the Project. Ashley and NEDF continue to work quickly to translate Sam’s ads to Mandarin to encourage Chinese engagement. Sheryl Blythen has been working weekly to create and publish all our website content and media releases ( to share information and support community education. The Communications team are contributing huge value to the project enabling us to share, inform, educate, engage, encourage funders to develop stakes in the project and apply for numerous awards. Sincere thanks to this amazing team for their ongoing support.

- The database has been updated with new contacts across the month being added.

- We have sighted a number of cats and now have images and increased numbers of sightings across the month. We have consulted Council, UWEN and Lonely Meow cat rescue. We have received advise from this group and will action their plan asap.

- Local business, ICB, has agreed to enable us to capture fresh water off their roofline and offered to supply us with a spare holding tank. Next steps are to rig up the separate waterlines from the recycled water and freshwater supply. Brendon Dockary and Matt Cummings are working through how we will measure the effects of both water supplies on the compost. We aim to capture water samples for testing at Watercare and expect to develop leadership opportunities for youth in the water management and testing space. Funding for the separate watering systems is being discussed with Watercare now.

- The last 1000 natives have been planted by the community. We were supported by Girl Guides, Rangitoto College students and Local Upper Harbour Board members Nicholas Mayne and Kyle Parker. Nick remains a key advisor and project supporter. We appreciate his ongoing commitment to the environment and this regenerative pilot. This planting session began with Matt Cummings showing members how to plant to avoid the Pukeko removing the plant resulted in just 10 plants being removed and replanted across the week. Thanks again Tony Cunningham. Stephen Cammell, Stuart McKissock, John Cambridge, Steve Scott, Richard Wallis and Tony’s work often goes unnoticed behind the scenes but pays dividends in terms of plant survival, adding huge value to the running of the pilot. Thank you all for your loyalty and efforts. Sadly, we have had shears that John repaired removed from the site.

- Members Rhiannon Ledra and Nicky Shave have both enrolled in the Massey University Life Cycle Analysis course. New knowledge in this space is urgently needed. With few experts available to offer support in NZ, we identified we needed to upskill within our region to offer increased circularity and develop greater understanding of extending the life cycle of organic and inorganic materials to drive down our carbon footprint further. Resources relating to LCA will be available to stakeholders on the Teams platform under Resources Channel, LCA folder, as we progress with the course.

- Warwick Stent, Associate Professor, Accounting Faculty, has connected Te Hōnonga in with a number of the Massey staff including Facilities Service manager and the Director of International and Strategic Partnerships further strengthening the partnership between Massey University and Te Hōnonga a Iwi. We benefit in numerous ways from having expert academic support, skills, rigour, creative thinking and avenues to generate new knowledge and understanding regarding the projects social, environmental and financial value chains.

- Cam Scott, youth contributor is remediating the disturbed gravel in Hilton Browns lower carpark.

- Cadey Korson, with Natalie Matthews support, is forging on with the year long documentary interviews, observations, filming and photographing the stakeholders in action including gaining consent to film with a drone.

- We have scheduled maintenance working bees in November (Kristin School and Westminster Christian School) and December 5 2 – 4 pm (International Volunteer Day). Gyms and sporting bodies are being asked to engage in all International Volunteer Day events across Aotearoa this year. It is fitting that NHHA can lead this event. We will be approaching Harbour Sports, local sports codes including stakeholder, Frisbee Golf and local gyms to be a part of a two hour maintenance/weeding session. This planned maintenance work will carry us through to the end of January 2023! Despite site work stopping over the Summer break, ongoing work continues for our bird counts, soil health, compost management, water management, pest managers, water quality testing and bio aquatic analysis, plant survival and growth rates, integrated value reporting, communications and strategic planning. Real thanks to the individuals who are involved in all those metrics and processes..

- NHHA has submitted an application for Harbour Sports Community Impact Excellence Awards. We are in the process of applying for the Kūmara Awards for placemaking Please take a look at these awards opportunities in case there is a fit for your organisation.

- The final community planting/cover crop working bee last weekend was supported by 25 volunteers from NEDF and Long Bay College in addition to our valued community members, almost completing the cover crop sow! We have a small thin strip left to complete now. Please email on if you have a spare hour to help finish this remarkable phase of the project across the next ten days!

- We have been approached to host an information session and site visit for restoration groups and interested Council members to visit the site on Sat November 5 9 – 11 30 am. NHHA has been approached to host the presentation prior to walking to site to demonstrate the sustainable and regenerative practices that we have incorporated into the pilot.

On the horizon:

  · Development of Māori and Pasifika youth leaders 

· Ensure Partner Logos on website 

· SM graduate volunteers 

· Securing 10 more local business contributors 

· Development of volunteer base for working bees 

· Graphic of Restoration model linked with UN SDG’s  

· Development of an Integrated Value report 

· Albany Basin water quality testing coordination 

· BNH Business Sustainability piece 

· Donations capability on Te Hōnonga a Iwi website 

· Conversations with the School of Management, MU and SBN 

· Capturing the learning of the Integrated Value Report hui to consult with Iwi. 

· Manage the cat population living at the site 

· Social and business value surveys

· Stakeholder questionnaire including “what didn’t go so well” and “what could be improved” questions

· Comms planning

· 2023 planning

· Albany pest free possibility

· Begin using Tane’s Trees app to monitor plant survival and growth rates, linking in youth leadership opportunities in this space.

· Restoration sign, made from rock needed

· Improve education aspect of the Project’s sustainability and regenerative components

· Improvements to the stormwater run-off (drain on site)

· Improving partnership with Massey university

· Project management support, Ventia.

· Arrange aquatic biodiversity training session with Briar Broad, Whitebait Connection.

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