Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Community Funds More Than 19,000 Plants For Waiwhakareke

Volunteers and Hamilton City Council staff will be busy wielding their spades this winter with more than 19,000 community-funded natives to be planted at Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park.

Tui 2000 Inc., a Hamilton community group formed in 1989 to attract tui back to the city, provided the funds for the plants, which were grown from seeds gathered locally.

In 2017, the group received $400,000 over four years from Waikato Regional Council and the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust for Waiwhakareke plants. Tui 2000 has raised more than $1 million for the Waiwhakareke project since 2005.

This year’s plants would normally have been planted by volunteers and schoolchildren in an annual event marking Arbor Day that attracts thousands of supporters. Arbor Day is traditionally celebrated in New Zealand on 5 June.

Arbor Day at Waiwhakareke could not take place due to COVID-19 restrictions on mass gatherings. A small commemorative ceremony was held instead, attended by Mayor Paula Southgate, Deputy Chair of the Council’s Environment Committee, Sarah Thomson, Maangai Maaori representative Norm Hill, and representatives from key partners in the Waiwhakareke project, including Tui 2000, the University of Waikato and Wintec.

The Council will hold community plantings at Waiwhakareke on 11 and 12 June with a maximum of 100 participants each day. Members of the public keen to take part in a planting session can contact the Council at parksopenspaces@hcc.govt.nz.

Tui 2000 President Lynne Garnham says Waiwhakareke has its roots firmly in the community.

“This wonderful, tranquil space would not be available to Hamiltonians to enjoy if it wasn’t for the hard work of a handful of dedicated people who, back in the 1990s, saw the potential to create a Waikato forest on what was heavily grazed farmland,” she says.

“And we wouldn’t be where we are now, with almost half the land restored, if not for the people who turn out in all weathers to keep the project moving and the partners who can see the vision.”

Tui 2000 is a founding partner of the Waiwhakareke project, along with Hamilton City Council, the University of Waikato, Wintec and Waikato Regional Council. A Tui 2000 subgroup, Friends of Waiwhakareke, helps to coordinate planting, weeding and species monitoring in the park.

Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park is a 65.5 hectare “urban island” on the outskirts of Hamilton. Established in 2004, it is gradually being reconstructed from farmland to a pre-European state. Waiwhakareke is owned and managed by Hamilton City Council and is the city’s flagship biodiversity project.

The park opened to the public in November 2019 after the Council installed a track around the lake and wetlands, a public toilet and viewing platforms.

Around half of the park remains to be planted, and this work could be accelerated if a proposal for Government COVID-19 stimulus funding to create a shared entrance to Hamilton Zoo and Waiwhakareke is successful. The project will showcase two world-class visitor attractions dedicated to conservation – one of endangered animals and the other of indigenous flora and fauna.

Development of Waiwhakareke is overseen by an advisory group led by renowned ecological restoration expert Professor Bruce Clarkson, the University of Waikato’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Clark Exit, Convention Centres, And The Killing Of Hachalu Hundessa

Goodbye, David Clark. In the end, the outgoing Health Minister decided that in the midst of a pandemic the best thing he could do for New Zealand would be to no longer be there – given that being there had involved hiving off on his mountain bike during a lockdown, and throwing the country’s most beloved Health bureaucrat under a bus. As Clark indicated so memorably at last week’s press conference, when it comes to managing public health risks at the border the buck stops with…that guy over there! In the aftermath of that debacle, Clark reached the same conclusion the nation had reached some time ago, that leadership just wasn’t his thing. Once again, he got on his bike.... More>>

Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>


Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>


Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>


Gun Law: A New Firearms System Focused On Safety

Tougher gun laws will begin to take effect from next week following the passage of new firearms legislation through Parliament today. The Minister of Police says the Third Reading of the Arms Legislation Bill is an historic milestone for community ... More>>


Government: Building A Stronger Health And Disability System

The Government is committing to a long-term programme of reform to build a stronger New Zealand Health and Disability System that delivers for all. More>>


National: Todd Muller Announces Caucus Reshuffle

Today I am confirming a minor shadow cabinet reshuffle due to the retirement of Paula Bennett. Dr Shane Reti will be ranked number 13 and will take on Associate Drug Reform. Shane has demonstrated a huge intellect and capacity for work, supporting ... More>>

Biosecurity: Winston Peters On EU Travel: 'We're Not Going To Compromise Our Country's Health'

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealanders who head to Europe on holiday should pay for their two weeks' hotel quarantine when they return. More>>

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>


Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>


Int'l Trade: New Zealand To Host Virtual APEC In 2021

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels