Project Title: Big Bay Pond Planting Project



Metres Planted:
90 m

Volunteer Hours:

Location: Big Bay Road, Awhitu Peninsula

GPS Coordinates: -37.045433, 174.653808

Project Cost: NZD $8699.07

Cost per Metre: NZD $97

Metres to be planted: 60m

Field Partner: Auckland Council

Project ID: NI18

Project Description:


I’m David Blake, I live in Titirangi with my wife Nicole and my two boys Luke and Ben. I live in the bush and the longer I’m here the more I value the trees.

My parents Brian and Elaine Blake have owned their dairy farm at 144 Big Bay Road, Big Bay for around 18 years. It’s approximately 400 acres or 160 hectares. And we have a sharemilker on the property who milks approximately 240 cows.


Over the years we have been planting various areas on the farm. Mostly within areas designated as Significant Ecological Areas (SEA) by Auckland Council. The farm has a nearly 2 km coastline on the Manukau Harbour and we have planted along the seafront, as well as along some streams. We’re trying to do our part to improve the quality of the streams and waterways on our farm.

For the last two years we have worked with a local nursery and volunteer organisation called Awhitu Peninsula Landcare Inc (Awhitu Landcare). The nursery grows 10,000 to 15,000 plants each year and sells them at cost to the farmers on the Awhitu peninsula. We planted 1,000 in 2016 and approximately 2,200 in 2017. This was on a large piece of land above a stream that had slipped.

We also have a large pond on the farm which we have partially planted. This is also an SEA area. There are some quite large puriri, totara, and cabbage trees around the edges, but most of the margins around the pond are not planted, but are fenced. In the 2018 year we hope to plant a big chunk of this. The banks of the pond stretch approximately 400 metres. Of this approximately 40% is already planted.


With your support, we hope to continue working with Awhitu Landcare in the planting of the pond area this coming winter (2018). They have visited the site and advised the species of plants we would need, the quantities of them and the cost. They can also plant the plants for us. This will be approximately 1,350 plants.

They will be planted in a large semicircular area of wetland that leads into the pond. The length of this planting along the pond and stream is approximately 60 metres. The area of the project site is 622 square metres or over half a hectare.

The cost to do the first half of the planting is $5,820 including GST. This includes the cost of the plants, transport of the plants to the project site, and layout and planting. It also includes Million Metres 15% admin fee. We’ve already fenced off the pond. Our family will prep the site for the plants and we will maintain and weed the project area to ensure that the plants thrive.

Planting the whole pond area will take two years. We will complete the second half in the winter of 2019. The length of that planting along the pond would be approximately 90 metres. The remaining portion of the pond boundary is the dam part, which won’t be planted.


A number of species of birds use this pond and wetland area, and the stream leading into and out of it. Some of them are pukekos, paradise and mallard ducks. There are also frogs, kingfishers and I’m sure, many other native species.

The stream from the pond leads directly down to the nice white sandy beach of Big Bay, so it impacts the water quality in the Manukau Harbour as well.

The water quality could be improved and this, along with increasing biodiversity, is the rationale behind the planting programme.


We’d really appreciate your support. A metre of restoration is $97, but you can donate any amount to this project.

This summer we will prep the site for planting. The native plants and trees will be planted next winter (2018).

The plants will be grown by Awhitu Landcare using locally sourced seed. We’ve got great technical assistance from Awhitu Landcare and Auckland Council to make sure the right plants are planted in the right place.

Now all we need is your support!


Progress Photos: