Project Title: Blake Wetland Project at Big Bay

Funding Close Date: 14 Aug 2020



Metres Planted:
100 m

NZD $9101.9

Location: Manukau Heads

GPS Coordinates: -37.046665, 174.653888

Project Cost: NZD $9101.90

Cost per Metre: NZD $91

Metres to be planted: 100m

Field Partner: Auckland Council

Project ID: NI45

Project Description:


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 property is coastal and the wetland drains to a stream which runs to a nice white sandy beach approximately 300 metres away into the Manukau Harbour.  It is important that the water is filtered prior to coming out onto that beach.  We’re trying to do our part to improve the quality water that flows through streams and waterways on the land and out to the ecologically important Manukau Harbour.

The Harbour is relatively shallow, making it an important habitat and ‘tidal food factory’ for migratory wader birds.  Birds NZ have counted more waders in the Manukau Harbour than any other harbour in New Zealand.

It is the final destination for up to two hundred thousand migrant wading birds each summer.  With species such as the Eastern bar-tailed godwits having made the flight from Alaska and Siberia to New Zealand all in one go without stopping.

For the last 4 years, we have worked with a local nursery and volunteer organisation called Awhitu Landcare. Together we have already planted nearly 5,000 plants on the property.

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 2018 we planted a big chunk of the area, getting 1350 plants in the ground. A big thanks goes out to all the donors to that project and Awhitu Landcare (the locally run plant nursery) who were pivotal, having supplied and helped to get all the plants successfully in the ground.

Those plants have been looked after by our family and are doing really well. Many are over head-height. We had a few losses due to pesky pukekos but we have replaced those plants. We are starting to see the re-emergence of wildlife in the area such as native ducks, pukekos and frogs.  We really want to encourage this.

Our 2020 project

We are back in 2020 to plant even more! We want to plant an additional 1120 native plants and trees around 100m of the pond. This will mean an additional 650 metres squared of native plants and trees. The section will almost finish off the planting, with a bit more to be done in 2021.


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 beautiful 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 driving rationale behind the planting programme.


We’d really appreciate your support. We have already started the preparation for planting and we plan to get all the plants in the ground this winter.

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. We’ve also got the support of Conservation Volunteers New Zealand who will help us get the plants in the ground with their wonderful volunteers.

Now, all we need is your support!

Progress Photos: