Project Title: Cool Runnings - Making Matuku Link’s stream fit for fish

Funding Close Date: 21 Oct 2020



Metres Planted:
585 m

NZD $35100

Location: 111 Bethells Road, Waitakere

GPS Coordinates: -36.864383, 174.488076

Project Cost: NZD $35100

Cost per Metre: NZD $60

Metres to be planted: 585m

Field Partner: Auckland Council

Project ID: NI43

Project Description:

About us

We are Matuku Reserve Trust in Bethells/Te Henga – West Auckland. With only 9% wetlands left, we are our restoring 37 hectares of bush and wetland since 2016, naming it “Matuku Link” after the rare native bird that makes this area its home.

It forms a vital link between neighbouring eco-restoration projects Ark in the Park, Habitat te Henga and a Forest & Bird reserve. Matuku Link focusses on wetland education and restoration, fostering love for our unique wetland habitat and its inhabitants – birds like matuku (bittern), mātātā (fernbird), puweto (spotless crake) and pateke (brown teal), weta, glow worms, tuna (eels), inanga and koura (cray fish).

Individuals, families, schools, business groups, scouts, and many more discover the beauty of wetlands while helping out at Matuku Link – growing our eco sourced plants in autumn, planting the trees in winter and weeding around them over spring and summer.

Our Project

Welcome to our third fundraiser with Million Metres. With their help and yours, we have completed two fantastic riparian planting projects: raising the funds for over 4600 plants in the past two years. The sedges, trees and reeds are flourishing on our alluvial flood plains and will reduce siltation, soak up CO2, mitigate flooding and provide habitat for the several rare wetland bird species that call Matuku Link home.

But there is still more to do to create a thriving wetland habitat at Matuku Link, the largest wetland in the Auckland area. With growing group of volunteers, we now have the capacity and experience to ramp it up even further!

Looking after the important water habitats

We’re aiming for a record length of 585 meters of streamside restoration, for our native fish, koura (crayfish) and tuna (eels). Trees keep the water cool and the water weeds are suppressed in the shade. Flax beds- their flower stalks spearing the sky; flowing raupo bending in the westerly wind; groves of kahikatea, totara and kaikomako; sedge and reed beds harbouring secretive wetland birds like matata, matuku  and puweto.

Emerging from the forest -clad slopes, our westernmost stream flows through a large culvert falling over a metre and continues into open rank grass. Passing through 120 metres of raupo this small stream connects with the main channel of the Waitakere River.

The rank grass on the open part of the stream sides consists mainly of Mercer Grass a noxious weed that can even cover ponds but  will  be replaced by kiokio [Blechnum fern] purei [Carex secta] and  especially rautahi [Carex lessoniana] that has an amazing ability to resist floods  as in this  haiku :



genuflects to floods. They pass.

High times now, Carex!

Rare native fish species also live in these waterways

The major part of this project though will be improving water quality and access for native fish species. Inanga, koaro and banded kokopu are found in these Waitakere streams with Whitebait Connection [] finding inanga eggs recently in the reeds close to the river mouth. A PhD student from Massey University is comparing water quality data and macroinvertebrates diversity of both the new and established ponds at Matuku Link.

We need your support

With your help we will not only revegetate the sides of the open part of the stream but widen the rest with habitat enhancing species. We want to plant 1900 plant along an additional 585 meters of stream, fundraising $35,100 to improve the quality and quantity of stream habitat for our fish, koura and tuna.

Plant will be eco-sourced from the property or from elsewhere in the Waitakere ranges. The seedlings will be grown by volunteers and planted by volunteers too.

The funds raised will go towards site preparation, growing the plants from seed, getting the plants in the ground which include volunteer coordination costs. We also need to look after the plants for the following 3 years so the funds will support the maintenance of the site.

Any donation big or small is appreciated. Thank you! 

Progress Photos: