Project Title: Growing Matuku Link



Metres Planted:
750 m

Volunteer Hours:

Location: 111 Bethells Road

GPS Coordinates: -36.861654, 174.492592

Project Cost: NZD $18750

Cost per Metre: NZD $25

Metres to be planted: 750m

Field Partner: Auckland Council

Project ID: NI19

Project Description:

About us

Hi, thanks for checking out our project!

The Matuku Link is a 37 hectare native forest block in west Auckland’s Bethell’s Valley. The reserve connects several protected areas, including Ark in the Park, Habitat Te Henga, Forrest Ridge and Matuku Reserve. It is home to rare wetland birds, as well as to native bats – New Zealand’s only native land mammal.

Our aim is to enhance the reserve to create a flourishing habitat for these native species. We also want to link people to nature through engagement and education.

Mainly still… occasionally racing… the waters at Matuku Link in the Bethell’s valley West Auckland provide habitat for many bird species. These include frequent visits from kingfisher, black shag and mallard, but on occasion rare birds such as pateke (brown teal), fernbird, shoveller or our resident matuku (bittern).

Already part of an extended predator controlled area, improving the habitat around this part of the Waitakere River will allow these rare birds and other wetland birds known to be nearby to increase.

Innovative bird hide plans designed by the agile minds of Unitech’s architecture students are ready. Now we need the habitats that will ensure good birding!

Our project

With your support, we will plant 750 metres (1,500 square metres) of the Waitakere River at Matuku Link with 3,270 native plants and trees.

Planting the riverbanks with locally sourced reeds, sedges, grasses and shrubs will provide shelter and food for birds and fish. Once they mature, the plants will protect the riverbanks from erosion. Larger shrubs and trees will shade and cool the water, not only making it more suitable for native fish and crayfish, but also eliminating exotic water weeds.

We at Matuku Link need your help to enable these hundreds of metres to be planted out. Volunteers will collect native seed from the local area and will grow the plants on site in our very own Waitakere Rivercare nursery.

We will plant the site in 2018 and will continue maintaining the area by weeding and inter-planting where needed for at least three years. We hope to have the whole wetland planted by 2023.

An ode to carex!

We will plant kahikatea, cabbage tree, kaikomako, putaputaweta and lots of sedges, chief among which to withstand flooding is Carex Lessoniana:

A plant that lessens bank fragility
Lessoniana ensures stability.

Phormium on the other hand
for riverside planting should be banned.

In plainer language, if you need,
flaxes fail but sedge succeed.

Our future plans

We have a busy year ahead! In addition to our restoration planting work, we will start the development of a Wetland Education Centre. Thanks to generous donors like you, we’ve already raised the funds for the conversion of a barn on-site into a Centre. This coming year, Unitech students will help us design the conversion.

In just a few years’ time, people of all ages can stop in to learn about wetland and freshwater ecosystems at the Centre. Then they can take a walk in our restored riverine forest to see the plants and animals of this special habitat firsthand.

We need your support!

We’ve got big ambitions for this site and hope you will help us make it a reality! Funds raised will go towards plants, a coordinator for planting days and working bees, and promotion of the fundraiser. They also include Million Metres’ 15% admin fee.

Donate a metre today!

Keen to follow our work or get engaged? We’d love to hear from you.

Connect with us through our website, or drop us a line:




Progress Photos: