Project Title: Mahia Peninsula Wetlands at Pa Nui Farm

Funding Close Date: 1 Dec 2021 (1 month 10 days remaining)

Hawke’s Bay

Hawke’s Bay

Metres Planted:
596 m

NZD $36351.45

Location: Mahia, Hawke's Bay

GPS Coordinates: -39.034470, 177.867451

Project Cost: NZD $62220

Cost per Metre: NZD $61

Metres to be planted: 1020m

Field Partner: Hawkes Bay Regional Council

Project ID: NI48

Project Description:

Hi, I’m Nic Caviale – Delzescaux.

I work for several community lead conservation initiatives in Wairoa, Hawke’s Bay. I’ve been working closely with landowners and a large number of partners to restore the Whangawehi River and its catchment. 

Thank you to everyone that has supported our work in previous campaigns (Pongaroa, Taharoa and Mangatupae Stream)!

Our work keeps growing and is attracting interest from other parts of the Mahia Peninsula and around the Hawke’s Bay.

This project to restore coastal wetlands on a farm near the town of Mahia is an example. It’s an amazing opportunity to restore habitat for bitterns, fern birds, inanga and tuna.

About the farm and wetlands

Pa Nui Farm is near Mahia, on the Mahia Peninsula, Hawke’s Bay. Mahia Peninsula is on the east coast of the North Island between Napier and Gisborne. It is currently a dairy farm but the new owners would like to convert it to a sheep and beef farm.

There are two wetlands on the farm that have been degraded over time, but they are very special coastal ecosystems. The wetlands are in need of some ‘TLC.’

They are very large! The wetland near the cow shed is approximately 1.2 km long and has an area of 9 hectares. The other sand dune wetland is approximately 1.2 km long and has an area of 10 hectares. In total, that’s about 19 international rugby fields!

The challenge

Because of their size, restoring these wetlands will take multiple years, but the more investment we have, the more we can do!

Based on our tried and tested stocking rate of 2,500 plants per hectare, we would need 47,500 plants to cover the entire 19 hectares. Our costs include plants, planting, and maintenance of the plants. It comes to around $7 per plant to get them in the ground and established. That means our total costs come to a whopping $332,500.

We’re keen to make a start, so we’re reaching out to our supporters to help us raise $62,220. That will allow us to plant and care for over 7,000 plants and 3 hectares of the wetland! 15% of the funds raised will go to the Million Metres Streams Project. The team at Million Metres keep the website running, connect projects with funding, resources and people, and share the overall impact of the programme.

We will continue to seek funding from other sources as well.

The opportunity – Winter 2020

The 9 hectare wetland will be all ready for planting THIS WINTER! We will make good use of any funding we receive to get plants in the ground this year.

Locals call these wetlands the “green river” because they are most visible in the summer when the surrounding land dries up. The wettest part of the wetland stays green all year long.

These coastal wetlands are really important and rare habitats. They are home to nationally important bitterns, fern birds, inanga and long fin eels.

The work has begun already. The invasive willows that we’re choking the wetlands and sucking up water have been poisoned. The site has been completely fenced off from livestock. We’re working on getting rid of the invasive pampas grass.

In the future, we will consider blocking some of the drains to bring more water back to the area.

The partners

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Department of Conservation are partners in this project. They have contributed to fencing off the massive site. We’re working with them to create a planting plan for the site. 

The wetlands on Pa Nui farm are part of the Pukenui wetland system. They are located on a number of properties that stretch from Mahanga to Oraka. All up the total footprint of these unique habitats is over 60 ha. A large network of sand dunes are also key features along the Pukenui beach. They host the rare and endangered NZ Dotterel as well as a number of sea birds and plants some of which only grow there.

The Pukenui wetland restoration project is looking at protecting this large network of wetlands under the leadership and vision of the landowners. It will only grow as neighbouring land owners express their desire to come on board and restore their wetlands. 

The opportunity is massive! 



Progress Photos: