Project Title: Matuku Link - Restoring a rare bird haven

Funding Close Date: 11 Oct 2019



Metres Planted:
261 m

NZD $15600

Location: Matuku Link - Bethells Road, West Auckland

GPS Coordinates: -36.867597, 174.490399

Project Cost: NZD $15600

Cost per Metre: NZD $60

Metres to be planted: 260m

Field Partner: Auckland Council

Project ID: NI37

Project Description:

Project Update: Double your donation

We are stoked to announce that Speight’s have come on board and will double future donations to help us reach our goal. That means, every dollar you donate will result in two dollars to help support these waterways and restore the this rare bird haven.

About us

Come help the rare and special wetland birds that call Matuku Link home!  And help the planet while you’re at it!

We are Matuku Reserve Trust. In November 2016, through an incredible fundraising effort, the Trust was able to buy 37 hectares of bush and wetland, naming it “Matuku Link” after the rare native bird that makes this area its home. Its purchase has helped safeguard habitat for local wildlife and forms a vital link between neighbouring eco-restoration projects Ark in the Park, Habitat te Henga and a Forest & Bird reserve.    

Matuku (bittern), mātātā (fernbird), puweto (spotless crake) and pateke (brown teal) are all found on the flood plains of the Matuku Link property, which is located in the Bethell’s valley, West Auckland. These low-lying flats once had thriving wetland forest trees, raupo, flax, and sedge beds but were converted to paddocks last century. Now, we are converting them back to create even more habitat for our rare and special native bird species.

Our Project

This is our second fundraiser with Million Metres. In 2018, we raised $18,750 that helped us plant 3200 plants. We’re so grateful to everyone who donated! Now we want to plant even more and build on our restoration efforts to date.

When the full 3.5 hectares are planted it will not only benefit wildlife but also help mitigate the effects of flooding. The water entering the Waitakere River will be less silted due to the filtering effect of the reeds, sedges, and trees. Wetlands are also important carbon sinks which is what is increasingly needed on the planet.

We are thrilled to now have resident pateke (brown teal), once the rarest duck in the world.  Pest trees such as poplar and alder have been eradicated and non native grasses removed from the banks of this waterway.  We will plant these banks with native plants, giving shade and shelter to the various water birds that have been seen here.

Matuku Link has established its own nursery with initial plants donated by the local Rivercare group. Shade houses, water tanks and a potting shed all erected by volunteers are used to grow the many trees, reeds and sedges needed for this specialised site. Seeds are eco-sourced from the property or from elsewhere in the Waitakere ranges.

We will plant kanuka, manuka, koromiko, karamu and te kouka (cabbage trees). These faster growing species will shelter kaikomako and kahikatea. Kaikomako, a rare tree elsewhere, is common in this valley and like its name, is great for birds [kai =food; ko mako = for the bellbird]. The lovely fronds of the fern kiokio near water level will shelter the waterfowl below. The bank edge will be planted with carex lessoniana renowned for its stabilising influence during floods and as rhymed here:

Why then the story must be told

of wetland plants amorous hold.

Their close embracing, root to root

can even stem the flood’s acute

and forceful trial to rip apart

Lessoniana’s verdant heart

We need your support

We now want to plant an additional 260m of stream side which will re-establish 1400 squared metres of native bush. We are fundraising $15600 to plant 1400 native plants and trees. This will provide more habitat for the incredible birds and wildlife that live here and help to improve the quality of the water that flows in to the Waitekere River. Any donation big or small is appreciated. Thank you! 

Progress Photos: