Project Title: Taiaotea–Rothesay Bay Catchment Custodians

Funding Close Date: 18 Jun 2021 (11 months 17 days remaining)

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Auckland

Region:
Auckland

Metres Planted:
0 m

Invested:
NZD $0

Location: Taiaotea and Rothesay Bay

GPS Coordinates: -36.721573, 174.750486

Project Cost: NZD $90627

Cost per Metre: NZD $51

Metres to be planted: 1777m

Field Partner: Auckland Council

Project ID: NI51

Project Description:

The Taiaotea–Rothesay Bay Catchment Custodians Project is part of the wider Restore Hibiscus & Bays Stream Restoration Programme , which aims to restore waterways throughout the 34 catchments within the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board area, connecting native biodiversity across our significant ecological areas (SEAs) and other fragmented native ecosystems and contributing to the protection of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park – Tīkapa Moana/Te Moana-nui-ā-Toi. 

The catchment

Taiaotea catchment is approximately 4.2 km2, located between the boundary of East Coast Bays road to the west and down to Browns Bay beach and coastal cliffs to the east. Carlisle Road to Ridge Road provides the northern boundary and Browns Bay Road provides the southern boundary. The smaller Rothesay Bay catchment is 0.73km2 and neighbours Taiaotea catchment immediately to the south.Both catchments, although highly developed, still contain rare examples of swamp maire, fragmented pūriri and mature coastal pōhutukawa, some of which have been designated as significant ecological areas.  There are approximately 9,373 metres of streams and tributaries running through the catchments, 4,443 of which is above ground

Taiaotea catchment hosts one of the last examples of the ‘threatened-nationally critical‘ mature Syzygium maire (swamp maire) within Bushglen Reserve, providing an extremely valuable seed source. There are also reserves of tawa, kohekohe, rewarewa, hĪnau, podocarp forest (WF14) next to Northcross Intermediate School. Further down the catchment, pockets of VS2 (kanuka scrub forest) become evident. Riparian zones continue down all the way to Browns Bay beach and in various parts of the Taiaotea stream, kokopu have been found as well as an inanga spawning site. Behind the rows of shops on the northside of Bute Road, stands of fragmented mature pūriri trees are present providing food sources for birds found in the area, including riroriro (grey warbler), tūī, kererū, ruru and kōtare. Kākā have also  been sighted in and around Bushglen. The coastal cliffs surrounding both Browns Bay and Rothesay Bay are examples of coastal broadleaf forest (WF4), including mature pōhutukawa and pūriri, and have been classified as significant ecological areas. 

The work so far

In parts of Taiaotea stream, daylighting projects are underway, restoring what once was the riparian zone for the stream.There are multiple ongoing community stream and coastal forest restoration projects, involving volunteers and local schools (Browns Bays and Northcross Intermediate). These are mostly based around the water course and riparian areas and include weeding, mulching, planting, water quality monitoring and macroinvertebrate surveys in collaboration with Whitebait Connection. Please refer to the 2017 Taiaotea Stream Restoration Plan for further details. 

Northcross Intermediate School is involved in various projects removing environmental weeds within their neighbouring reserve, as well as seed propagation in a nursery onsite. Bushglen Reserve at the top of the catchment has in place extensive community trapping activity for rats and possums in and around the reserve (public & private land).

Pest plants of particular concern to the stream include woolly nightshade, agapanthus, arum lily, blue morning glory, climbing asparagus, cotoneaster, english ivy, japanese honeysuckle, monkey apple, palm grass, pampas grass, phoenix palm, chinese and tree privet, and tradescantia.

Whitebait Connection– funded by the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board and Auckland Council Healthy Waters – is also working with local schools and groups to help protect inanga spawning sites within the catchments, providing educational workshops and water quality testing.

Our Project

The Taiaotea-Rothesay Bay Catchment Custodians project will link up this existing restoration activity within a comprehensive catchment-wide stream restoration strategy. This will help to increase the impact of our work and connect habitat for our native wildlife to migrate between significant ecological areas and other fragmented native ecosystems within Taiaotea and Rothesay Bay catchments and across the entire Hibiscus & Bays Local Board area. Ultimately, the Taiaotea-Rothesay Bay Catchment Custodians project will connect with other catchment-wide stream restoration projects, including Long Bay- Awaruku [INSERT LINK] and Campbells Bay [INSERT LINK], as well as other large restoration and pest control projects along the Whangaparaoa peninsula (Forest and Bird Pest Free Hibiscus Coast) and around Okura Bush (Friends of Okura Bush and Pest Free Okura).

The Taiaotea-Rothesay Bay Catchment Custodians project will involve:

  • Education for landowners, residents and visitors on the negative effects for our waterways of pollutants and waste
  • Water quality monitoring
  • Native planting 
  • Pest plant control and maintenance

We anticipate the entire Taiaotea-Rothesay Bay Catchment Custodians project will be completed across 5 years, with the aim to restore the entire streams and tributaries throughout the Taiaotea-Rothesay Bay catchments.

We need your help

We are currently seeking funding to initiate Year 1 of the Project. In Year 1, we will carry out pest plant control work, including weed removal and appropriate disposal, from July to April 2020-21, preparing the Year 1 sites ready for planting. We will plant the Year 1 areas in May to July 2021 and continue with post planting maintenance from July 2021 to 2024.  

Progress Photos: