Location: Te Aroha Valley, Hekerua Bay, Waiheke Island
GPS Coordinates: -36.782992, 175.030758
Project Cost: NZD $48000
Cost per Metre: NZD $40
Metres to be planted: 1200m
Field Partner: Auckland Council
Project ID: NI47
We are a group comprising residents and friends of Te Aroha Avenue, Oneroa, (Dons Track), on Waiheke Island, who have come together to protect and enhance our beautiful bush valley, stream and bay.
After many years of neglect, Te Aroha Valley is starting to come to life. The bush is full of kereru, tui, ruru, piwakawaka and riroriro and the morning chorus is deafening. Little blue penguins nest under houses in the valley and a troop of kaka noisily live and nest here and fledge chicks each year. There are geckos in the trees and banded kokopu and eels in the stream.
But there is much to be done still. Invasive weeds – ginger, arum lilies, tradescantia, willow and climbing asparagus are taking hold and are beginning to clog the stream and choke the bush. Residents of the valley and wider local community decided enough is enough and have come together to tackle the weeds and predators with the aim of enabling the stream and valley to heal and thrive again.
The stream catches the water from the surrounding roads that all discharge into the valley, along with runoff from residential properties.
Te Aroha valley is landlocked, which means that the sections and properties along Te Aroha Avenue have walk in access only and no road access. To get to your property you need to either walk up the track or get permission to walk through your neighbour’s property above you.
There are also several QE2 trust sections in the valley and they contribute to the balance of built form and natural vegetation.
Combine this with the rare native fauna that lives here – little blue penguins, kaka, bush geckos and the abundance of native birds and we have the beginnings of an authentic bush residential environment that caters for all and we believe, when the project is complete, will be a showcase for living sustainable with nature.
Kaitiaki Fiends of Te Aroha are committed to this vision coming to fruition through working together collaboratively and harmoniously, as a community in the best interests of the valley, stream, flora and fauna, knowing that it doing so is in the best interests of everyone.
Part of our mission is to reinstate the degraded wetlands to enable the stream to do its magic and clean the water before it makes its way down the valley and into Hekerua Bay. In doing so, we aim to create habitat suitable for local bird and fish life to return to and thrive.
There are many weeds that first need pulling out and bringing under control. With many hands from a keen group of volunteers we will get the site ready for planting 4200 native plants and trees. We will get help from contractors too for the harder sections and ongoing weed control. This will help restore the regenerating bush and 1200 metres of stream. For 3 years after planting we will need to weed around the young plants to make sure they establish well.
We are raising $48000 to restore this complete catchment, all the water that flows through this valley goes directly to the sea. Auckland Council has already contributed by preparing the planting and maintenance plan and providing funding for our coordinator. The money raised through this fundraiser will go towards the cost of the plants and labour for ongoing weed control.