Matuku Link Project Update 2020

16 Jun 2020 by Eryn Hooper Auckland Council Auckland

Matuku Link have been fundraising with Million Metres every year since 2018. So far $34,395 has been raised. 5400 native seedlings were grown and planted throughout the winters of 2018 and 2019. That's 800 more than their original target! Let's see how they've been getting on.

The incredible story of Matuku Reserve Trust 

In November 2016, through a brilliant 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 Bethells valley, West Auckland. These low-lying flats once had thriving wetland forest trees, raupo, flax, and sedge beds. But these 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.

Thank you to everyone who has come on board to help the rare and special wetland birds that call Matuku Link home! 

2 years of growing and planting native seedlings

The Matuku Link team are a skilled group of volunteers committed to conservation restoration in Bethells Valley. Some of them have been doing this kind of work for 20+ years! 

They manage the full programme of work at the land - from eco-sourcing and propagating their young plants in the nursery, to preparing the land for planting, to organising many volunteer planting days every winter. 

5400 native seedlings were grown and planted throughout the winters of 2018 and 2019. That's 800 more than their original target! 

Check out this video of planting by the team from Ricoh in 2018. Two years on these plants are above head height! 

Follow John as he takes us on a tour of planting by the team at Alsco NZ in 2019.

Many hands make light work

The Matuku Link team are thrilled to have so many volunteer helpers over the winter to get the plants in the ground. The volunteers included corporate teams from Ricoh, Alsco and Lion as well as regular volunteers that help out at the monthly working bee. 

Ongoing care and maintenance 

A few months after planting, Annalilly, a Trustee of Matuku Link, let us know that the plants were getting established and growing well. Teams have been out caring for the plants making sure they are weed free. 

Some plants have died throughout the long drought Auckland has been experiencing. However, these will be replaced over winter 2020. 

Matuku Link Trust are so grateful for your support to bring biodiversity and water quality improvements to this landscape.

Annalily wanted to say "Thank you so much for your donation, your time, your interest and your support for New Zealand’s native biodiversity! We know our birds, insects, fish and invertebrates appreciate it too."


You can keep restoring the Matuku Link streams and wetland.

Matuku link's latest project is planting this winter and they need your help now more than ever: https://millionmetres.org.nz/open-project/cool-runnings-making-matuku-links-stream-fit-for-fish