Auckland Council submissions needed – Long Term Plan

Whakaupoko Landcare have provided their submission for the Auckland Council 10 year budget, Long Term Plan:

General Feedback
Re the AC LTP and RPMP we in general fully support the larger spend on the environment and full implementation of the RPMP. Auckland with only 2% of the total land area of NZ and around 1/3rd of the rate payers should be leading the way with funding care of the environment. We have many of New Zealand’s endangered bird species right on our doorstep with both the off shore islands and the Hunua’s/Waitakere’s. The general environment for these species to spread beyond these borders is currently extremely poor.
This is common sense. It is a growing long term trend that people care more about the environment in which they live. With the NZ ‘Pure’ brand and Auckland striving to be the most liveable city in the world it is clear there should be more focus in this area.

Protecting our Environment / Pest Control
Private Land
With the consultation documents it was difficult to establish much clarity on the level of funding that would be committed to private land. This represents 85% of Auckland’s total land area and if the LTP is to be in line with the likes of Predator Free 2050 then private land needs to be incorporated in the plan. It appeared that the main budget for private land would be just focusing on possum control. Again this seems more in line with the old goal of TB Free NZ rather than a focus on enhancing biodiversity. For enhancing biodiversity our experience has shown that at least the animal pests of rats, mustelids and feral cats need to be targeted with appropriate levels of funding.

Working with Communities
There was little reference as to how the plan would connect and fund community groups. We see this as a key priority. To achieve the goals of improving the environment Auckland wide there has to be considerably more behaviour change by all of us. This requires direct influence of communities. Council can provide funding and technical expertise but when it comes to private landowners then community groups are an important part of a collaborative approach as unlike Council they are the ones with credibility among their community. Jan Wright in her final environment report identified the need to have a more coordinated approach across NZ with working with communities.

The collaborative community approach needs to be clearer. It is well documented throughout the world that community groups consistently deliver environmental outcomes and permanent behaviour change at 1/5th – 1/10th of when paid staff or contractors are used. In our own area we have some great examples with landowners who have been regularly carrying out pest control for over 10 years along AC guidelines of pulse baiting 4 times a year. The annual materials cost is less than $5/ha. The biodiversity outcomes are considerable. Despite ongoing pest reinvasion we have bird monitoring data that shows very high kereru and tui counts. In fact we have properties now averaging double what the kereru counts are at Maungatautari Sanctuary which is a completely predator free environment. Our tui counts are the same as Maungatautari. We had bats monitored by AC and the frequency over the 7 week period of monitoring was as high as the highest bat frequency recorded sites in the middle of the Hunua’s where reinvasion issues are much less etc. We have increasing numbers of kaka visiting each year and staying for longer.

Water
We should at least have all beaches where we can safely swim all year around. Other water quality issues are also important to the wellbeing of people and the environment. An example of the current situation in our local area is we have the Whangamaire stream which is one of the longest waterways in Auckland. The nitrate levels consistently average 15mg/L. This may well be the highest of any stream in NZ. It is way beyond the upper national guideline limit of 6.9 and the WHO safe drinking water limit of 11.3. It compares poorly with the Waikato at over 20x more concentration of nitrates where even in the lower reaches at Mercer the level is only .69mg/L. From our own sampling with Waicare the Mauku stream, also one of Auckland’s longest, is not much better with an estimate of 10mg/L. It is not even regularly sampled by AC as one of the key streams of Auckland despite it being in the top 4 longest waterways. Even the proposed higher funding option with the targeted rate for the environment seemed to ignore funding issues in rural water catchments. This needs to be addressed in our opinion.

Franklin Local Board (FLB)
General Franklin represents 24% of the total area of Auckland which is obviously very significant from the potential biodiversity that can be achieved Auckland wide. It includes the Hunua’s that so far remains free from kauri dieback and where the public access is considerably less than in the likes of the Waitakere’s. There is a considerable amount of privately owned farm land and already there are 3 very active, long established Landcare groups with Awhitu Peninsula Landcare, Whakaupoko Landcare and Te Wairoa Catchment. On top of this DOC is about to provide some initiative funding to help establish a collaborative approach incorporating all the Landcare groups. This provides AC with an ideal cost effective community engagement launch pad for the LTP and fully funded RPMP.
Compatability The higher level of support for environment funding and the RPMP is very much in line with what FLB have proposed for 2018/19. This is especially with point 2 ‘Focus on caring for our natural environment …..’ and point 3 ‘Start on the ground delivery of local trails….. We will support local communities and trail trusts to get routes in place and promote their use’.

Submission guidelines to align with Whakaupoko Landcare:

Environment – Auckland Council Long Term Plan Submissions

Please help. Now is the key time to have your say and really have an impact on funding for the environment. Have your say on the Auckland Long Term Plan and Regional Pest Management Plan and you could really change the funding we have available to enhance our environment. Here is a chance to really increase the size of the pie and this is the priority. We can debate the finer detail later. Please pass this on now to friends and family.

We have been in contact with many other groups and people across Auckland with developing what we recommend here. Please take a few minutes to support us and have your say. Ideally today with the deadline being March 28th. There is an enclosed file that provides a bit more detail and that you can include in your submission at the end.

Click on this link for the Long Term Plan.

https://engage.ubiquity.co.nz/surveys/mom8LOQAZkiKnAjVaiCmfQ

Scroll to the bottom and click on Start. (You can view consultation document if you wish)

Fill in your details and include Franklin Local Board. Click on next

Q1 Tick support

Q2 Tick support

Q3 Copy and paste the following in the please tell us why. This is in line with Forest & Bird and what other landcare groups are submitting and has been well discussed.

I DO NOT support options A or B. I support OTHER – I want to protect our forests and communities from invading pests like kauri dieback, predators and weeds, therefore I want full funding for the Regional Pest Management Plan and for our natural environment at an estimated $60/year / average rate payer.

Q4 As you wish. (It is very tempting to put in that by now we should be starting to see some of the economies of scale and efficiencies kicking in with the abolition of the ARC and Council amalgamation but not sure if this may be counterproductive to the Environment spend. Couldn’t get any clear feedback from Council people on this).

Q 5 As you wish

Q6 Tick Franklin

Q7 As you wish

Below Q7 there is a tab where you can ‘Upload New File’. You may have to download the attached file onto your computer before you can upload into here. Alternatively copy the attached file and simply paste into the Q3 ‘Please tell us why space’

Complete the rest as you wish.

Now click on this link for the Regional Pest Management Plan

https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/topics-you-can-have-your-say-on/regional-pest-management-plan/Pages/default.aspx

Click on submit feedback

Scroll to bottom and click on ‘Start’

Answer questions as you wish but to keep it simple you can simply go down to the bottom of Q9 and in the ‘Upload New File’ include the same attached document.

Complete the rest of the survey as requested

If you have any questions you are welcome to call Andrew Sinclair on 021 268 1904.

Above is the general feedback information that is the same content as the attached file. You may wish to copy and paste this in the appropriate boxes in Q2 & 3 if you prefer.

Predator Free Patumahoe – Trap Day

Trap 1Time to get serious with rats.

This Friday May 19th we have a free rat trap and cage pick up afternoon at Patumahoe School from 2.25 – 4.30pm.

If you are able to help hand out traps and talk to people that would be great. You are welcome to come along and pick up 1 or more rat traps yourself. There is also an awesome limited special offer where you can register to purchase a Good Nature A24 rat trap for just $80 including a counter for free. (Normal retail direct from Good Nature $199).

This is immediately after school finishes and has been publicised through the school newsletter and County News. Some of us will be there earlier at 1.00pm helping assemble some of the rat trap cages. If you are able to join us at 1.00 – even better. No carpentry skills needed.

We carried out some bird surveys around the Village with help from Patumahoe School room 9 students. What was great to see is that tui and kereru numbers were way up on similar surveys we carried out 5 – 7 years ago. In the buffer zone around Patumahoe we saw several bait stations and one land owner has in place 24 Good Nature rat traps. It is awesome to see the difference and it will exciting to see what can be achieved with even more predator control.

Any questions call Andrew Sinclair
Mob 021 268 1904

Te Whangai Trust Community partnership

te-whangai-trust

Whakaupoko Landcare/ Te Whangai trust Community partnership

On the second Wednesday of every month, from 10.00am – 12.30pm Whakaupoko Landcare and Community Members are welcome to come and work alongside Te Whangai staff & students at their Tui Glen Nursery 188 Jutland Road, Pukekohe (At end of Princes Street West) Pukekohe-(next door to the new subdivision.)

We will be doing native plant nursery work, such as seed sowing/taking cuttings /pricking out seedlings/ potting/weeding and other general nursery activities.

Members are then welcome to remain for lunch. (Bring your own lunch or something to share.)

This is an initiative aimed at providing a regular meeting place for Whakaupoko members, interacting, mentoring and generally assisting Te Whangai with their nursery work plus meeting a whole new group of people.

There will be a short safety brief and detailed instructions for all volunteers.

Please wear closed in footwear and bring wet weather gear in case the weather lets us down. Bring some gardening gloves as well if you can.

Parking will be on the driveway around the lean- to shed, just before the narrow entrance to the nursery section.

Any queries or further information to Fiona Macdonald 021-596946 or 235-8301 or

Deborah Savill at whakaupokolandcare@gmail.com

Community Conversation – Long tailed bats & Pest-free evening

long tailed bat

Long tailed bats and Pest free NZ Evening. Don’t miss it.

When: Wednesday August 24th, 7.00pm

Where: Pukeoware Hall

Bring: Yourself, friends and a plate if you can.

Michael Ngatai, Auckland Council Biodiversity will tell us more about our cool and secretive Long Tailed Bat. What do they eat? Where do they roost? How many in a family? What is tupor?

10 Bat locators were set up for several week and the results are in. Are they in the Bald Hill area. Have they made it to Patumahoe or the Awhitu Peninsula? Have you seen them in your backyard? How can we look after them? Come along and find out more.

Garrick McCarthy from Auckland Council Biosecurity will background the ever increasing range of options for pest control and what is working well for people. Whakaupoko and Awhitu Peninsula Landcare experiences will add to this. This is very topical as the Pest Free Initiative starts to gain momentum.

Any queries contact Andrew Sinclair, Mob 021 268 1904. See you there.

Mauku Stream project – Landowners wanted

Whakaupoko has been steadily working on a project aiming to improve water quality in our local Mauku stream.

One of the first landowners to agree to participate has been the local historical St Bride’s Church, and many hours have been spent planting and maintaining a riparian strip on that property alongside the stream.

The project is funded by Auckland Council – thanks to support from our Franklin Local Board, and volunteer provide the manpower, any participating landowner needs to provide access and good communication.

With that in mind, perhaps you are someone who would like to consider the following invitation from Whakaupoko Landcare:

“Kia ora katoa

The Local Board has just allocated another generous donation of funds to Whakaupoko for purchasing plants to plant along the Mauku Stream ( and its tributaries ) for 2016

Many thanks to the local board  for including Whakaupoko in this round of funding it is great to be able to continue with this project.    

If you or anyone you know owns land along the Mauku stream and would be interested  in protecting and planting the riparian margins would you please let me know asap.  We do already have some landowners who have expressed interest in joining us this year.  More would be welcome.

Heoi ano, na Deborah Savill

Working Bee – Saturday 1 August 2015

St Brides

Saturday 1st August 2015, 12.30pm at the stream behind St Brides Church, Findlay Road, Mauku

Whakaupoko Landcare extends an invitation to everyone and anyone to come and join in for a couple of hours helping out with the second year of the St Brides riparian planting project.

For those who have not yet visited the historic church grounds, or want to know more about how riparian planting protects the waterways – it is a great opportunity to inform, explore and give a hand…

“After last year’s inaugural planting day, Whakaupoko Landcare will be hosting another working bee to establish the second stage of plantings and carry out some weed control around the existing plantings

This project is part of the long term vision to protect the Mauku stream by completing riparian plantings and has been funded by Auckland Council’s generous donation of funds to purchase the plants.

Grab your gumboots, long sleeves and trousers and bring a spade to join us for a couple of hours to help continue this worthwhile project.

We are also looking for landowners who border Mauku Stream or its tributaries to join the project.  Whakaupoko will provide advice, support and locally grown plants to enhance your section of the stream.

Enquiries to Deborah Savill 09 2363051 or whakaupokolandcare@gmail.com

 

 

Native Bird Evening

Native Bird Evening – Whakaupoko Landcare

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With Whakaupoko Landcare, Neil Fitzgerald (Landcare Research, Hamilton) and Tim Lovegrove (Auckland Council native bird specialist) come together to celebrate 10 years of our local Native bird population explosion.

Pukeoware Hall, Wednesday Evening, March 25th, 7.00pm. Bring friends and family and a plate. Tea & Coffee provided.

Whakaupoko Landcare will present a brief summary of 8 years of Citizen Science bird monitoring. We will explain simple approaches for pest control and pest monitoring.

Neil Fitzgerald will talk to us about the successful Halo project in Hamilton that has seen the return of tui and more.

Tim Lovegrove will update us on the likes of:

*          Kereru

*          Bellbird release

*          What’s happening in Auckland with Hunua’s kokako update, Waitakere’s Ark in the Park, off shore islands and more.

To conclude there will be an open discussion around the theme of:

Mainland Pest Free NZ Starts Here

In our own back yard by ‘Mobilising People Power’

 

Findlay Rd, Nature Reserve

Mauku Residents  – We need your help for a Growing Community Asset.

Please Release Me.

Who:   Young native trees. (From nasty aggressive foreign invaders such as gorse, inkweed, blackberry, privet and woolly nightshade).

Where:Auckland Council Reserve opposite St Brides on the other side of Mauku Stream.   Access is on Findlay Rd by Mauku bridge via St Brides land.

When: You choose – any time that suits you and your friends or family. All we ask is that you donate a minimum of 2 hours a month starting January through until May.

Bring:  A tool such as a sharp spade, shovel or hoe.

Contact Person:         Deborah  Savill 2363 051 – for further information.

 

For permanent control any weeds must be cut off below ground level – not above. For locals there is absolutely no charge and in return you can be proud of playing a part in establishing a potentially beautiful native bush block for all the community and native birds to enjoy. Also you will receive some upper body strength benefits combined with a pleasant walk along some already formed tracks with the company of tui, fantail and the occasional kereru. The weeds are not yet large so almost anyone is capable of at least dealing to a few.

 

The land was in pines that were harvested. Much of this was replanted in natives 2 – 3 years ago. Whakaupoko Landcare believes it is best to keep the area weed free so that the area can be used as a great community asset for people to enjoy walking through. There are weed seedlings that will dominate for the next 30 – 50 years if we do not act now. In the Mauku area there is limited land where there is public access for all in the community to share. Here is a great opportunity with just a little help from locals to make this space a great place.

 

Auckland Council is assisting where possible despite the Reserve area not high on their priority list. They are helping with funding more native trees, some fencing and may also help with weed control.  This is in line with their mission statement to work collaboratively with communities. Their support is much appreciated.

 

The reserve does have legal paper road access but as yet this is undeveloped. The current access for the purpose of weed control, is for a 6 month period and is via St Brides land by the Mauku Bridge on Findlay Rd. There will be signage at this point and we ask that the community please respect the access for weed control provided by St Brides. Also respect any stock that may be grazing on the land. Ensure that gates are left as they are found.

 

The area is close to 1 ha. It is opposite a site on St Brides where the community recently planted native trees along the Mauku stream on St Brides land that was previously just gorse. It is opposite the Mauku Cemetry where again the community has been planting more native trees along the potentially beautiful Mauku Stream. What has been a non native weed infested area for many years could become a real community asset for all to enjoy in the future with a little help from locals. We welcome your participation.

Village Planters – all welcome!

2011.October.Butchers.shop_.Cafe_.003Over 20 people came to the first meeting of garden enthusiasts at a coffee morning last month in the Patumahoe Butchers shop café. Included were both long term residents of the district as well as more recent additions to the community .

The idea behind the group is to provide an opportunity for people to get together (once a month) socialize and talk gardening ,plants and many other related topics.

We’ve given our group the name “Village Planters” and anyone is welcome to come and relax ,share ideas, bring your gardening problems, talk gardening and learn from each other .

We have started a web page which ,in time, will contain handy hints and details from our meetings

The next get together will again be at the Café 10am Wednesday July 2nd Fiona will devise a fun quiz and would like people to bring a piece of a plant – anything will do .

So for a fun morning ,bring yourselves a friend or two and $ for your morning tea .

For any queries Please Contact Fiona @ 236- 5989 (Weekdays) 235-8301 evenings or by emailing villageplanters@gmail.com

Community Environment Fund

Andrew Sinclair has provided the application documents for the Community Environment Fund that Patumahoe Village is happy to support and act as fundholder for.

CEF Proposal

 

People Power – Mobilisiing the Vounteer Community by PatumahoeVillageInc

 

The following letters of support accompanied the application.  Thanks to all those who contributed!

NZ Landcare Trust

Awhitu Peninsula Landcare

Queen Elizabeth Trust 2

Waikato Biodiversity Forum January 2014

Waikato Regional Council_

Auckland Council – Franklin Local Board – Andy Baker (Chairperson)

Forest & Bird

TB Free NZ

Patumahoe Village Inc

Whakaupoko Landcare