Bats seen by group on the hill…

Article reproduced with kind permission from Franklin County News:

Whakaupoko (West Franklin) Landcare Fieldday – 2 March 2013


  1. Pest Control Update – Practical Solutions & short walk to an outlook near the top of Bald Hill
  2. Bar b Que – Pot luck – Bring some  food & drinks – A great chance to catch up on everyone and check out the kereru dining on the cabbage tree berries on the driveway in.
  3. Night time Search – Bats, Glow worms & Geckos (We will have 4 hand held bat monitors to see if we can come across a few of these endangered residents).

When: Saturday, March 2nd, Saturday 5.00pm start

Where: Andrew & Louise Sinclair’s property,  89c Baldhill Rd. (West of main Puni  / Waiuku Rd)

Bring: As well as food & drinks bring clothing that keep mozzies out and headlight / torch

All Welcome

Roelf Schreuder (Whakaupoko Coordinator), will be there to talk about the new Henry traps he is trialling.

Eli Ewens will be on hand to discuss a range of pest control options. AC staff will be present including Mike Ngatai, (native plant specialist) and Ben Paris (Batman). Where’s Robin?

We will have some bait & bait stations available for people to pick up as well as some Chew Cards.

Now is a good time to be thinking pest control. With the drought possums and rats are hungry and more easily attracted to bait and traps. Also autumn is coming when rats & mice start looking for cover close to home and around buildings and sheds.

Whakaupoko Tip – If you have a Timms trap get it out now and bait with a piece of apple with a topping of peanut butter. Possums can’t resist especially with the drought on.

Let’s keep trends like this

Check out our endangered Long Tailed Bat








To get an idea on numbers can you please RSVP if you are coming:


Or Ph:   236-3647

If the weather is real rubbish we will have a postponement notice placed on to the following Saturday.

Working Bee – Monday 11 February 2013

Hi All

Happy New Year

It has been most encouraging to see the amount of use of the new Walkway.

We are having a brief working bee to carry out a bit of weeding and track maintenance.

When: This Monday (Feb 7th), 6.30 – 8.00pm.

Bring: Sharp spades and / or hand trowels. Also a pair of gloves may be handy for hand weeding.

Tasks: Mainly taking out gorse seedlings and convolvulus around plantings. Also depending on numbers some killing of gorse plants on Gavins & Colgans and track maintenance.

Where: At Clive Howe Te Ara O Whangamaire entrance. (If large numbers we may send some around to Henry’s Bush to release some of the new AC plantings).

It will be good to have a chat about possible future ideas for the walkway and Henry’s Bush so bring them with your ideas with you as well.

Pete Hardy & Wayne Meads are the contact people who are taking on coordinating Landcare activities in Patumahoe.

Te Ara O Whangamaire – Community Track

Te Ara O Whangamaire – Official Opening

On behalf of Whakaupoko Landcare, Patumahoe Village Inc and Patumahoe School you are invited to join us for the official opening and walk of Te Ara O Whangamaire. This is the newly completed walkway in Patumahoe connecting the Village with the natural environment.

Te Ara O Whangamaire  begins at the  Auckland Council Reserve close to Patumahoe School on the first corner of Clive Howe Rd. It leads down the bush covered hill before venturing on to privately owned open farmland. The journey offers stunning views connecting through to Henry’s Bush on Hunters Rd and should prove a great asset to the community .

When: Friday Nov 23rd 3.00pm

Where: Meet in the car park area at Nth East Fields by the School. (Or School Hall if raining).

Format: Opening Ceremony.

There will be a Karakia to lead us to the start of the track where there will be a blessing and prayer organised by Ngati tama oho and Ngati Te Ata. Children from the School will be performing a Waiata. There will be a few short speeches from Auckland Council and locals before a brief opening ceremony and acknowledgement of Dave Pufletts contribution in bringing Te Ara O Whangamaire to life.

The First Walk

Te Ara O Whangamaire will have several options to suit most ranging from 1 –  7kms including across metalled tracks with steps and untracked rural farmland that is not flat. There is also a loop track in bush that has been built by youth for youth. Along the way there will be opportunities for people to take part in a 5 minute bird survey and check out some chew cards and pest control. Maps of different options will be available on the day.



On your return from the walk there will be tea and coffee and drinks available at the School Hall. There will be some food provided including a bar b que and people are encouraged to stay to celebrate the walkway opening, share a few stories and reflect on the life of Puff.

Get organised as you are welcome to bring a plate, bar b que food  and refreshments with alcohol permitted. We know Puff would welcome your attendance and would enjoy you staying for a while to celebrate the opening.


WRC Small Scale Initiative Fund Grant. 2012

Whakaupoko Landcare Group has received a $4,976.00 grant from Waikato Regional Council for ongoing Pest control. This is a one off grant obtained from the ‘Small Scale Initiative Fund’.

This money will enable the Group to continue with existing pest control and expand further into the AkaAka area. Without such support the Group’s activities would certainly be constrained.


Auckland Environment Community Awards

Last week (30th July 2012) Whakaupoko Landcare represented by Dave Puflett, Roelf Schreuder and Andrew Sinclair attended the Auckland Council Environment Awards. It was an excellent evening with a large crowd including many Councillors, MP’s and also Mayor Len Brown.

The overall winner was Paremoremo Community who are doing great work. You can find out more on the link below and on their website:

It was interesting as in many ways in our local community we are starting to head in a similar direction. They have managed to combine very successfully many of the Landcare issues that we are embracing as well as the wider community focus that Patumahoe Village is taking on board.

One thing they had found successful was to have plenty of good ideas out there in front of the community but only take them up when at least 1 person puts up their hand to take responsibility for it.


Whakaupoko Overview and Monitoring

Below is a powerpoint presentation that was given to the Landcare conference regarding the Chewcard project underway by Whakaupoko Landcare:


March Newsletter

Hello to all
The summer / autumn rains have been excellent for native tree seed production. For example I have seen both totara and kahikatea trees almost orange / red due to the huge berry abundance. There is no current shortage of food for the birds.
There is much to report.
1    AGM / Next Meeting

We will be having an AGM on April 11th, 7.30pm at Pukeoware School. This is a week later than planned. We will have a topic of interest for the evening that will be advised and all are welcome. At the meeting we will be looking to elect at least a Coordinator and Treasurer along with committee members. We will also have available some initial results to view with the Chew Cards we are trialling for monitoring of possums and rats. All Welcome.
2    Paid Secretary Position
A brief for this position is enclosed. Anyone interested please contact Andrew Sinclair, Ph 2363647 or Barry Smith, Ph 2355220. It is for a fixed term of 12 months, starting April 1st, $2,000 and is a contract position. At a recent committee meeting attended by Clive Sinclair, Peter Sarah, Dave Puflett, Barry Smith, Paula Crosswell and Andrew Sinclair the position was approved with potentially adding excellent value to the long term future of our Landcare Group. It will ideally suit a person who has a strong interest in Landcare combined with good communication, internet / computer skills and organsiation ability.

3    Whakaupoko Landcare Structure Change
At the coming AGM I will be proposing that we change our structure to have a formal link with Patumahoe Village Incorporated. This is to share in the benefits of for example a website and publishing local newsletters while still retaining some of the individuality of each group. It is also to provide the opportunity to attain and Incorporated status that is important for obtaining funding with many providers only funding Incorporated Societies and Charitable Trusts. (While currently we have a good level of funds this will not remain without ongoing funding sources). Our current status is a Registered Charity. It does not limit our boundary to the Patumahoe area. . Currently Patumahoe Village is establishing a website that we can be part of. Also they are planning to have quarterly print & email newsletters. I have investigated the option with Paula Crosswell and Glenn Hunter and it appears one option is for our Landcare Group to come under the umbrella of Patumahoe Village as a group / division. This would need to be approved at an AGM. It would also be dependant on Patumahoe Village Inc accepting our request and for them to make a couple of small changes to their constitution at their own agm so that they also can become a registered charity. There may be other options and we wouldd welcome any input from people on this.
4    Bait Time

With the cooler weather rats & mice will be looking for buildings to occupy. Also there is an abundance of food so they will be reproducing fast. Keep up the bait and if you have run out visit Wallace or give him a call.
5    Raglan
Peter Hardy, Clive Sinclair, Luke Sinclair and Andrew Sinclair attended an excellent Fielday at Raglan run by Waikato Biodiversity Forum. There were some presentations on:
a    The latest with poison & trapping options by DOC staff
b    Monitoring Options for pests, birds and native trees by DOC staff
c    Local presentation of their pest control and revegetation initiative
d    Bat presentation including local monitoring. (Of interest is that a small handheld echo locator only costs aroundd $130). It appears bats are more common than many people think being found in 7 of 12 monitored sites in the city of Hamilton. Also in our own Landcare area we are aware of bats having been present in at least 6 sites.
Our use of Brodifacaum bait is very good with its multi purpose kill of rats & possums however the likes of DOC do not use this bait due to it’s persistance in the environment. There is no silver bullet and it is important that we are kept up to date with all the options.
6    EW Northern Region Pest Committee Report
Last month there was an excellent meeting That was attended by both myself and Stuart Muir. EW are continuing to achieve as much as possible with pest control with their limited resources. There was a presentation re Bio Control agents. There are some interesting devlopments that will hopefully shortly affect us.
Wooly Nightshade
A new bio control agent for Wooly Nightshade has just been released in several sites including towards Port Waikato. It is a Lace bug insect and initial results are that it is reproducing extremely rapidly and causing a good amount of damage to it’s host. It is expected these will be liberated more widely next spring provided they survive well in the winter. In the mean time we ask that all members make sure all large Wooly Nightshade producing viable seed are eliminated.
Wandering Dew
There is a new Bio control agent for wandering dew that is about to be released. I think it is a fungus. Again this sounds promising as in it’s native country wandering dew is nowehere near as healthy as it is in much of the bush in this area.
There is a friendly beetle a bit like a vegetable bug that has been released and that likes eating all thistle species including Californian Thistles. While it is unlikely that this bug will demolish thistles it is hoped it will be another weapon in the armoury.
It is a lengthy process to have a bio control agent identified, approved and released that spans well over 5 years and up to 10 years. This is because it is absolutely vital that any introduced organism does not have any negative impact on native plant and animal species.
7    Free Trees
Peter Sarah, Dave Puflett and Clive Sinclair are gathering together an excellent supply of free native trees for members to access and benefit from. Supplies will be limited and details will follow shortly. It is expected that trees will be made available earlier this year with the excellent rainfalls we have had so if you have an area in mind get ready. Those interested in sourcing trees should contact Dave (2363043) or Clive (2356031)
8 Bird Survey
There is one planned for the first week of the school holidays. We will discuss at the AGM if we should stay with this April date or revert to the usual month of march when this has been carried out most times in the past.
Best wishes

Andrew Sinclair

Ph: +64 9 2363647