The Rodney Local Board will spend $50,000 on restoring native ecosystems in Rodney.
About $30,000 will be directed to seven projects in Mahurangi, with weed control being the main focus.
Last year, the Board commissioned a survey of parks and reserves, which found several rare and high quality ecosystems, but also significant issues with weeds and pests. The survey helped to target spending on the reserves with the highest biodiversity values and greatest risks.
However, this year’s funding came up against opposition from Board chair Brenda Steele who asked that it be postponed pending greater community involvement. She said the Board had received a number of funding applications from community groups for similar work.
Council senior ecologist Brenda Osborne said the work was highly specialised and required a high level of expertise and equipment that community groups did not have.
“I don’t think this work is likely to be achieved without funding from the Board,” Ms Osborne said.
The Board allocated the funding but asked staff to investigate involving community groups. The work funded was:
- Lake Tomarata Dune Lake – $2000 on wetland buffer planting and weed control. The reserve is the highest ranked reserve for biodiversity in the Rodney parks network. The wetland includes Auckland’s only example of the highly fragile manuka-greater wirerush-restiad rushland ecosystem type, which is an important habitat for several threatened species.
- Birds Beach, Tapora – $9800 on weed control ($4800) and wetland buffer planting ($5000). The reserve is the largest freshwater wetland (2.3 hectares) in Rodney and has a threatened wetland bird population.
- Brick Bay Drive Reserve – $2600 on weed control. The reserve contains an excellent remnant of healthy kauri-podocarp-broadleaved forest with a diverse and intact under-storey which is well buffered by regenerating scrub and forest. The forest protects a permanent high quality stream and has high habitat value for a range of native species.
- Brick Bay Puriri Place Reserve – $6000 on wetland restoration, weed control and planting. The reserve has a high quality, diverse mosaic of coastal, kauri and kanuka forest with a small wetland and healthy aquatic habitat within the permanent forest-clad streams.
- Woodcocks-Kawaka Reserve – $2000 on weed control. It has a high quality, intact forest remnant with a diverse under-storey and an unusual species assemblage with good habitat values. This project is required to eradicate tradescantia and pampas.
- Glen Kowhai Reserve – $4000 on weed control. A thick mat of tradescantia covers the forest floor and alongside the stream margins within a substantial part of this reserve, inhibiting regeneration of native species.
- Matheson Bay Reserve – $4000 on weed control. The forest is a valuable site and the stream appears to provide habitat for invertebrates and fish.