Ōrākei and Waitematā local boards are working together with their local communities to restore the Newmarket stream. Restoration efforts include getting rid of invasive weeds and replanting the stream banks with native plants.
Waitematā Local Board Environment portfolio lead Rob Thomas says it’s vital that local boards support environmental work in their communities.
“A clean stream environment works to enhance native biodiversity, support water quality and also create beautiful spaces for our communities to enjoy. This will be a long-term project but I’m blown away by the commitment of the residents to restore the stream,” he says.
The Newmarket stream is home to endemic Ornate skinks, diving beetles, water snails and banded kōkopu, a rare native whitebait species. The stream’s bed is made of gravel and cobble which, along with shading from nearby trees and plants, makes a good habitat for invertebrates and fish.
“It’s extraordinary that such special native species can be found in the stream despite its degradation. Its restoration will strengthen populations of these species and is an important contributing factor toward our goal of a swimmable harbour,” says Ōrākei Local Board deputy chair Carmel Claridge.
“It’s heartening that the community has acknowledged and embraced the need for better care of our waterways, undertaking a project to produce tangible results for improved water quality,” she says.
The restoration work is a collaboration between the two local boards, residents, Conservation Volunteers NZ, Te Ngahere and local group From the Deck. Regular 'weeding bees' are organised with the next set for Sunday 25th November.
From the Deck member Carole Davies says, “The restoration is part of an Auckland-wide initiative to clean upstream from the harbour. My favourite part is the potential to increase bird life. We have tūī, fantail, occasional kererū and ruru.”
Davies says there’s plenty of tasks for all ages and abilities. “If you can’t physically weed, there’s plenty of fetching and carrying to be done. There’s also a great community morning tea to be had!”
Visit the event page to find out how you can get involved in the upcoming weeding bee at Newmarket stream.