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Meet a Pest Free Hero – Kaipatiki Project nursery

Published: 18 December 2018

For the last pest free story of the year, we meet another winner of the Mayoral Conservation Awards – the Kaipatiki Project nursery, recipient of the Collaboration Award.

For the past 20 years, Kaipatiki Project has been growing in its leadership of the restoration community, propagating native plants and distributing them far afield.

This year, the group is supporting conversations with iwi, hapu and community nurseries across the region about establishing a network to support each other, and their restoration work including kauri dieback prevention.

In the past few years, volunteers from schools, companies and community groups have grown around 25,000 native plants at the Hobsonville Point and Birkdale plant nurseries. All the plants have been eco-sourced and chemical free.

The plants were then given or sold to other organisations, groups, households and parks, increasing the number of native plants throughout the community. The nursery grows plants to order for groups and projects, including for the Mayor’s Million Trees project.

On top of that, Kaipatiki Project also provides a training ground for local restoration and nursery leaders, a place for learning, sharing knowledge and skills. They lend out resources - tools, wheelbarrows, gloves for restoration use - and give advice on plant choices, giving restoration groups confidence that the plants they’re choosing are right for their site and ecosystem.

At the heart of the group, as reflected by the Collaboration category win, is the vast array of people and communities that come together to make the Nursery a reality.

Kaipatiki Project has over 95 volunteers, who gave 3606 hours in 2018 (from 1 July 2017 -30 June 2018) – not including the time of volunteers from corporate groups.

“What’s especially wonderful about the nursery is the range of different people coming together to make the work possible,” says Projects Manager Anna Halliwell. 

“We have such a mixture of volunteers – local residents, retirees, children, refugees, migrants, people between jobs and people with special needs.

"Not only are we restoring the environment, but volunteering provides so many social, emotional and practical benefits as well. Our volunteers are all amazing and have made such an impact.”

Recipients of plants from Kaipatiki Project nursery include Birkenhead Kindergarten, Puhinui Reserve in Manurewa, Wade Landing reserve Silverdale, Pukaki Crater in Mangere, Auckland Botanical Gardens, Trees That Count and the Te Whangai Trust.

Find out more about the Kaipatiki Project Nursery.

You can also get involved with Pest Free Auckland 2050 a community-led conservation programme facilitated by Auckland Council or find a conservation group near you at Nature Space.

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