Auckland Council has signed a partnership agreement with Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ) for the restoration and development of Ātiu Creek Regional Park on the Kaipara Harbour near Wellsford.
The agreement sees Auckland Council contribute $50,000 towards the Restore Ātiu Creek Ecology (RACE) project and acknowledges thousands of volunteer hours contributed by the CVNZ community. The council’s contribution is on top of a generous $99,000 grant from Foundation North towards the project.
“Ātiu Creek Regional Park is a magnificent public asset that could not be developed without the contribution of these tireless, dedicated volunteers. We are grateful for CVNZ’s ongoing commitment to our environment,” said Mayor Len Brown.
Councillor Christine Fletcher, Chair of the Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee, said entering into partnerships with community volunteer groups was a critical part of council’s strategy to improve the amenity value of its public parks, which were among the best in the world.
“I’m delighted that a leading-edge native plant nursery and cultivation centre will be established here,” she said.
“Native trees and shrubs will be grown on site from locally gathered seeds and these new plants will be used to help revegetate the park.”
CVNZ will work with regional parks staff and undertake extensive tree planting and pest control aimed at protecting and enhancing the biodiversity and landscape values of the park.
The funding boost has enabled CVNZ to expand its previously part-time work into a full-time, more focused programme that will make Ātiu Creek Regional Park the group’s flagship project in the North.
“There is now a full time volunteer presence in the park with volunteers who live and work on site from Monday to Friday each week and opportunities for others to contribute to shorter term projects,” said CVNZ General Manager Andrew Gregg.
“From this base, we will also be able to work with other partners across the Kaipara Region, particularly environmental groups and farm owners wishing to restore their reclaimed land back to native bush and improve water quality and biodiversity values. This allows a huge amount of progress to be made toward the environmental restoration of the region.
“We are thrilled that Auckland Council and Foundation North have affirmed our vision to significantly expand community involvement in the restoration of Ātiu Creek Regional Park. Through this generous funding we hope to instil an ethic of guardianship for the Park and surrounding environment.”
Work will begin immediately to take advantage of the summer weather and growing season.