A partnership between Auckland Council, Te Whāngai Trust and Wesley Intermediate School which will see the creation of a native nursery was launched with a pōwhiri and hui in June.
Training and employment opportunities
The nursery will operate as a social enterprise, providing training and employment opportunities for the next two years while also supplying the native plants.
The project overall will include approximately 100,000 native plants being planted, new footpaths, bike paths, a bridge and playgrounds. Additionally, an outdoor education zone comprising a community fale and outdoor classrooms will be created.
The nursery is part of a major Auckland Council restoration project at Te Auaunga Awa, a waterway running through Walmsley and Underwood reserves across Mt Roskill and Mt Albert.
The project aims to restore native ecologies to the area as well as addressing significant flooding issues.
Auckland Council’s General Manager Stormwater, Craig McIlroy, says: “Our team recognised the opportunity to deliver more than just flood mitigation. Working across the council, with the local boards and with the community, we can provide a range of positive social as well as environmental outcomes at the same time.”
The nursery will be on Wesley Intermediate grounds and will be established and run by Te Whāngai Trust, which supports, trains and advocates on behalf of people who find it challenging to enter the labour market.
Wesley Intermediate School Principal Nigel Davis says, “It’s great to see the council, schools, Puketāpapa Local Board, and Te Whāngai Trust in a partnership that is seeking the best for our families.
“Te Whāngai will add value to our careers programme, giving real hands-on experiences to our students and their parents. We share with them the goal of meeting the needs of the whole person and look forward to seeing this project progress.”
Identifying opportunities to work together
The pōwhiri was followed by a hui to provide an opportunity for local community organisations to identify collaborative opportunities and create a vision for the nursery in Wesley.
Guests and speakers at the pōwhiri included MP for Roskill Phil Goff, Puketāpapa Local Board Chair Julie Fairey and Deputy Chair Harry Doig, Ngāti Whātua General Manager Culture and Identity Te Aroha Morehu and Whau Local Board Chair Catherine Farmer.