2017 has been an eventful year for Manawa Karioi, starting with a pledge to the Trees That Count organisation to plant 1000 trees in the hills of Island Bay.
In the summer months, we set up a stall at the Island Bay Festival where we met some of the local community, handed out maps to the reserve, and promoted our guided walk in March. 90 people attended the walk with some of them continuing to be engaged in the project.
A few adjustments to the operations of the project were made, including moving our long-term nursery plants to Tawatawa nursery (just over the hill) and hosting our working bees every Sunday afternoon in May and in August to make the sessions easier to promote. We also opened a new track that connects the City to Sea Walkway to the Berhamphore Golf Course.
Over the two months, 1200 trees were planted and some track maintenance work was carried out. There was a great turnout to the working bees with an average of 15 volunteers we had two really busy working bees with 30 people showing up!
In June, Kaumatua Bruce Stewart from Tapu te Ranga Marae passed away and was buried in an urupa on Marae land. Manawa Karioi volunteers went to pay their respects. It was a reflective moment; Manawa Karioi was Bruce's vision of a bush and bird reserve. It is now one of the oldest reforestation projects in Wellington. Thanks to years of service from volunteers and the surrounding reforestation projects, the bird life is flourishing. We think Bruce would be happy about that.
We have had a few committee members come and go, but the core group remains. 2017 has been a year where our public profile has been raised with many people getting in touch with us to be involved in different aspects of the project.
We have also had some great community recognition being a finalist in the Wellington Airport Community Awards and winning 300 trees in the “Trees that Count” Matariki giveaway. The best thing about the project is that it keeps growing, even when no one is working on it and the birds are helping by spreading the seeds around.
We invite the public to check out our project anytime. All the tracks are public access and if you would like to donate some money to help with the running costs of our project, we have set-up a Givealittle fundraising page.
The committee and Tapu te Ranga Marae would like to thank all the volunteers who have given their valuable time to the Manawa Karioi Ecological Restoration Project.
Written by Vanessa Patea
A tree enthusiast and an ex-resident of Island Bay. Vanessa brings her digital skills to the volunteer team at Manawa Karioi - one of the oldest reforestation projects in Wellington.
With over 17 years experience volunteering with Manawa Karioi, Ross has a detailed knowledge of the project.
Paul Blaschke is an environmental consultant and part-time university lecturer. He loves living and working in Wellington’s southern suburbs, whether in the Owhiro catchment, the Town Belt near his home, or on the slopes at Manawa Karioi.
Chris and his partner and their 3 children were at the dawn planting of the first tree in 1991. He has maintained his involvement in the project ever since and gets great satisfaction now from seeing how much the trees have grown and how the associated native ecosystems have developed over those 26 years. Chris emphasises that providing tracks to enable the public to enjoy Manawa Karioi, and carbon sequestration, are both integral parts of the project.