April Greendot Tours

Growing interest in restoring native vegetation across the Selwyn District

Beautiful autumn sunshine proved the perfect weather for Te Ara Kākāriki’s Greendot Plantout Tour held last Sunday. Attendance was well up on recent years, with interested neighbours and locals coming along. The morning tour featured two planting sites in the Tai Tapu area, including the large legacy site Te Pae O Ahuriri as well as a nearby private property where plantings have gone in over a longer period. Afternoon tour participants were able to explore the other large legacy site Ōkakaraiti located just out of Springfield where 30,000 native seedlings will go in over a three-year period, as well as a neighbouring property with more established areas.

Landowner Wim Nijhof began planting in 2017, installing around 1,000 plants on his Lincoln property each year since then. In the beginning he would plant, whatever ecosourced seedlings were available, not knowing about different species requirements and differences in conditions throughout the site. The project has been challenging, suffering from prolonged waterlogged periods and severely dry periods but it has still been rewarding especially when you notice the increase in birdlife and see the great growth on the earlier plantings. This year too has been a great year for restoration with regular summer rain resulting in high survival and phenomenal growth of seedlings planted last Spring.

Ecologist Colin Meurk explained his research that began Te Ara Kākāriki’s vision of creating a corridor of greendots (planted areas) across the Canterbury Plains, giving birdlife and other biodiversity a pathway to travel from the mountains to the sea. Eco-sourced plants for each Greendot are carefully chosen in order to recreate as closely as possible what once grew there before, extrapolating from any nearby areas of remanent forest such as Lord’s Bush in the Springfield area. Each site has its own challenges as well, with a unique feature of Ōkakaraiti being an old glacial moraine and some very stony ground. The neighbouring railway also led to less flammable native species being preferred in case of any sparks, and of course wind and snow tolerance key too.

While the chosen plants are then carefully planted in designated areas initially, Colin Meurk explained that nature doing its thing was a very important part of the restoration process. In time and often via birds, nature will send the seeds out to establish in the right place, at the right time. With the final site of the day being planted over a ten-year period, there were visible examples of this where lowland ribbonwood, broadleaf and mikimiki had generated from seed amongst the initial plantings.

Springfield landowners Pete and Pam Aldersley spoke of their initial challenges battling weeds – solved in one part by planting tussock which succesfully overtook the weeds but has now died back as the native trees and shrubs have grown up so much. Another part of their section was once so covered in broom it had to be bulldozed before restoration planting began, however the natives are now flourishing and with time overtopping should win our over any remaining broom.

Any landowners interested in creating a Greendot on their land with support from Te Ara Kākāriki in2023 are encouraged to apply for assistance via www.kakariki.org.nz .

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Jobs for Nature announcement for Te Ara Kākāriki

We are pleased to be able to announce the trust has received a grant for three projects to be completed over the next three years. Conservation Minister Kiri Allan announced Te Ara Kākāriki will receive $953,000 over three years so we can restore indigenous biodiversity through the planting of two Legacy Sites and targeted restoration assistance in the Otahuna / Tai Tapu area linking with Te Kakahu Kahukura.
Four Kaimahi have been employed to plant and maintain 50,000 seedlings, carry out predator control, build tracks and maintain and install fencing for these projects.
We’re excited to be part of this amazing mahi for conservation happening across Canterbury. For more details Read here: Stuff article: Planting Seeds and Restoring Rivers with Jobs for Nature
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Upper Catchment Plantout – 2021 Planting season complete

Te Ara Kākāriki finished up the 2021 planting season with a hardy group of volunteers on Sunday October 17th. Two groups of about 40 people braved rain and wind to plant native seedlings at two sites each to create native steppingstones to link the Canterbury foothills with Te Waihora / Lake Ellesmere and Banks Peninsula for native birds and wildlife.

The community event and some plants were funded by Central Plains Water and Selwyn District Council meaning lunches and buses could be provided making it easy for volunteers to get to the rural sites.

Jane and Bernard Duncan, along with their family, joined volunteers planting on their farm in Darfield where 600 seedlings including tōtara, manatu /ribbonwood and harakeke/flax were planted on a corner block. Full of stones, it was a difficult site to dig but the importance of doing so was obvious when looking around, as no other natives can be seen in any direction.

The group planted on the McKavanagh farm in Hororata in the afternoon, a wetland site where digging was much more enjoyable. 470 plants were planted including several carex varieties, pokaka and kahikatea. The planting was also a family effort with Leon and Bronwyn’s children and grandchildren helping out. Bronwyn told volunteers how the threatened Canterbury Mudfish had been found nearby and was being monitored regularly. The planting will help to protect that habitat.

A vibrant rainbow greeted the other group of volunteers as they arrived at the William’s Springfield site. 660 seedlings were planted here, just beside Lords Bush, an 8-hectare beech podocarp remnant. It was a particularly wet site underfoot but a pleasure to plant with the backdrop of mature trees being an example of the beautiful forest the small seedlings will become.

The group finished off the afternoon planting 300 seedlings at a Springfield farm site with a well-deserved sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.


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2021 Friends of Te Ara Kākāriki Meeting

Our Annual Friends of Te Ara Kākāriki Meeting was held on Wednesday 28th July.

Guests gathered for drinks and nibbles in the Lincoln University Commerce Centre before heading into one of the lecture theatres for the meeting. Trust Co-Chair Craig Pauling greeted guests saying Matariki was an appropriate time for our meeting as we reflect on the work over the previous year with many milestones, and look forward to new challenges and exciting projects.

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Sign up for the Te Ara Kākāriki Plantout Tour

Choose from the morning or afternoon tour, or come along to both.

Ecologist Colin Meurk will guide you around two sites on each tour.  The sites include a privately owned site and a public Kids Discovery Plantout site. Find out how to get involved in the Greenway Project as a private landowner or volunteer.

Register for details by emailing [email protected]

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100,000 native seedlings planted in the Te Ara Kākāriki Greenway

A milestone year for Te Ara Kākāriki Greenway 

Past and present trustees and coordinators gathered at Joyce Reserve in Glentunnel to celebrate the planting of the 100,000th native seedling in the Te Ara Kākāriki Canterbury Greenway last week.

Glentunnel school students, Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage, Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton and local leaders joined the trust to plant five Podocarpus tōtara to mark the milestone.

Te Ara Kākāriki began planting native species in Selwyn in 2009 with the aim of restoring biodiversity to Canterbury through the creation of a native Greenway or corridor. The vision is to create a series of Greendots or small forests, linking the mountains to the sea and Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, providing habitat for indigenous birds and wildlife.  Later this year the trust will plant their 100th Greendot site. Continue reading

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Future Proof and Nature Rich with Nicola Toki

For those who missed out or would like to listen again, hear Nicola Toki address guests at the Friends of Te Ara Kākāriki meeting in July 2020

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Friends of Te Ara Kākāriki Meeting – July 22nd, 2020

A Milestone year ahead for Te Ara Kākāriki

Te Ara Kākāriki Co-Chair Craig Pauling greeted over eighty guests at the friends of Te Ara Kākāriki meeting at Lincoln University on Wednesday evening.

Craig spoke of the journey of Te Ara Kākāriki and reflected on the trust achievements in 2019 including the planting of 20,000 native seedlings with the help of 1,700 volunteers. , He acknowledged the contribution of many to achieving Te Ara Kākāriki’s vision to create a native Greenway, linking the Canterbury foothills to the sea, TeWaihora/Lake Ellesmere and Banks Peninsula. Continue reading

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Applications open for 2021 Landowner planting assistance – Closing June 7th

Are you planning to plant your own native Greendot in 2021?

Landowners who are looking to restore a part of their property back to native forest in 2021 are encouraged to apply to Te Ara Kākāriki for native planting assistance.

If you or your community group have a piece of land of at least 1100m2 that can contain 500 native plants and are wanting to restore the site for biodiversity, then please apply.

Successful applicants will receive one or a combination of the following: Continue reading

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Diana Isaac Cup – Apply now!

Together with Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust , Te Ara Kākāriki invite individuals or community groups who have created a Greendot to apply for this award.

This is a way to celebrate and reward exceptional efforts re-establishing indigenous habitat in the Selwyn District especially those who have involved the community in their projects.

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