News Archive - 2004

About ourselves - reporting Spring 2004

Nothing happens without dedicated leaders and helpers, and a healthy, growing organisation.

Our Society is yet fairly small and we hope all of you are talking to others about our cause and inviting them to give a hand.

We’ve had the recent encouragement of being nominated (by the Friends of Belmont Regional Park) for a Conservation Award, and Sylvia Jenkin (as founder) likewise, nominated by Greater Wellington Chairperson, Hon. Margaret Shields.

Though we were not among the 10 projects or people who were awarded this year, the function at Parliament impressed the five Friends who were able to attend, very much.

We had photos and maps displayed there and then at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Conservation Week.

We note, too, that we are being mentioned by feature writers in newspapers now and then – signs of being accepted as no flash-in-the-pan outfit.  Just as well, as we are only 4 years into a 20-year project!

Wetland siltation - reporting Spring 2004

The silt and shingle that arrived copiously at the head of our little wetland in the February floods has been increased by more from scoured banks upstream, and parts of the boardwalk are still drowned by the new bed formed by the creek.

Perhaps when the water drops we will be able to find out how much damage has been done; fortunately, there doesn’t seem to have been much trouble in our bush or the firebreaks area.

Plantings - reporting Spring 2004

Though we never got an exact count, probably over 1,000 trees have been planted already, concentrating on the Green Firebreaks.

Due to some losses, much replanting has been done.

Then, we learned that one species, Tauhinu, which we had planted widely, was not welcomed on Landcorp Farm because of its high rate of windblown seeds causing pasture invasion; so we have discontinued planting that species, and most have been removed.

Despite the severe weather, we’ve had workers out every fortnight since May – numbers being marked more by quality than quantity however!

Milk cartons and cardboard collars

No, not for a new Wearable Art Festival – not unless we rate them as fashion wear for trees!

Up till this year, many of our milk-carton seedling "pots" were prepared for us by the Whitford Brown Community Trust workers, as a community service.

They also collected used cardboard cartons from shops and cut them into hundreds of the "collars" which we place round newly-planted trees, to help mulch and reduce weed growth.

However, they now have too much other urgent work to do commercially, and we need to pick up both these tasks ourselves.

Recently we collected about 800 1-litre milk cartons from 40 collectors, and almost half of those had been turned into pots by our collectors.

We thank all these people for supporting the Maara Roa project in these ways; it helps the trees, saves costs and it's good recycling too!

Young and learning - 7 August 2004

In addition to our own effort, it’s good to have a new intake of students from the Elkington Associates Conservation Corps ready to assist us from time to time.

We also welcome Project K (Porirua Youth Challenge) who have selected us as their local project this year.

We had good weather for their first day with us.  10 Friends helped these 13-15 year olds, and their leaders and adult mentors, nearly 30 in all, to learn how to plant and to care for trees – and why we do it.

School "adopt-a-spot" plantings 2004

Glenview School was first off the mark this year, and the whole school turned out for the blessing of their pou and young trees, along with two Friends and some Council workers.

Two children from each class remained to plant the trees and with the teachers etc did a grand job with about 150 or more seedlings.

Next year they will plant on the bank which runs between their sports field and their site in the Reserve, which will look great.

School "adopt-a-spot" marker poles - July 2004

Adopt-a-spot pou marker poles

Carved marker pole

The school "adopt-a-spot" marker poles should all be installed by July.

These poles (pou) have been carved with each school's name and will give recognition to their work.  Take a look sometime, down the track from below Glenview School.

We thank Jim Wiki for the carving, and the Porirua City Council Community Development Grants and Mana Grants Foundation (Porirua Licensing Trust) for supporting this work.

See the progress made by the schools involved in the Adopt-a-Spot programme.

Plantings so far - June 2004

800 trees have already been taken up to the planting sites from the Porirua College nursery.

Planting got off to a great start on May 15th when we were joined by about 15 folk from the Latter Day Saints Church, Porirua.

Then on 29th May we planted about 500 trees in the Green Firebreaks area directly behind Brandon School.

On Sunday 6th June three stalwarts planted and released about 30 trees at the Takapu site, and on the 12th June we had another good turnout with a good numbers of trees planted.

We have welcomed several new folk this season.

Takapu Track, opened 29 February 2004

Takapu Track, opened 29 February 2004.
(Left)Winnie Laban (MP) and Margaret Shields (Chair, GWRC)

Opening of the new Takapu Track — 29 Feb 2004, 1.00pm

The Friends of Maara Roa and Greater Wellington Regional Council celebrated the opening of a new track in the Maara Road Restoration Area of Cannons Creek Valley.

The ceremony was followed with a selection of walks around the valley.

Website online — 1 February 2004