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Hello Waiatarua! (November 2017)

Hello Waiatarua!

It’s great to feel some sun and hints of summer.  Things are changing in that way and yet staying the same in other ways.  The seasons are changing again.  That always happens.

There are some interesting events coming up in Waiatarua.  That’s not so new; but keep an eye out for a dramatic and interpretation and reflection on Waiatarua late in the year.

What isn’t happening is that the same top issues that have been prominent in Waiatarua in my tenure are still top of  our minds.

Traffic.  Weeds.  Predators.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking.  Sometimes these all seem like the same thing.

We live in paradise!

We either came to Waiatarua because we were inspired by the place it is, or we came here to be with another person or had a reason to seek more of paradise than we were in before Waiatarua.  And then we realised we were in paradise.

But this paradise is sometimes disturbed and often threatened.

Let’s start with threatened.  After hundreds of thousands of years our recent ancestors came to this place and almost completely removed one of the most majestic species this planet has ever seen; Kauri.  Then, as far as the big  Waiatarua threats are concerned, they introduced mice, rats, stoats and possum.  And the biggest weed threats strangling our natives; climbing asparagus, jasmine, wild ginger and wandering dew.

Possum threaten the native bush and birds by stripping it and removing food for birds, stoats eat birds eggs and rats threaten both them and our homes.

The Weed Free Waiatarua group has done some great work this year helping clear some private sections and this year.  We had a meeting last Sunday and have started our planning for 2018, including:

  • Providing better access to information on our website
  • Where to get free plants?
  • How to transplant seedlings
  • Documenting before and after with photos
  • Map our issues and achievements
  • Coordinate with other groups, like Oratia, on bulk trap and poison purchases
    • Continue to keep in touch with Piha weed free efforts
    • Keep the information events happening
    • Report moth plants!
    • Keep in touch with local bodies especially for funding info and advice
      • Local board
      • Ecomatters
      • Gecko trust
      • Predator Free NZ
      • Regional Environmental Foundation
      • Define our projects & get them funded!

If you want to be involved, or just informed please email me and let me know your level of interest and whether you might want us to help with your property.

Disturbed to me is more about the traffic corridor through Waiatarua.  The roads are often narrow and they can’t make any more of them, but the cities population and visitor numbers continue to increase.  The traffic loading on our roads will just continue increasing.

More people are using the road side for cycling and walking and there are calls to establish footpaths where it makes sense.  It is unlikely there will be cycleways and footpaths through Waiataura any time soon, but there are some areas where it seems to make sense.

The combined Auckland ‘super city’ removed the ability for citizens to liase directly with Auckland Transport.  Instead we need to work through our local board.  I need some help with this though and would be interested in forming a small working group to put together a map of the transport and roading issues in Waiatarua so that we can properly inform the Local Board of our needs.  Again, please email me with your thoughts, and I will also be in touch with those that have written to us at Waiatarua Community News.

Look forward to talking with you and working with you on these issues.

Peter Casey