Author Archives: kathryn


There has been a real problem with wasps this summer and several society members have been stung.  These venomous creatures, which apparently are German rather than paper wasps, seem to be particularly aggressive.
Attached is an article from the Rodney Times about the increase in wasp numbers which is due to two dry, warm summers.


Summer weeding efforts and repairing fence posts

I am somewhat behind with updating the website due to being busy with family weddings and work related projects since mid January.
Chris, Anita and I managed do 4 hours weeding of the Trees for Survival plants on Mrs Wainwright’s property on 7 and 9 January, nice and early before it became two hot.  The plants are doing extremely well.  Further weeding was carried out on our property and McMullins where the plants are now well established.  We plan to organise a further weeding session within the next few weeks and will be putting together a timetable of forthcoming events.  High on the list is a repeat of our very successful Big Weed Day out.

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The following is an update from Jo Evans regarding the work he and Richard Taylor have been doing.
‘Over the past few weeks Richard Taylor and I have been straightening the post and wire fence around Julie Turners wetland plantings. The fence had suffered from the pressure of Julie’s cattle over the last couple of winters when the ground was soft. Many of the posts had been pushed well over towards the trees so the steers could get at the tasty species, especially Comprosma. The wires we getting slack and many of the battens had been pushed sideways. We have had a number of sessions after work digging out on the uphill side of the leaning posts, pulling them upright. On a number of them we installed a stay back behind the fence to keep them upright. We have nearly finished, having re-tensioned the wires yesterday. We plan to straighten the battens and tighten the staples after work on Tuesday. I understand from Richard that Julie indends to get a permanent electric fence installed on the fence.
I have had several sessions down the concrete drive and along the paper road (ie Tenetahi Rd extension) pulling out moth plant and a few small ginger sproutings; spraying the jasmine that is re-sprouting after the Biosecurity boys’ work on it in December; spraying some re-sprouting Queen-of-the-night; cutting off flowering pampas heads and spraying the plant.’

Arthur and Trish have also been busy maintaining the catchment area planted on Pakiri Rd; weeding and spot spraying as well as removing jasmine, New Guinean impatiens, honey suckle and one unknown weed from the edge of the established bush.


Gundy side - before (early Feb 2014) (2)

Whole - before (early Feb 2014)

Whole - after (late Feb 2014) (2)Gundy side - after (late Feb 2014) (2)

Queen of the Night threatening the bush

Thanks to Jo Evans, another plant has been identified as being a real threat to the bush.  The Biosecurity Services representatives identified the plant as Queen of the Night.  Jo has noticed it is spreading fast and spent the whole of Sunday 16 December working on clearing this plant from the uphill side of the path at the bottom of Tenetahi Rd.  He said he will tackle the other side shortly.  Jo  found the following on Wikipedia…..
“In Auckland New Zealand, it has been reported as a seriously invasive weed to the Auckland Regional Council and is under investigation. NS Forest and Bird is compiling an inventory of wild cestrum sites in order to place the plant on the banned list. The inventory can be viewed via Google Maps. Some nurseries still sell it without warning customers of the dangers to native bush reserves. It has been reported that the plant has been removed from some old folks’ homes due to the strong scent causing difficulties for the residents.”

Thanks, Jo, for your dedication to our project.

More Weeding – Tenetahi Rd

We had 2 successful days weeding with Mike and Carl (contractors from Biosecurity Services) in the bush below
Tenetahi Rd.
Mike and Carl concentrated on the jasmine and honeysuckle while we worked our way through the ginger which seemed to stretch
on for miles.
Follow-up spraying of the jasmine will be necessary in February.
Thanks to Auckland Council for providing funding to employ the contractors and to our volunteers Niklas Erikson, Anita Erikson, Margaret Scott, Arthur Gundy, Jo Evans and Pete Watkinson.
Thanks also to Pete and Liz for providing accommodation for Mike and Carl and to Pete for transporting us up and down the hill
in his ‘Mule’.  If it is fine in Leigh tomorrow Mike and Carl will continue clearing the Jasmine for another 10 hours; otherwise
they will return prior to Christmas.  

Progress near the concrete driveway.

Jo Evans and Sue Gibbings have been working hard along the concrete driveway.

The spent  Sunday 13 October:

1. planting kumarahou seedlings collected from local roadside

2. scattering kumarahou and whau seeds on the bare clay

3. staking many of the seedlings planted there

4. pulling out small gorse seedlings and moth-plants

5. cutting larger (flowering) gorse at ground level and painting with Vigilant.

Four weeks ago they joined forces with Margaret and Alistair Scott where they worked in the same area.

We look forward to seeing the results of their efforts during the summer months.

Community Weeding Day

Our first community weeding event held on Sunday 8 September was a huge success.  20 volunteers worked for a period of 3 1/2 hours clearing weeds along the paper road and at the bottom of the concrete driveway.  After lunch 5 volunteers continued weeding, eco-sourcing and planting for another 1.5 hours.
Many thanks to members of the Forest and Bird Coastal Care group, Neil Sutherland, Sheryl Corbett, Grant Sneddon, Tracey Paton, Katrina Hunter, Maggie Isaac, Laurel Breen, Brian Breen and Paul Williams who made a huge impact on a dense area of ginger along the paper road and filled 2 1/2 large black weed bags with ginger roots.

Thanks also to Arthur and Trish Gundy who organised a delicious spit roast lunch and to LHVS volunteers Richard Taylor, Chris Erikson, Sue Gibbings, Margaret and Alan Scott, Linda and Alan Lee and Pete Watkinson who assisted with weeding; in particular removing turnips from the bank alongside the concrete driveway and replacing them with native plants.  (Turnip seeds were inadvertently sewn by a contractor instead of grass seed).

We hope to hold a similar event before the end of the year.



Staking and Planting TFS plants

Planting DayA big thank you to Chris Erikson, Richard Taylor (photographer), Jo Evans and Sue Gibbings who spent 3 hours staking and planting the remaining 120 Trees for Survival plants on Mrs Wainwright’s property on Sunday, 29 September.

The stream is running clear and all the plants are thriving.  The kikuya will need spraying before summer.




More Wetland Weeding

Despite the fog and misty rain fall we decided to head up to Leigh

Was delighted to see the results of yesterday’s group weeding session on Julie Turner’s property (see before and after photographs below taken a week apart).

Met with Trish and we spent another 1 1/2 weeding as well as splitting and planting carex and a few other varieties of wetland plants.

The afternoon was spent weeding with Trish on Sir Duncan McMullin’s property for 1 1/2 hours (refer photograph) and then Chris and I planted about 60 plants (grown at our home nursery) on our wetland area and bordering the stream.  Did some brief weeding on the Dingle’s property.  The plants are thriving.











Wetland Weeding

100_3043A big thank you to our trusty band of volunteers Richard Taylor, Trish Gundy, Jo Evans, Sue Gibbings, Neil Sutherland and Cheryl Sutherland who worked from 9.30am – 12.00 today clearing weed’s on the corner of Tenetahi and Pakiri Rds.  Was all geared up to join them but slipped on a rotting camellia flower while walking to work and put my back out!

The area is now looking fabulous and there are some really healthy specimens thriving in the fertile soil.  The next plan is to spray the area then fill the gaps by splitting and planting some existing plants.  Keeping the cattle away from the fence is a priority before they knock it over completely.




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Another successful planting day – 18 August

After heavy rainful the night before, we were uncertain whether the planting day on Arthur and Trish Gundy’s place would go ahead. However the skies cleared and we had the most successful planting days to date.  Over 800 wetland plants were planted in 3 1/2 hours  070 (2)thanks to 28 volunteers including local residents and the Gundy’s family members.  After lunch a few enthusiastic members spent 30 minutes weeding Julie Turner’s fenced wetland area where kikuya was threatening to smother a number of the plants.  Unfortunately, the cows have been rubbing against the fence and it has developed rather a lean.  The cows have also been feasting on plants bordering the fence.  What were once healthy cabbage trees now look more like the tops of pineapples! There is a high risk of the fence falling over if this continues and we might have to consider installing an electric fence.

A big thanks to Arthur and Trish for hosting such a successful planting day and for providing a delicious BBQ lunch.

Thanks also to the Auckland Council who funded the 800 plants.