This year saw Sustainable Coastlines and T&G Global return to last years planting site at Orchard Rd, just outside Kerikeri, to continue riparian restoration started in 2016. At the end of the road, which is already lined with T&G plantings of the citrus and kiwifruit variety, is the Kapiro Stream, which eventually flows out into the Kerikeri inlet and the Bay of Islands. T&G appreciate that the health of the environment and the local community are central to their success in the Northland region, so conducting riparian restoration to improve water quality for the benefit of the community is a long-term no-brainer. Samantha Walmsley-Bartlett, T&G’s Sustainability Analyst, shared how the staff at T&G Global felt strongly about supporting the water quality in Northland and are proud to do what they can to support their waterway.
Sustainable Coastlines and T&G Global started planting at this site in 2016 – that event was the first in the partnership. In 2016 local staff planted 800 revegetation plants. Estimates of survival from the 2016 planting are 80-90%, which highlights the importance of eco-sourcing local plants to ensure resilience against the hot Northland summer. This year the teams returned to finish off the prepared area with an additional 1,000 plants. The weather threatened to rain on the parade but with a slight adjustment in the run sheet, we got to site and the rain cleared by the time teas and coffees were poured.
With a plant list dominated by sedges, shrubs and restoration pioneers such as harakeke (flax) and ti kouka, the crew got stuck in after a quick introduction and health and safety briefing. Todd Jackson, the Kerikeri Regional Manager, threw down the challenge to plant these 1,000 plants faster than last years 800. Challenge accepted! The crew put in an amazing effort and within 1.5 hours there were just a few plants left. This is certainly the fastest we’ve ever seen any crew plant. It was so fast that even with a delayed start time lunch still wasn’t ready! So we put in 30 minutes of weeding to pull out invasives such as gorse, wattle and blackberry to help ensure the highest possible survival rate for our new natives. A thick bark layer has also been laid to protect the natives from invasive weeds and the hot summer. Maintenance like this is a critical part of any revegetation program and we have little doubt that the orchardists amongst the T&G Global team can branch out from their usual work to keep these young ones free of weeds for the next few years.
While a delicious BBQ lunch from Krave Catering was being devoured, we had a further opportunity to deliver our Love Your Water educational presentation to a captive and attentive audience! Education is critical to understanding how we can help our waterways, so any opportunity to get these messages across is always taken with pleasure.
Major thanks to the T&G Global team for having us back for the second year in a row, and especially the epic planters who planted faster than any group in Sustainable Coastlines history. Special thanks to Samantha Walmsley-Bartlett, Todd Jackson and Denis Barker for helping make this happen. Let’s keep this collaboration going and who knows how far we can push this positive kaupapa.