On Tuesday the 7th of May, Duncan Harrisson and Phil Hancook from Ministry of Primary Industries visited members of the Whangawehi project to talk about the Billion Tree Project. The scheme offers two avenues-one of which is the partnership pathway. This pathway is designed to increase planting by promoting innovation, research and workforce initiatives with the intention of scaling up native regeneration projects. Duncan and Phil visited several areas of interest and are now fully aware of the scale of our operation. A big thank you to Duncan and Phil for taking the time to meet with our landowners.
On Saturday the 4 th of May 2019, the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group hosted a community planting day out on Taharoa Trust-a family farm owned by Pat and Sue O’Brien.
The day went extremely well with an overwhelming attendance of more than 50 participants ranging from the very young to the more mature folk! Gumboots were essential on the day due to the bulk of the planting been based around the periphery of a wetland. The highlight of the day was listening to the sweet violin playing by local violinist John De La Haye who set the tone with some invigorating Irish classics. The variety of delicious cakes offered by local ladies at lunch time also helped keep the momentum going.
A big thank you to all the participants-especially those who came as far as Havelock North and Gisborne to give us a hand. The group would also like to thank all our funders with a special pat on the back to the Wai Maori Trust who have funded a large part of this work alongside Nga Whenua Rahui.
Thanks to you all for supporting our community initiative. We look forward to seeing you again in the future.
On the 30th of April 2019, Nick Beeby, General Manager – Market Development for Beef and Lamb came to visit the Whangawehi project. Nick presented the newly launched Taste Pure Nature brand. A very constructive discussion took place afterwards as the Whangawehi farmers are looking at branding their environmental work to leverage a premium. It is the early days but all farmers agreed on the need to have a strong Quality Assurance programme to underpin any brand. Nick provided advice and feedback on a number of farm related topics. A big thank you to Beef and Lamb and Nick in particular for making himself available to help our community.
On the 25th of March, Te Mahia School was preparing for the School Gala and the students decided to make clay products, such as fridge magnets and small pots, that would reflect the nature of Mahia. Jenny helped them to, create, using correct techniques, successful saleable items. The Room 2 items were colored and subsequently bisque fired in the kiln in town.
We also checked out how our Predator Free plan was progressing and the Landscape Survey results to date. Well done Te Mahia school.
Kirsty and Josh, new Managers on Taharoa Trust, welcome the wider community for a day out planting. The trees have arrived today and are looking exceptionally healthy and ready to be put in the ground. As usual, the Whangawehi team will dig the holes and lay the trees so that you just have to turn up and plant. There is a good variety of natives that will enhance the biodiversity of our catchment. A barbecue will be provided on site.
Please check for updates as the event may be postponed to the following Saturday if the weather is not suitable.
The site is at walking distance from the closer car park.
Site address : 1637 Mahia East Coast Road-
Date : Saturday 4th of May- 8.30 start, just turn up when you can. See you there.
The WCMG is working with the Sustainable Business Network to
fundraise money for our restoration project on Taharoa Trust. Our fundraising
goal is $60,000 dollars that will go towards trees, tree establishment and tree
maintenance (3 years after establishment).
Beef and Lamb is supporting a farmers lead initiative whose focus is around branding and leveraging funding from the environmental work done in the Whangawehi catchment. A first meeting was held on Okepuha station. Beef and Lamb funds a coordinator whose role will be to assist farmers in developing a vision and a set of goals. He will also bring in experts to inspire and guide. Peter Andrew from AgFirst in Gisborne will be facilitating these meetings with support from Nic Caviale WCMG project coordinator and Beef and Lamb New Zealand.
Pongaroa Station is undertaking a large scale restoration programme. This winter, 15 ha of land will be retired including two significant tributaries to the Whangawehi stream. These two retirement projects include native bush blocks that will be protected under a Queen Elizabeth covenant. The Top Wainui bush block will also be fenced off and protected. The level of protection around the Ormond bush block (by the woolshed) owned by George Ormond and Pongaroa Station will be improved with a deer fence being added on top of the existing fence. More work is planned in the Wai nui catchment so watch this space.
In March 2019, a group of students from Gisborne Girls High School came to Mahia to walk along the Whangawehi walkway. Carolyne Rofe their teacher explained that the girls enjoyed their time despite the long grasses! They will be back once the walk way is permanently opened.
On Tuesday the 23d and Wednesday the 24th of April 2019, Will McMillan and Henrik Moller came to visit the Whangawehi project and meet with members of our community. Beef and Lamb is leading a Research project on regenerative hill country landscapes and will work with our Whangawehi farming community in the near future.
A big thank you to all our landowners for making the time to meet with them.