March 2024 Newsletter

March 2024 Newsletter

Over March there were 4 volunteer trips to Motuihe involving 163 adult volunteers, 38 tertiary student volunteers and 23 Trust leaders. One trip was cancelled. 

Penguin Monitoring Project
We're holding a get-together to plan our little blue penguin monitoring for the coming year, please join us if you are interested.  We're meeting at the Outboard Boating Club, Tamaki Drive, on Wednesday 17th April at 7pm.
Jill Soufflot

After a few teething problems, our new solar system is now up-and-running and supplying clean green power to our woolshed.  A big call-out to Dan and his team for their excellent work in getting this done at short notice and within budget.

Shade house improvements
Chris Cotter and Ian Westwood have been working on improvements in the shade house. Benches have been built which makes working on the plants much easier than bending down to ground level.

14 March Dreamweaver Trip

Grey skies greeted the 57 volunteers (ASB and Avanti Finance) heading out on the Dreamweaver but we didn’t need to worry, once again it turned out beautifully. Jill B, Dave, Graham and Simon led the group greeted by Graeme’s boat team of Anne H and Colin.
The main body of troops attacked the left hand side of the drop down track towards Bald Nob. It was a very poductive day (some 20 odd bags) in an area that is positively covered in moth plant.
Jill led a track clearing team working on the main track between the two DoC house paths and Ann  organised Rewarewa seed planting and weeding of B Block. All good work from an enthusiastic group.
The weather was summery enough for cricket and swimming along with a minor beach clean on Ocean and wharf beaches.
It’s wonderful to have these teams come out as the volume of weeding would simply overwhelm the island if left unattended for even a short time. Everyone enjoyed a lovely day and arrived back at a sunny pier Z safe and sound.
Simon Sheen

15 March Dreamweaver Trip

17 March Red Boat Trip
38 International Students from Auckland University plus 2 public volunteers and 4 Trust leaders set out from Z pier in the smaller Red Boat Pogwash. Half the group worked on clearing the pond inlet drain area and the other half went on a guided walk led by Jill Bishop. After an hour the groups swapped over with cutting back the overhanding foliage on the ramp road added to the work and some nursery work. The students had lunch down at the beach followed by a beach clean up. The Trust team managed to get some tasks done with Lois tagging some sponsored trees, Fiona testing the water from von Luckner's stream, Ian working on the irrigation system and continuing the shade house improvements and Jill B opening the kiosk to brisk sales. An enjoyable and useful day for all.
Fiona Alexander

Auckland University International students

Clearing the pond drain

22 March Dreamweaver Trip
John and Claire Parkinson arrived first on the Doc Boat followed by a dead heat between the Dreamweaver (59) and a private boat with the Blunt Umbrella team (15) led by Colin.
Teams from AECOM, Westpac and BNZ led by Mike, Graham, Frances and Simon waded into Puriri paddock and south of the drop down track. John pointed us in the right direction and the result was a near record haul of moth pods. It seems the more we harvest, the more we search the worse it gets!
Diane held the nursery fort:

  • Pricked out and potted 83 kahikatea into PB 3/4 (watered and now in the shade house)
  • Seeded 28 rows of John Laurence's kakabeaks into seed trays labelled C6, C7, C8, D1, D4, D6, E2, E4, E6, E8, F1 and F8 (watered and put into seed shed)
  • The engineers constructed a string frame to support the kauri trees in the shade house
  • Checked kakabeak drippers all in the buckets and weeded
  • Weeding of five fingers (near spray shed) - more to be done
  • General weeding of C block - more to be done
  • General tidying of wool shed gloves and boots sorted etc
  • Emptied bags of used potting mix (PB3 and PB5) from the pile in the wool shed - more to be done 

The weather held so there was time for cricket, swims and a beach clean. Flat calm conditions allowed for a rapid return and all arrived back safe and sound.
 Simon Sheen

Estimated over 1,000 moth plant pods removed from the island

28 March Dreamweaver Trip
Forty volunteers from KPMG, AirNZ, ASB, Waka Kotahi and Xero set off with Graham and Simon on the Dreamweaver. Perfect conditions for work and play. We met Jill S and John in the nursery who looked after a nursery session:
Volunteers worked productively in the nursery, pricking out tiny pingao seedlings into bags.  When grown these will be planted out around the beaches to help stabilise the sand and to provide habitat for birds, insects and reptiles.  Another team of volunteers rebagged Scandia as part of our rare plant project.  The scandia plants are thriving in the nursery and should be ready to plant in the ground over winter - we're hoping to have seeds from these endangered plants in the coming year.
Meanwhile Graham and Simon took weeders to the south side of the track around ‘one tree paddock’ (next to VL Bush). It’s been some years since this was cleared and planted. Plenty of gorse was hiding moth, woolies and the odd Rhamnus. Tough going but excellent results. There was even time to clear up a bag of moth pods hiding in bush just off the Calypso track.
BBQs, swimming a beach clean rounded off a great day which became suddenly windy as a westerly got up. After a dry day it poured down on the way home but the sun came out as we all arrived at pier Z safe and sound. 
Simon Sheen