May 2024 Newsletter

May 2024 Newsletter

The eastern end of Motuihe, Calypso Bay and Ohinerau at low tide. 

During May there have been 6 trips to Motuihe involving 96 adult volunteers, 2 children, 2 students and 22 Trust leaders. 378 trees were planted.

Upcoming Volunteer Trips
Dreamweaver Friday 21 June  contact Simon on
Red Boat trips on Sundays  contact Fiona on
23 June
21 July
18 August (FULL for volunteers)
15 September
20 October
17 November
8 December

We welcome DOC's new Ranger
Paul Davies is the new ranger on Motuihe. 
Paul comes from Waiheke Island where he drove buses for Fullers and also volunteered with the Waiheke Fire Service. Motuihe is his first position with DOC. There is going to be a new system with rangers on the inner gulf islands working more collaboratively tackling the bigger jobs together. Please welcome Paul when you see him. 

Stuart Macintosh sent through this photo of our tractor framing the Spirit of NZ

Dreamweaver trip Friday May 3rd.
The last Dreamweaver trip for a month or so set off with teams from Suncorp, IBM and Westpac. The 37 volunteers were joined by Graham, Phil F, Frances, Ants, Jude and Simon. Lois (DoC boat with John, Phil S, Elizabeth) was kind enough to meet us with the Tractor at the isthmus. As the weather turned out nice it was weeding and planting.
Phil’s planting report: saw the planting team, supervised by Elizabeth and Jude, plant a further 244 canopy trees.  My notes indicate that so far this season 660 canopy trees have be planted. Should the Dreamweaver trips return in June and we continue to plant into early September then a seasonal target of 3000 - 3500 trees is realistic.
The bird corridor site was of particular interest. In the earliest days a bird corridor, assisting smaller birds to more safely cross from the old forest/tieke track area to the mature Von Luckner's Bush  was planned. The initial species (manuka, coprosma, cabbage tree) have established well and it is now timely to introduce the canopy trees.
 It is worth noting that in the area a couple of extra plant pests were seen. John Laurence dealt to a large Japanese honey suckle and in the future a row of three resprouting olive tree stumps will need to be sprayed.
 Weeding saw the crew reprise, again, the area ‘around the corner and down the hill’ from Bald Knob. Once again 6 or 7 black bin-liners of moth pods, umpteen decent woolies, the odd rhamnus and a number of pampas grass plants. Meanwhile Lois undertook general maintenance on Tieke Track. Add to that the odd Japanese honey suckle and an apple of sodom and we can say it wasn’t a good day for the weeds.
As the Dreamweaver takes a break for maintenance it’s worth reflecting on the past few weeks: we’ve had hundreds of happy volunteers who have made a material contribution to the project and, in some cases, will be dealing to weeds in their Auckland residential areas. We’re a public service as well!  A big thank you to all the wonderful supervisors and Kirsty from the Dreamweaver without whom we’d be really struggling.
After a beach clean and the odd swimmer the SW suddenly got up while we embarked but all went well and we arrived back at pier Z safe and sound.
Simon Sheen

Red Boat Sunday trip 19 May
A beautiful autumn day with sunshine and very little wind. The notable thing about this trip is the 12 different activities going on. Busy people everywhere. There were a total of 53 volunteers inc. 12 Trust leaders, 2 school children and 2 college students. A great group, all positive and hard working.
1             Planting led by Lois and Julie 134 trees in the ground
               31 Puriri, 36 Totara, 38 Karaka, 26 Tawapou, 2 Wharangi, 1 Mahoe
2             Weeding, David Waters and Murray led a team on the return track and brought back 9 bags of moth pods
3             Weeding, Jackie took a small group along the Tieke track to deal with a patch of moth plant
4             Weeding, around the planting site in L6
5             Weeding training: Jill trained 2 more weeding team leaders
6             Irrigation system upgraded by Ian in the nursery
7             Penguin activity monitoring by a group of 5 from the penguin group
8             Peter and Max checked out archaeological sites
9             Doris led a small team in the nursery to prick out 40 Pingao plants and sowed 32 trays of  Pingao seeds
10           Doris and Fiona opened the kiosk in the afternoon
11           Fiona checked out the pond, water level has dropped dramatically but there were 2 paradise ducks on the pond
               and 1 pateke.
12           Bruce conducted our 6 monthly health and safety check which we passed
A big thank you to everyone for getting the work done.
Fiona Alexander

Two hard working planters (photo Lois Badham)

Loading back on to The Red Boat. (photo Doris Evans)

Penguin trip as part of the Sunday volunteer day:
A beautiful sunny calm day, and some members of our penguin team continued the search for potential penguin burrows ahead of the upcoming breeding season.  While our Kororā don't appear to like the manmade nesting boxes installed around the island, there is already lots of signs of activity around natural burrows - fresh poo, tracks, claw marks and feathers.  Other islands around the Gulf are reporting Kororā coming ashore early this year, and it looks as if the Motuihe birds are following this trend.  Last breeding season was very poor on the other islands, so we're all hoping for a better year.  It will be the first year Motuihe is able to contribute our data to the national database.

Weeding trips:
It's mothplant pod time, and there are some large vines around the island full of pods.  Weekly trips have been taking place with the sole aim of collecting pods so that the seeds are not dispersed to become a problem in coming years.  Each week small teams have been heading to the island for a day battling weeds, the trips have been highly productive with a large number of pods being removed from the island each trip. Thanks to everyone involved. (3 trips with 22 volunteers)
There is still a lot more work to be done, so trips have been arranged for Wednesday 5th June and Wednesday 12th June.  If you're keen to join one of these trips, please get in touch
Jill Soufflot

Friday 31 May Woolshed Working Bee with 4 Trust regulars involved.