Protecting Our Environment

Protecting Shoal Bay

Shoal Bay





Shoal Bay lies at the southern edge of the North Shore, between the motorway and the Devonport Peninsula. The bay is a high priority for the North Shore branch as it is a "Site of Special Wildlife Interest" (SSWI), which is a DOC designation due to its importance for wading birds.

Shoal Bay is special – like a mini Miranda – a tidal estuary teaming with birdlife, crabs and other sea creatures,  and fish in the sea  when the water comes in.  Like air in the lungs the water ebbs and flows creating an ever-changing landscape.

It has sandbars with intertidal mudflats and saltmarsh. These are important areas for shore birds to feed. There are twelve species of endangered or at-risk coastal birds that are found at Shoal Bay and these depend on its food resources for survival at certain times of the year.

The twelve threatened or at-risk species seen at Shoal Bay include the NZ Dotterel, reef heron, banded dotterel, Caspian tern and wrybill.

Many other species of birds are also seen including Kotare/kingfisher, Torea pango/variable oystercatcher, matuku moana/white faced herons and poaka/pied stilt.

Forest & Bird North Shore aims to protect the wildlife of Shoal Bay by encouraging

  • Comprehensive predator control around Shoal Bay - coordinated by Philip Moll
  • Awareness of dog owners and walkers that dogs should be on a lead
  • A Shoal Bay free of development
  • Protection of dotterel high tide roosting sites
  • Naturepath - A  north/south walk cycle route on the western side of the motorway - for more information see our brochure on Naturepath. For more information on Shoal Bay and Naturepath see our Naturepath blog.

Protecting Okura/Long Bay

One of the major battles of the past 10 years has been to try preserve the land bordering Long Bay Regional Park and marine reserve. A lot of time has been spent on this issue by the late branch member Jim Lewis and the Long Bay Okura Great Park Society, which resulted in the Long Bay Structure Plan. As part of this the land bordering Okura Estuary was deemed too important to be developed and was zoned for 4 hectare blocks. The Environment Court decision on Long Bay/Okura in 2003 clearly stated that the Okura Estuary and surrounds was too pristine and important a landscape to develop. Recently this designation is being threatened by the new Unitary Plan and the Auckland Housing Accord which may see up to 1000 houses on this land. The following pictures show where housing is being proposed (purple lined area) Okura township is in red.  The Long Bay Okura Great Park Society is fighting hard in the Unitary Plan hearings against the goliath developer Todd Properties who wish to cover this land in houses, endangering this precious estuary.  For more information or to donate to their fighting fund see


We are a key player in the Kaipatiki Restoration Network/Pest Free Kaipatiki

The North Shore Ecological Survey 2005 states that “weeds and animal pests are impacting on the indigenous biodiversity of the North Shore... including pine, wattle, tree privet ...
At least two thirds of significant natural areas are impacted to a moderate to high degree by weeds. Weeds and pests present the greatest of all threats to the indigenous biodiversity within this area”.

Forest and Bird is working with Auckland Council, Kaipatiki Restoration Network (KRN) and other parties to help reduce the impact of weeds and animal pests. We would like to see a bush care group for every bush reserve on the North Shore.  The Kaipatiki Restoration Network has been a key tool in achieving this goal. Kaipatiki Ward is a significant piece of the North West Wildlink jigsaw.

If you are interested in helping out with any of the KRN/PFK projects these are the contact details below:

Charcoal Bay - Elizabeth Collins - 

Eskdale Reserve - Kaipatiki Project - 

Fernglen Gardens - Malcolm Fisher -

Hadfield Reserve - Jo Knight -

Kauri Glen - Helen Ferguson -

Kauri Point Centennial Park & Chatswood Reserve - David Roberts - 

Le Roys Bush - Keith Salmon - - Web

Leigh Reserve & Bayview - 

Onepoto Domain - Shane Brannigan - 

Shepherds Park - Ian Grant - 

Tuff Crater - Richard Hursthouse -

Verran Reserve - 

Pest Free Kaipatiki

Our branch is a key driver behind a exciting new initiative born out of the Kaipatiki Restoration Network. Pest Free Kaipatiki aims to involve multiple stakeholders to make Kaipatiki Ward pest free within 10 years. See the PFK Website for more details

Hibiscus & Bays Restoration Network

Our branch has helped set up the Hibiscus & Bays Restoration Network. This also covers the Hibiscus Branch area and their Pest Free Peninsula Project.

Members of the network include:

Bush Glen Reserve Browns Bay - Vic Lange - 

Centennial Park Bush Society & Campbells Bay Urban Sanctuary - Richard Hursthouse -

Friends of Okura Bush - FOOB - Lezette Reid -

Friends of Sherwood Browns Bay - Tricia Cheel 

Forest & Bird Hibiscus Coast - Anne Graham -

For more information on helping out in council reserves contact us or

Upper Harbour Ecology Network

This network is very active, meeting monthly and making waves in the Upper Harbour Local Board area. Contact the secretary on

Preventing Kauri Die Back 

Many of us are aware of the serious threat to kauri of Kauri Die Back disease. This bug is infesting and killing numerous kauri in Auckland and around Northland. North Shore Forest & Bird is working with Auckland Council and the Kauri Die Back Program to try to prevent Kauri Die Back spreading. 

We have set up Kauri Care stations at the entry points to several North Shore reserves.  Council have supplied signs, disinfectant and brushes and volunteers are maintaining these with weekly visits to their allotted cleaning station(s) to check and top up disinfectant and to record the use of it. We have volunteers looking after Kauri Glen, Kauri Park/Muriel Fisher/Fernglen, Le Roys Bush (in conjunction with LRB Management committee) and Kauri Point Centennial Park/Chatwood Reserves. We are also working with DOC at Albany Scenic Reserve (now closed due to Kauri Die Back) and Okura Bush. Grateful thanks to those who have volunteered to look after one or several of these entry points. If you live next to a reserve with kauri which are not yet protected and would like to help please contact us at . Kauri need our help!

Raising Awareness of Pest Plants

Queen of the night (Richard Hursthouse)

Queen of the night (Richard Hursthouse)

Many weeds are not yet officially recognised as weeds by the regional pest management strategy and are still being sold in garden stores. Cestrum nocturnum (Queen of the night) was one of these. The branch coordinated a survey of wild Cestrum sites in Auckland using weedspotters, who relay information to the Auckland Regional Council biosecurity. This information is also on a google map showing the spread of this weed. By gathering this information we have hopefully influenced a decision by MAF which has put this plant on the National Pest Plant Accord list. It is now banned from sale or distribution. We will also try to get this plant included in the Auckland Regional Pest Management Strategy when it is next reviewed. For more information contact 

See the Weed Control Guide our branch has produced. Hard copies of this guide are available from the branch.

Promoting Clean Streams

North Shore has no wild rivers but plenty of streams. Very few of these streams are unaffected by stormwater. Most of the Shore’s stormwater is diverted directly into gullies causing massive accelerated erosion and siltation of streams and our beaches. In addition careless discharge of sewerage or detergent and other chemicals into the stormwater system can impact on stream health. We have an excellent system of volunteer monitoring through the Waicare program

Promoting Environmentally Friendly Development

North Shore is one of New Zealand’s most rapidly growing areas. In-fill housing and subdivision have meant bush destruction and loss of wildlife habitat.  The branch, mainly through the work of the late Jim Lewis over many years has had input into mitigating and moderating the effect of development. Subdivision brings with it an influx of cats with their impact on birds and exotic plants such as bangalow palms which are now spreading into bush reserves. Our branch is actively submitting on development proposals which will have a negative impact on the natural environment. As a result, these projects are often disallowed or modified to minimise their environmental footprint. 

Protecting Native Trees

Trees provide many benefits including landscape values, combating climate change, providing us with oxygen and filtering water, apart from being the habitat of our native wildlife. North Shore branch has made submissions to Auckland Council to protect bush blocks as well as removing weed trees from tree protection. We submitted to recent RMA amendments which have removed tree and bush protection in Auckland.

Promoting the North-West Wildlink

North West Wildlink is a project to connect green spaces from the Hauraki Gulf islands through to the Waitakere Ranges. It spans the area of three branches - Hibiscus Coast, North Shore and Waitakere. Linking predator-controlled areas of bush will facilitate free movement of native species around the area. One huge future source of biodiversity (birds and other wildlife) is Rangitoto Motutapu, now home to tieke/saddleback and koromako/bellbird.

Protecting Northcross Bush

We fought and lost a battle to save one of the last remaining bush blocks in Browns Bay- part of Northcross and Sherwood school grounds. 

The  reasons we wanted to keep the bush in community hands were:
- loss of 2ha of a 4ha bush block, the largest piece of remaining bush in Browns Bay catchment
- loss of part of the North West Wildlink - NWWL is part of the local boards agenda
- lack of community input or consultation
- loss of wildlife habitat, recreational potential and flooding protection afforded by bush
- we should be guarding such bush blocks for future generations and if we want more housing then this should not be by consuming all the bush we have remaining but by building more intensively such as the apartments going in at Browns Bay.

This is the bush at Northcross sold by the government for $6 million.  We set up a Facebook Page - Save Northcross Bush. Leslie Haines ecologist kindly did an ecological assessment of the bush

We have had this story in the North Shore Times in Feb 2014

We have a history of supporting island projects

Tiri Tiri Matangi island
Motuora Island
Motutapu Island