Kapiti-Mana News

Visit to Papaitonga Reserve April 2014

By Gillian corder

Twenty-four of our branch members met at Papaitonga scenic reserve on April 9th for a guided walk led by Joan Leckie of the Horowhenua Branch. The odd shower of rain only added to the gentle beauty of this special place. Joan gave us a brief history of the area before we set off along the board walk to the first look out. Along the way we enjoyed glimpses of the majestic forest giants such as Kahikatea and Pukatea, with toetoe, raupo and sedges bordering the margins. We were lucky to see the Powelliphanta traversii, a species of large, carnivorous land snail, also known as ‘Travers’ Land Snail, which is endemic to the North Island between Wellington and Lake Waikaremoana. 

The vocal chortlings of Tuis along with the graceful dancing flight of the ubiquitous fantail, added to the enjoyment of our morning walk. Joan explained about the exciting new re-vegetation project that the Horowhenua branch has become involved in, following the purchase of a block of land by DOC. The new land is on the northwest side of the lake and has been added to this reserve. 

For a detailed history of Papaitonga see “The Lake in Sand Country”, Chapter 4 of “Nga Uruora” a book written by the late Geoff Park. or go to: www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/nga_uruora See also: www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-visit/manawatu-whanganui/manawatu-area/lake-waiwiri-papaitonga-scenic-reserve/

Raumati South School awarded the NZ Plant Conservation Network "Best School Plant Conservation Project for 2012"Project Details

Kapiti-Mana donates $3000 to eradicate Stoats on Kapiti Island

Since Kapiti island became pest free in 1997 is has become a safe haven for many rare or endangered species of birds. The discovery of a stoat in October 2010 poses a serious threat to their safety. If the island’s value as a pest free sanctuary is not to be undermined, any remaining stoats must be eradicated as soon as possible. Kapiti-Mana Branch has therefore made a donation of $3000 to the Forest and Bird appeal fund to assist the Department of Conservation in this critical task. More

Kapiti-Mana wins Heritage and Environment Award

Winning this years Heritage and Environment Category of the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards for our support of the Raumati South School Bush Walk project came as a great honour to the branch. It was even more pleasing to learn that a group of children from the school were the driving force behind the nomination. More

Living walls prevent erosion

Living walls with backfill - Wharemauku Stream in Kaitawa Reserve

Fifteen years of restoration by Forest and Bird volunteers have seen huge improvements to Kaitawa Reserve. However, serious erosion of the banks of the Wharemauku stream in storm conditions has been a constant ongoing problem. After lobbying KCDC last year that is now changing. More

Thousands of birds wrecked

Broad-billed prions on Kundy Island, off Stewart Island, March 2011.
Photo: Colin Miskelly. Copyright Te Papa

It is now clear that the storm which brought us the recent tornado also wreaked havoc on flocks of prions, returning from their feeding grounds to islands in the Marlborough Sounds and Cook straight. Many bodies now lie strewn over a wide area of the lower west coast of the North Island, others as far as Dargaville and Okarito around 900 km apart. More

Aquatic survey of Wharemaku stream

An aquatic survey of the upper Wharemaku stream in Kaitawa Reserve has been carried out by Massey University prior to commencement of works to prevent erosion. The survey involving an electro-fish count, macro-invertebrate sampling and sediment sampling revealed a total of seven species. Redfin Bully and Shrimp proved to be the most abundant species followed by significant numbers of both Longfin and Shortfin eels and some Inanga (see photo). Sadly however, Banded Kokopu proved much less common and very few Koura or Inanga were found. Overall there are significantly less species and smaller populations than those found in the lower Wharemaku stream.

A similar post-works survey is planned to estimate population changes brought about by the project.

With support from Forest and Bird, KCDC have adopted an approach to the works that will not only prevent erosion but should provide a more natural, eco friendly in-stream habitat with robust natural surroundings. This will be achieved by shading the water with native plantings along the top of living walls, by rock overhangs and by the spaces within the rock protection offering hiding places and flood shelters for aquatic species.

This innovative approach has already proven successful in a recent project at Lucas Creek, Albany and earlier projects carried out in the North Shore area.

Further planting is proposed by KCDC in a riparian strip or buffer zone after completion of the works.

Latest news: Resource Consent has been granted and tenders are about to go out for the work.

Sustainable Home and Garden Show 26 - 27 March 2011

Frog Quiz Winners


This year saw a Forest and Bird display on the theme of frogs in the Biodiversity tent at the Kapiti Coast Sustainable Home and Garden Show in Paraparaumu. The display, originally produced for the 2010 Frog week, delved into the life and times of our four endemic native frogs and the three, more common, introduced frogs from Australia.

There was a frog quiz based on the display with two prizes: The winners drawn from almost sixty correct entries were as follows:

The prize for 10 to 15 year olds, a “Ranger for a day” package at Nga Manu Nature Reserve in Waikanae, went to Gus Aiken.

Gus was amazed at the phone call awarding him the prize and rushed to tell everyone in the house. At his presentation in Nga Manu, Rhys Mills the Reserve supervisor suggested that Gus might help with moving some of the birds and with their medication.

The picture shows Gus holding a whistling tree frog, an Australian immigrant, at his prize-giving. Sadly, our New Zealand native frogs are very rare now and are not found on the Kapiti Coast.

The prize for 5 - 9 year olds, one year’s membership of the Kiwi Conservation Club (KCC), went to Molly Grant. Molly was presented with her prize at the KCC Pauatahanui Inlet activity on 16 April.

The Kiwi Conservation Club has a fun, action packed programme planned for the year ahead, which we’re sure Molly will enjoy. 

A double for Raumati South School

Raumati South School wins again!!! The school not only took out gold in the Resourceful Garden competition with their African keyhole concept garden but also won the “Peoples’ Choice” award. See Photos

Bioblitz 2011

The Mana Island Land and Sea BioBlitz 2011 is now finished. It encompassed the areas of Mana Island, around Titahi Bay and the sea in between – including the area known as the Bridge.

The Bioblitz was designed to uncover as many different species as possible in a defined area on Mana Island, the nearby mainland and in the surrounding waters. The total Species identified by15 March was 1,317 including three completely new species, and three described but as-yet unpublished species. For more information see: www.bioblitz.org.nz.

Kapiti Branch Barbecue

The Kapiti-Mana branch barbecue on Saturday 19th February at Kaitawa Reserves saw a group of members and guests enjoying their lunch in near perfect weather. This was followed by an interesting and informative tour of the reserves guided by John McLachlan. More

Ruamati South School Celebrates

Raumati South School wins Bronze Award. The award presented by the Enviroschools Foundation at the end of last term acknowledges schools that have laid the foundations for a sustainability journey. It comes after more than two years’ of work and learning by the students and staff to create a sustainable learning and living environment. The results are an impressive native bush walk linking four locations around the school, and a vegetable garden of raised beds complete with composting and worm farming systems. More

John Topliff awarded Old Blue

John recently received an Old Blue award for long service to conservation projects on the Kapiti Coast and in particular for his one-man crusade to revitalise the south bank of the Waikanae River. More