Wednesday, 18 September 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Volunteers needed to plant 4,000 natives

Whitianga’s biggest community planting day of the year takes place this Saturday, 24 August, at Buffalo Beach.

With a total of 4,000 plants ready to go into the ground near the Taputapuatea Spit, the Coastcare-Waikato group is encouraging schools, community groups, families and individuals to come along and lend a hand.

The planting site is a new section of dunes selected for restoration, covering approximately 1,300m². Significant earthworks have been carried out by the Thames-Coromandel District Council Community Facilities team to prepare the area for planting.

“Part of the work includes creating a new accessway onto the beach. We encourage people to help us look after the new plants by using this walkway to avoid walking on the dunes,” says TCDC Coastal Management Coordinator, Tanya Patrick.

The plants consist of a mixture of native species, including pohuehue, knobby club Rush, spinifex and pingao. The varieties work extremely well in terms of dune stabilisation and are ideally suited to coastal locations.

Saturday’s dune planting coincides with the arrival of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association’s 5th Wheeler annual Whitianga rally. The visitors will assist with the planting in a gesture of thanks to the community for hosting them over the weekend.

All members of the community who are eager to help can meet at the Mercury Bay Boating Club for a briefing at 8:00am. Items needed include garden gloves (if you have any), a spade, closed shoes, water and sunscreen. A sausage sizzle will be provided mid-morning by members of the Lions Club of Whitianga.

Tanya says Coastcare-Waikato is especially grateful to have the support of the Lions, as well as the Boating Club, who are providing a base for the event. A number of the plants were donated by the Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre, with the remainder supplied by TCDC.

Sunday, 25 August, is the back-up day in the case of unexpected severe weather on Saturday. An update will be posted on Coastcare-Waikato’s Facebook page if there are any changes to the event details. The planting will run until approximately 11:00am or until all the plants are in the ground. Parking is available at the meeting point.

As the day will mark the end of this year’s planting season, Tanya said the council is now eager to hear from local groups and residents about what areas they would like to see her team focus on next.

“We will be putting a plan together for next year and would love to have as much community input as possible,” she said. Anyone who would like to get involved can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Pictured: Thames-Coromandel’s Coastal Management Coordinator, Tanya Patrick, busy getting the plants ready for Saturday’s Community Planting Day at Buffalo Beach, Whitianga.

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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.