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Gulf Guardians: Ngātaringa Eco-Corridor Te Hau Kapua/Devonport

We're profiling some of the amazing projects (and people) that our Gulf Guardians programme supports. Ngātaringa Eco-Corridor Te Hau Kapua/Devonport is a part of Sustainable Business Network's Million Metres Streams Project. 

Kia Ora Tātou
I whānau mai ahau ki Mangakino
I tupu ake ahau ki Rotorua
Kei te hau kapua e noho ana inaianei
Kei te mihi ahau ki te mana whenua o tēnei wāhi
Kei Restoring Takarunga Hauraki ahau e mahi ana
Ko Anne taku ingoa
Tēnā koutou katoa

My name is Anne McMillan, I am retired but love getting out into the whenua to observe the wildlife and remove invasive weeds. I am passionate about working to restore our natural environment to mitigate climate change and to increase biodiversity and habitat for our native species. Auckland is a biodiversity hotspot, but also the weediest place in the world - because of our ideal climate, so "how do we re-establish that essential biodiversity?" is a question I often ask myself. Originally from Rotorua, I have lived in Te Hau Kapua / Devonport for the last seven years and love the community here. My background is in IT and early childhood education. Working with Restoring Takarunga Hauraki I initiated the Million Metres stream side campaign for the Ngātarainga eco-corridor and as well as ecological restoration and weed control I work at seed collecting, germinating, growing plants, and establishing our fledgling Ngātaringa nursery.

Can you explain what project you’re working on?

I’m working on the Ngātaringa Eco-corridor project, with Restoring Takarunga Hauraki, an organisation that is umbrellared by the non-profit Devonport Peninsula Trust.


What is your project trying to achieve?

The vision is to create a corridor across the peninsula that establishes native cover and food for birds, insects, lizards and fish that can increase habitat for native birds coming from the pest free offshore islands to new habitat here in Devonport and onwards to Kaipatiki and the Waitakere forest. We started with an existing tiny forest remnant that contained an open stream - very rare in Devonport and removed invasive weeds, increased plant diversity and started trapping rats. From this, we have continued down the stream to where it meets a concrete channel mistakenly built in the 90’s that was once a stream called Kukuwaka. It is alongside this concrete channel that most of our new planting is being done.


Why is this important to you?

The landscape has been intensively modified by humans since Auckland has expanded rapidly over the last 70 or so years. There are vast areas of grass that are mowed and have been termed “green tarmac” as they contain little habitat or food for native wildlife. Why not replant? As we are planting on council land the trees will be protected from destruction and urban intensification. They also contribute to the Urban Ngahere goals of Auckland council with amenity, cooling, habitat, silt reduction and carbon sequestering values for future generations. Increasing biodiversity also helps us to retain the genetic potential of our endemic plants and other natives.

Can you put into perspective how helpful funding is for your project?

Funding enables us to buy plants and ensure that they thrive by releasing them from weed stranglers, it also helps us to get our message out. Funding helps us to build and operate our fledgling Ngātaringa Native Plant Nursery which is run by a volunteer group in devonport and sources local and rare seed to support our plantings around the peninsula.


About: The Sustainable Business Network (SBN) is New Zealand’s largest, longest-standing sustainable business organisation. It is a network of progressive organisations and people, working together to address the greatest challenges facing sustainability in Aotearoa. We focus on systems change in three main areas: acting on climate, designing out waste, and regenerating nature.

Million Metres Streams Project is an initiative of SBN. Million Metres works with community groups and landowners nationwide to support and resource their locally-led and implemented waterway restoration projects. Million Metres enables these groups to set up and run crowdfunding campaigns for their projects, connecting them to advice, expertise, resources and funds to make them a success. SBN directs 5% of the annual fees from organisations in the network to Million Metres-supported projects. Million Metres raises additional funds through an innovative mix of crowdfunding, philanthropy, government funding and business partnerships.