top of page

Wairoa Stream - Public Planting Day - Rescheduled to Sunday, 26 June

Vision Kerikeri and Living Waters invite you to help restore Wairoa Stream and plant 1,000 native plants. Add to the 9,000 plants already planted. Details are:

Where: Sammaree Reserve

When: Sunday 26h June 0900 -1230

Ken Ross, the FNDC Community Development Adviser, who has lived in Kerikeri for 40 years, has told us that building a track up the Wairoa Stream has been talked about since the 1980’s so we are delighted to have this challenging project well underway.

A little history on the Wairoa Stream and track

Until the construction of the Kerikeri Irrigation Scheme, the Wairoa Stream was the source of irrigation water for the orchard lands running from Riddell Road to the mouth of the stream at Pa Road.

Max Robinson, auctioneer and orchardist, whose former property is now developed as Orchard Estate on Cobham Road, once commented that the overlapping rhythms of diesel powered pump-sheds echoing through the valley, was the sound of a Kerikeri summer. One of these, derelict but intact, remains on the reserve beneath the Keridale Lane subdivision.

Max also reported that during dry spells the Wairoa was periodically pumped dry. This, of course, was a potential source of friction between neighbours, and was one of the issues leading to the construction of the irrigation dams on the Waipapa and Waiwhakangarongaro streams.

About eight years ago,Richard MacIntosh who grew up by the Wairoa Stream and who now lives in Wellington, promoted tracks to Charley’s Rock (which has since been built) and to the Wairoa Stream waterfall. At that time he could not get past riparian rights on a section of the stream. He passed his material on to me when he left the area. Many of the now sizable karaka and pigeonwood trees along the stream bank were planted by Richard from plants provided by The Shade House Volunteers.

Wairoa Walkway and wildlife corridor progress

After 3 years we have reached 240 metres upstream from Cobham Bridge and are now abreast of Sammaree Reserve.

The density of the neglected jungle of Acmena, Taiwan cherry, brush wattle, tobacco weed, inter-tangled with the vines; moth plant, jasmine, blue morning glory, Japanese honeysuckle and ivy, has for both the last and this year, required 3 days hard work for an experienced digging contractor, to clear the stream banks in readiness for planting.

Trees recently felled by Northland tree works

Arborists, Northland Treeworks, have just felled dangerous Eucalyptus trees for 90 more metres upstream along Samaree Esplanade Reserve allowing another digger contractor to come in and clear the site of vegetation and ginger in preparation for the public planting on 19th June.

Weed management

A field of ginger and plectranthus

The project involves more than planting once a year. Opening up Wairoa Stream, neglected for 60 years, has exposed a three km ribbon of significant weeds running right through our local environment. The waterfall track project is partly under bush cover and weeds and though a problem, the weeds have been more manageable.

However, the walkway project has no bush cover and with 700 mm of rainfall in the first three months of this year the exposed bare soil has generated a lot of weed control work. Our principal targets are jasmine, moth plant and ginger, all rampant and difficult to eliminate.

Convolvulus, brush wattle, gorse, Taiwan cherry and tobacco weed also need and get plenty of attention. Pernicious Moth Plant, after four years, is now in a controlled phase and this year we detected only perhaps a dozen flowering vines and collected only about 2 sacks of pods. We are mopping up large numbers of seedlings but seeds can germinate for about 13 years. Ginger along Sammaree Reserve is, in patches of several hundred square metres, impenetrable for any natural regeneration and must be eliminated.

Stan Jackson & Peter Cleghorn on the case

The 8 regular members of the informal group “Friends of Wairoa Stream” and Inman Harviey, a swallow from England in summer, have been battling weeds and the climate. 1,280 community hours have been spent on this project to date. Unfortunately for us John Hunt is about to leave for Ohope and David James has departed for Rarotonga.

Anyone who would like to join us would be welcome. We hold 2 working bees per month. Contact Rod Brown

Vaughan mowing; Trevor resting on his spade

Waterfall track progress

The Council consent for the bridge design has been granted. However, the cost of materials has proved to be well above the budget of $15,000 and Rotary is looking at ways and means to simplify construction and reduce costs to a manageable level. Rotary will spend this winter getting the method organised in order to start construction next summer.

In the next few weeks more native plants will be planted on the boundary of several properties neighbouring the stream. The path is being kept clear by weed eaters and spraying.

Altogether Vision Kerikeri, Rotary and Friends of Wairoa Stream have spent 630 man-hours on this project to date.

The construction of a path (stage 2), about 350 metres long, around the waterfall to link with the public walkway and wildlife corridor, is blocked by an impenetrable wall of Jasmine. We are grateful to Doug Foster of NRC who has sprayed it for us in his own time with the kind permission of Jenny and Peter Albertson. Once we can see the ground we can plan the next steps.

Unfortunately idiots have driven their vehicle into our area adjacent to the parking place by Cobham bridge and have damaged a number of plants and destroyed several mature native trees. Council Officers have reacted quickly and plan to erect bollards and a chain.

Council contractors now mow the strip of grass along the border with Orchard Estate (this was an unresolved issue) and the contractor will also mow the path from Cobham Bridge to Sammaree Place and keep it open

We do appreciate the support that we have been getting from the Community Board, and Council Officers, Doug Foster of NRC and The Shade House which grows the plants.

Public Planting Day

Vision Kerikeri and Living Waters invite you to help restore Wairoa Stream and plant 1,000 native plants. Add to the 9,000 plants already planted. Details are:

Where: Sammaree Reserve

When: Sunday 19th June 0900 -1230

bottom of page