Inspired by riparian restoration projects in this district – especially the work of Vision Kerikeri and Living Waters – several volunteers started planting native trees by the stream where they lived, next to Rangitane Stream in a rural area to the north of Kapiro Road. Other neighbours living along the stream got involved with planting to support native birdlife, and the group evolved into Friends of Rangitane Stream, a community conservation group.
They recognised the need to develop sheltered wildlife corridors along the stream margins and associated small wetlands. Kiwi and other at-risk native birds exist in some areas of Rangitane Stream and its tributary Kapiro Stream - especially wetland birds such as dabchick/weweia, bittern/matuku and banded rail/mioweka. These birds need active protection. Dabchicks were widespread in the past, but became almost extinct in the South Island, and in the North Island there are probably fewer than 2,000 individual dabchicks now. The bittern population has declined to less than 1,000 individuals.
Dabchick on stream
Large areas of Rangitane Stream margins are DOC land, with Conservation zoning. Friends of Rangitane Stream has a Community Agreement with DOC to help restore about 27 hectares of DOC land on the stream margins. The long-term objectives are to replant the riparian margins, develop wildlife corridors along the stream and adjacent areas, protect native birds (especially rare or threatened birds), enhance native biodiversity, and improve water quality. This is a large task which they are working to achieve, step by step, year by year.
Volunteers have planted about 7,000 trees/plants on the stream margins so far. The Shadehouse nursery supplied more than 60% of the total (4,364 plants). Since 2018, most of the group’s trees have been funded by Trees That Count.
Collaboration with other groups is an important aspect. The upper half of Rangitane Stream (more than 10 km length) runs through Landcorp-Pāmu Kapiro farmland, and Landcorp plans to increase predator control and plant native trees on that part of the stream in stages over time.
Friends of Rangitane Stream works jointly with Kerikeri Peninsula Pest Control community group and Kiwi Coast to control predators along the stream. Together, they have eliminated more than 2,000 predators on the stream in the past 24 months. VKK supports the protection of at-risk species.
We have a collective responsibility to take action to protect at-risk native species in our area.
The current District Plan includes the following expected Outcome (18.104.22.168): ‘Population numbers of rare and threatened species of flora and fauna are maintained or increased and their habitat enhanced.’
VKK is asking FNDC to:
Endorse the formation of wildlife corridors by community groups along Rangitane Stream and Kapiro Stream in order to protect at-risk native species in that area.
Reclassify a paper road and several small reserves at the eastern end of Rangitane Stream as Local Purpose (wildlife protection) Reserve, or similar, to vest in DOC. (Vesting in DOC would be administratively efficient since DOC administers a large part of Rangitane Stream margins).
Further information: Friends of Rangitane Stream, firstname.lastname@example.org