Kapiti Council Backs Conservation

Support for the many volunteer groups

By Roger Childs

The Wharemauku wetland

There are over twenty conservation groups spread across the district from Otaki Beach to Paekakariki. They work along rivers and streams, on beaches and estuaries, and in public reserves like Queen Elizabeth Park and Whareroa Farm.

Council worker, Lawrence Silas, helping with planting near the Paraparaumu Library

Many years ago such groups received scant support from the Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC), but that’s all changed.

Today the Council enthusiastically encourages and supports the volunteers who want to  make a difference and improve the Kapiti landscapes.

Advice is available from people like Biodiversity Officer, Rob Cross, and other staff, and assistance is given in clearing areas for planting, providing the plants and arranging for mulch to be available.

Getting together

Cr Diane Ammunsden chairing an early meeting

A few years back, Councillor Diane Ammundsen took an initiative to get the scattered groups together. At the first meeting everyone was staggered at the number of conservation bodies who were beavering away in little patches from the hills to the sea.

Since 2015 there have been regular meetings of representatives from these restoration groups, with a view to developing a coordinated approach to conservation and sustainability in the Kapiti District.

These meeting have features speakers who have covered topics such as

~ the role and functions of the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC)

~ the work done by NZTA in putting in 1.4 million plants along the expressway

~ the objective of the Conservation Department’s predator free campaign

~ mapping conservation areas on the Kapiti Coast.

Wild About Taranaki! a good model?

Last year in Paekakariki, people had been impressed by a presentation from Taranaki representatives on what they were doing to coordinate biodiversity, conservation and sustainability around the mountain.

There was a feeling that Kapiti could adopt many of the Wild About Taranaki! ideas.

So at the May 2017 Kapiti Restoration Groups meeting, there was a presentation on formalising cooperation between the 20+ conservation groups. Penny Gaylor, Kapiti’s representative on the GWRC, and Deputy Mayor, Janet Holborow, were present.

Called A District Wide Approach: A Possible Way the set of proposals covered

~ key issues

~ stakeholders

~ setting up a Trust

~ principles

~ a possible cooperative structure.

A District Wide Approach is now up for discussion over the next two months.

Hopefully the outcome will be facilitating a more coordinated approach to conservation on the Kapiti Coast, while at the same time preserving the autonomy of the different groups.