Kaitawa Outdoor Classroom Opens

The sun shone and the Mayor came along when Paraparaumu School pupils went to the opening of Kāpiti’s newest classroom — outdoors at Paraparaumu’s Kaitawa reserve.

Ten bilingual information panels on 10 native species have been installed in the 6.8 hectare reserve.

Traditional Maori Uses 

The panels contain botanical information and details on the traditional Maori use of many of the plants put in as the result of 20 years revegetation work by Forest and Bird members and the KCDC.   

In the mid 1990s gorse and blackberry covered slopes on both sides of the Wharemaukau stream. It was under threat from new housing development.

‘ A significant remnant’

Kaitawa reserve is described as a significant remnant of the original coastal wetlands ecosystem

The reserve was known as a playground with a scout hall, toilets, play equipment and a flying fox.

Forest and Bird stalwarts John McLachlan, Tony Ward and John Topliff were the honoured guests at Friday’s ceremony, along with Paraparaumu school’s Te Whānau Kōtuku bilingual classes.

Don Te Maipi and the blessing

Kaumatua Koro Rakauoteora (Don) Te Maipi led Friday’s blessing of the panels, watched by school pupils, parks and Te Waka staff of KCDC, members of Kapi-Mana Forest and Bird, and Friends of Kaitawa Reserve restoration group..

Since work started in 1996 43,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted by volunteers, supported by KCDC and the Greater Wellington regional council.

The time spent on planting and maintaining the plants is estimated at $375,000 of paid work.

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