Kapiti Conservation Thriving

It’s not easy being green.  Kermit the frog

 Inspired by a meeting of environmental groups

By Roger Childs

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The Kapiti Independent News (KIN) now has a dedicated Conservation section. http://kapitiindependentnews.net.nz/

This has come out of a meeting of representatives of more tha20+ Kapiti environmental groups held at the Council Chambers earlier this month. The session allowed people who are actively involved in conservation to find out what other like-minded folk are doing.

As a result of this meeting, KIN decided to help groups share information and recruit more members by setting up a special Conservation section.

This is now up and running and includes:

  • a registry of groups (more to come!)
  • articles on conservation news in the Kapiti District.

A rich legacy of environmental concern in Kapiti

One of the key organisations to pioneer conservation, restoration and environmental protection in the area was the Kapiti Environmental Action (KEA) group. Set up in 1990, KEA was active in various ventures, including

  • conservation in Queen Elizabeth Park
  • saving Whareroa Farm
  • developing the Mataihuka Track.

The Mataihuka development has involved track improvements, extensive tree plantings and the establishment of the June Rowland Lookout at the southern end. June was a president of KEA.

Mataihuka

The Mataihuka walkway on the escarpment above State Highway One, can be accessed from Waterfall Road and provides wonderful views of the Kapiti Coast. Unfortunately it is currently an “out and back” excursion, as private land prevents an outlet at the Paraparaumu end.

KEA provided the inspiration for other groups to emerge.

Council involvement

When the Kapiti branch of Forest and Bird and other local people started the Kaitawa Reserve development, KCDC had no budget to support conservation groups. That’s all changed now.

In recent years, notably during the mayoralty of Jenny Rowan, the council has been proactive in encouraging and assisting local groups which have sprung up from North Otaki Beach to Paekakariki – Pukerua Bay. Developments often centre on combining restoration and planting with walkways and board walks such as in the Waikanae River Estuary.

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According to Leisure and Open Space Asset Manager, Lex Bartlet The council is responsible for putting in 20,000 plants a year. The newest development opened earlier this year, the Te Roto Wetland Walkway, (pictured above), was a KCDC initiative.

The area is beautiful… It is a working treatment pond yet is a delightful recreation area. Councillor Diane Ammundsen

Meanwhile, the 20+ groups across the Kapiti District continue their excellent voluntary work. In our Conservation section you can see details about many of the groups. It is hoped to  expand this list into a comprehensive registry.