Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park (638ha) is a regional park and therefore public land, for which the Friends of Q E P have a very clear vision: "Our vision is Queen Elizabeth Park as a sand country landscape with natural, historic and cultural features that all can enjoy". We mean to achieve this vision by recognising the park as irreplaceable public land and honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi together with links to those with mana whenua and kaitiakitanga. We collaborate independently with the owner (DOC) and manager (GWRC) to guard its resources; we cherish the ecosystem services provided by the dune, wetland and forest native plants and animals, by restoring, conserving, and where possible  enlarging them. We reduce weeds and pests, encourage research, protect historic features, encourage low impact recreation, and promote peace in the park. QEP is accessible to all age groups, and is the most visited of the regional parks in Wellington.    

 

The Friends tackle a number of projects:   

KAPITI BIODIVERSITY PROJECT: The project is using a Ministry for the Environment grant to support volunteers to improve biodiversity on the Kapiti Coast. Four main areas are covered in the initial work - Queen Elizabeth Park, the Paekakariki-Pukerua Bay escarpment,  the Whareroa Farm Reserve and part of Perkins farm/Middle Run.

FOREST RESTORATION: The  small rare dune swamp kahikatea forest was rescued from neglect and cattle about 1990 by the vigorous efforts of a few locals. Now, its area is around 6 ha, the result of dedicated planting over the last 10 years, particularly following Community Conservation Fund grants from DOC in 2009 & 2010. This remnant has c. 72 native plant species, including kahikatea, nikau, pukatea, milk trees, whau, kohekohe. Swamp maire was recently present and will be re-introduced. Kaka, kakariki, kereru, falcon, cuckoos, morepork, bellbird are recorded.       

STREAM AND WETLAND RESTORATION: Riparian plantings along the Whareroa and Wainui streams, and  other planting to restore extensive associated wetlands, are being carried out. Some of this work has been funded by a targeted grant from GWRC. The rare grass Amphibromus fluitans has been recorded. Giant kokopu, inanga, long finned eel and koura are present.

PEST TRAPPING: Mammal pests are continuously trapped using DOC 200s, Fenn, Timms, and mouse traps. This effort yields hundreds of animals each year including Norway rats, mice, weasels, stoats, hedgehogs. No ferrets have been caught.

DUNE STABILISATION: The Friends join efforts, led by GWRC, to stabilise the fore dunes from heavy seas by planting spinifex. This ecosystem is possibly the most at risk of all the Park's natural communities.

BICYCLE TRACK: Te Ara o Whareroa, the new family-friendly cycleway through the park, has been enthusiastically received since it opened in January 2016. Developed by Greater Wellington Regional Council, it provides a link between the communities of Raumati and Paekākāriki and makes it possible to avoid highway traffic when cycling between the two villages. It demonstrates a commitment to the development of healthy sustainable transport options for the Kāpiti Coast and appeals to locals and visitors alike.

U S MARINES AND ORAL HISTORY: The impact of U S Marines in WW2 was short but notable and, along with collected oral histories of older people associated with the park, is the focus of a Friends' project.

HISTORIC BARN: An early colonial barn was recently shifted and restored within the park and hosts horses and barn dances. 

SPECIALIST SKILLS IN THE GROUP: The Friends of QEP have skills in history, business and science administration, conservation, accountancy, law, ecology, linguistics, environmental lobbying, design, publishing, animal health, sport, horticulture and park ranging. 

OVER-ARCHING PROBLEM: QEP is continually under threat from local and central government, and business or other interest groups which seek to take park land for profit or private use.   The Friends are continually defending the park against proposals such as land development, motor racing, car parks, playing fields and museums irrelevant to the park.

KAPITI BIODIVERSITY PROJECT: The project is using a Ministry for the Environment grant to support volunteers to improve biodiversity on the Kapiti Coast. Four main areas are covered in the initial work - Queen Elizabeth Park, the Paekakariki-Pukerua Bay escarpment,  the Whareroa Farm Reserve and part of Perkins farm/Middle Run.

If you are interested in joining the Friends, please send an email to [email protected] for details. The Friends' bank account for donations and membership subs is Kiwibank 38 9008 0305360 00. As the group is now legally designated a charity, donations are tax-deductible.

 

Year Started: 
2004
Location: 
Queen Elizabeth Regional Park, Kapiti Coast, 45km north of Wellington on SH1
New Zealand
Legal status of group: 

Charity

Ecosystem type(s): 
Unmodified regenerating dunes from sea-facing foredunes with spinifex, pingao and shorebind weed to modified inland dunes, Dune swamp kahikatea forest, Streams and extensive associated wetlands with sedge, rush and flax, Farmed pastures
Affiliates: 
Department of Conservation, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Green Umbrella
Contact Person: 
Treasurer Suzanne Harris - [email protected]

29-03-2017

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