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Waikanae Estuary Care Group Inc
The estuary consists an area of approximately 75 hectares – 65 ha on the south side of the Waikanae River which is managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and 10 ha on the northern side, managed by Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC). The group works very closely with DOC, KCDC, and Greater Wellington Regional Council.
A lot has been learnt on the way. Initially plants were bought for the project, however it soon became apparent that we needed to grow our own: to ensure plants were in fact ecosourced; to ensure most genetically robust plants were planted; to be able to harden plants in a shadehouse adjacent to the estuary; and to keep costs down. We now have our own shadehouse operation and rely heavily on the services of the local seed bank run by the Kapiti Coast District Council biodiversity team.
The estuary is an extremely windy and salty environment, which also experiences frosts. Apart from that, our biggest challenge has been weed control. More effort is now being placed into site preparation. Common invasive weeds include: blackberry, periwinkle, bindweed, buckthorn, boneseed, boxthorn, pampas and gorse.