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History of Ahuriri Estuary Restoration Group

This group was set up in about 2003 after fire destroyed an area of 10 year old plantings in the lower Ahuriri estuary. Members of the Ahuriri Estuary Protection Society, Forest and Bird and local DOC volunteers were contacted and asked to assist with control of the many weeds popping up after the fire.

 Wattle and boneseed particularly became a problem, and a working bee was organised to hand pull these weeds. The initial control of weeds took a couple of months, with the group meeting once a month for half a day. After this the group became involved with a variety of other work including planting and maintenance of the signs and track.

Weeds controlled include: boneseed, boxthorn, ivy, smilax, broom, cotoneaster, wattle, agapanthus, wild briar, lupin and sea lavender. In most cases these weeds are either hand pulled or cut and swabbed. Another weed species that the group works on is sea lavender (Lymonium companyonis), only found naturalised in the Ahuriri and Heathcote estuaries. This small plant is controlled over a half hectare area on the north side of the lower estuary and is targeted for eradication.

Planting days are held each winter, with about 300 – 600 plants put in per year. Species include manuka, kanuka, kowhai, tauhinu, cabbage trees, flaxes and taupata. Saltmarsh ribbonwood are planted around the margins of the esturine area, while the remainder have been planted on flat land as a screen between the wetland area and a walkway.