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History of Friends of Mangemangeroa Society Inc.

The society was formed by individuals and community groups who had already acted together during the 1990s in a campaign to persuade the then Manukau City Council to buy the land in Howick known as Somerville's Farm in order to make a public reserve. In 2000, with the help of Manukau Parks, the Howick Rotary Club commenced a programme of restoration planting at the southern end of the Reserve. At the same time, also helped by Manukau Parks, Forest and Bird's South Auckland Branch started eco-sourced restoration planting in a central area. In 2002 the two groups together with the Somerville Rotary Club, joined forces as corporate foundation members of the Friends of Mangemangeroa.

As a result of good relations between the Friends, the Rotary Clubs, the Howick Local Board and Council Parks staff, public walkways have been extended and maintained. They are very well-used.

Eco-sourced restoration planting is organised every year, involving Society members, Rotary Clubs, Forest and Bird, local schools and members of the public. Local schools help too with the handling of up to 8000 plants a year raised from seed collected by committee members. So far about 6ha. have been restored.

Pest control is carried out by professionals contracted to the Council, and the Friends have a role in monitoring this. Rats, possums and stoats are now rare. Ongoing weed control is shared by the Friends and Council's contractors. Learning is a continual process.