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History of Matakatia working group

The Matakatia Scenic Reserve is a 1.5 hectare Council-owned area of bush running from the sea at Matakatia Bay up through steep gullies and rising ground amongst residential developments to near the ridgeline of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. It is adjacent to other bushland on a cliff top esplanade reserve and on private land, some of which has bushlot covenants or, in one case, is protected private land under the Reserves Act. Its special character arises from its three distinct vegetation types of puriri/kohekohe-dominated coastal forest, gumland scrub and pohutakawa clad cliff faces that extend from the water’s edge. An entranceway is located on Beauvoir Ave, though no formal tracks exist.

The Matakatia Scenic Reserve Management Plan (2001) prepared and adopted by the Rodney District Council established as a policy (section 11.0): To recognise the services of the local Forest and Bird Protection Society and to invite it to assist in the maintenance and future development of the reserve.
Forest & Bird have subsequently corresponded with the Council, met its representative on site and broadly agreed on the priorities for action. These were delineation of boundaries, weed and animal pest control, involvement of the community and a funding allocation by the Council. An initial community work day to remove pest weeds was held on 18 April 2009. Later that year the Matakatia Working Group was established to supervise community work and liaise with F&B and the Council. A detailed workplan was drawn up under the vision statement “To preserve, protect and enhance the bush of the Matakatia Scenic Reserve as an asset for the community and a link in the North West Wildlink for birds transitioning from Tiritiri Matangi to the mainland, including the future sanctuary at Shakespear Park and the Defence base.”

Over a number of volunteer work sessions good progress has been made in removing or containing the principal weeds of arum lily, pampas, wild ginger, asparagus fern, monkey apple, loquat & gorse. Other significant milestones have been the marking of the eastern boundaries with bollards and the laying of pest bait stations. Some planting has been done using seedlings from the immediate vicinity. A start has been made on surveying the botany of the reserve. Neighbours of the reserve have been kept informed through newsletters and have volunteered time for weedbusting and planting.