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History of Nikau Palm Road Whānau Restoration Rōpū

This whenua is relatively close to Nikau Palm Reserve which serves as the role model for our project. It is situated in the "Nikau Belt", characterised by low frost frequency, year-round soil moisture and reasonably nutritious weathered clay soil.It is adjacent to the Nikau Palm Reserve walkway as the walkway runs along the top of the ridge to the south of Nikau Palm Reserve. Since coming into the whānau about ten years ago, our first task as kaitiaki of the whenua was to exclude stock. An assessment of regeneration was held about eight years ago. In the winter of 2016 a further assessment was made. This found that the gullies of the block contained pockets of regenerating bush namely; mahoe, hangehange, mamaku and karamu. On the slopes, kanuka, pig fern, bracken and muelhenbeckia are spreading naturally (but slowly) over the retired grazed areas. This review lead to the aims listed below. As we have limited resources the most significant task is to assist the natural process of regeneration by removing the competitive pressure from the invasive weeds that are spreading through the restoration area. The worst weeds appear to be brush cherry, blackberry, evergreen buckthorn and the suckering deciduous poplar. Secondly it will be necessary to set up a pest animal network to protect the regenerating habitats from browsing and to protect native birds from predation. This would involve a series of bait stations and kill-traps.