You are here

History of Sustaining Our Streams: Whau Project

Sustaining Our Streams Whau Project was started in 2011 to engage local residents in stream restoration on the degraded and unsightly Waitahurangi(Avondale) and Parahiku Streams, tributaries to the Whau River. These tributaries were once healthy and beautiful waterways, but in recent decades they have been relegated to little more than drains running through the backyards of local residents, and have been diverted through underground pipes through many areas, including some of our reserves and schools.
SOS Whau Project is currently working with residents from more than 50 private properties, and with local schools, to systematically remove environmental weeds from the streambanks, and to replace them with the original native vegetation that should be there, providing diversity of food and homes for native creatures,beautifying the surroundings, holding stream-banks against erosion, and withstanding natural seasonal flooding.

How we work:

We offer free advice, training and physical resources to local residents, schools and community groups in our area, in return for a commitment to doing the work of weeding and planting the streams as they cross private properties, school or public reserve land in our catchment area.

  • We have held educational workshops and training days from time to time to introduce the public and school students to the particular methods of weed management and planting that we use for this ecological work.
  • We organise regular weeding bees throughout the year, but particularly in spring and autumn. In summer we tend to leave weeds, as they can provide protection for newly-planted natives in a dry season.


  • We organise planting days through the winter months and into early spring.
  • We welcome volunteers - individuals or community groups who would like to help out or learn about weeding techniques for environmental weeds, or with planting days.  Some of the residents on SOS Whau project are keen to restore their area of stream but have limited capacity to do the work involved, for many reasons including age, illness or family commitments, so we are always glad to have helpers to share the community spirit!