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Waihara Wetland - Morningside School Planting Day

The beauty of one of Whangārei’s inner-city waterways has been revealed through the efforts of Council staff, local contractors, Morningside School and the Whitebait connection. 

The Waihara Wetland at the end of Rawhiti Street has been a smelly, boggy, tidal ponding area that had little going for it.  Through everyone’s combined efforts it has now been turned into a beautiful stormwater treatment wetland.  

Connecting the community with the sea

Living so close to waterways, our community is directly affected by the ocean which surrounds us, which is why programmes such as Whitebait Connection are so important.

The Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust (MTSCT) was founded in 2002 and included two core programmes - the Experiencing Marine Reserves and Whitebait Connection programmes. 

Stream study illustrates big pollution problem

A group of 40 Year 8 students from Wentworth College got out in the field with scientists last month, assisting with studies into water quality and habitat in Stanmore Bay Stream.

The work took place under the guidance of Sarah Dimitrijevic of Whitebait Connection.

Dr Roger Grace Memorial Fund 1945-2019

Roger was an absolute champion for our marine environment. He dedicated his life to marine conservation and tirelessly shared his wealth of knowledge with others. Roger was a trustee of the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust from 2002 – 2018 and an honoured patron from 2018. Our team loved spending time with Roger and I don’t think we are ever going to forget the correct way to eat an artichoke! We miss you terribly but we will ensure your legacy makes waves for a long time to come.

A memorial fund has been established and is administered by the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust.  The page to donate directly can be found here

“If we look after the water from the mountains to sea, it will look after us"

This year, more than 215 Hauraki/Coromandel students, along with parents and teachers, completed the Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) programme. The schools involved were Harataunga, Coroglen, Moanataiari, Te Rerenga and Whangamata Area School

The focus of the EMR programme is to provide quality education opportunities about, increase awareness of, and encourage action and support for marine conservation in New Zealand.

Award Winners - “Environmental Action in Water Quality Improvement”

Bales of hay staked in place with yellow topped waratahs dot the streambanks in Whangarei’s Mair Park, looking strangely out of place as the river meanders past. 

The bales are serving a remarkable and unusual purpose; they are artificial spawning habitats and egg nurseries for one of the nation’s most loved and at-risk native fish, Inanga (whitebait species).

Inanga spawning site discovered in Kaipara

The Whitebait Connection (WBC) was contracted by the Landcare Trust in 2015 and 2016 to undertake an Inanga spawning habitat investigation in the Wairau, Paparoa and Pahi River systems. The work forms part of a larger body of work that is focussed on catchment and biodiversity restoration within the Northern Kaipara Harbour through the Reconnecting Northland project which is a partnership between the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and Landcare Trust (LT). This project has proven to be successful with Inanga spawning sites identified in all three focus rivers, with the first being the Wairau River.

Young helpers pitch in for whitebait in the Far North

Deputy National Coordinator, Nina Pivac has been busy in the Far North delivering the Whitebait Connection programme to local kura including Paparore School, Kaingaroa School and a collective of Ngataki, Te Kao and Te Hapua Schools. 

This has lead to some serious action being planned by these schools in a bid to restore their waterways.

Rare find

Thanks to Khandallah School students, a native whitebait species has been rediscovered happily living - and breeding - in their local park. 

The 'Green Team' Envirogroup went out spotlighting and fish-trapping with freshwater educators and found the fish, known as a banded kokopu, living right next to the popular local playground in Khandallah Park.

Conservation community works to sustain Whitebait Connection

It might not have made for light work, but many hands contributed to planting along the Rotokakahi Awa at Pawarenga last week, in a bid to sustain the river's tinanga and whitebait populations for the future.

Around 50 people, including students and staff from Te Kura o Hata Maria, members of the Pawarenga community, the Northland Regional Council, members of the Broadwood gym, Whitebait Connection co-ordinators and two French tourists planted just under 500 native plants to restore the spawning site.

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