Muriwai Beach Clean Up
It’s almost a month since our beach clean up date organized by Annette Mitchell
“We covered 18km of beach, picked up a jumbo bin full of rubbish plus another 10 extra bags full”
Annette said it was an awesome effort! “Personally I was amazed at the extent of the rubbish found once one really started to look” she also wants to give a special thank you for those of you who brought your vehicles along – it would not have been possible without them.
To get on the mailing list to be informed of our next beach clean up email:
Kids Club out and about…
Our latest KidsClub event, on a blustery July Sunday, was billed as a beach treasure hunt. It had the wider focus of appreciating the taonga of our place.
We discussed what is out there to treasure –the fish, the Maui dolphins, the wild ocean. Then scampered down the track to Maukatia (Maori Bay) to an extreme beach dig – finding soggy (but biodegradable) lorax tokens in the sand, with fingers and sticks and getting all kids gloriously sandy and wet.
As parents we were sobered by the infinite plastic granules sprinkled in our beach treasure chest. The kids were wet and sandy, hopefully a memory in their treasure chest that will encourage them to respect this wilderness where we make our home.
Donna Kerridge spoke at our July monthly seminar on the practices and teachings of Rongoa Maori.
Donna is a practitioner and teacher of Rongoa Maori and her presentation reflected this by illustrating a vast knowledge and commitment to the practice.
Rongoa Maori brings together all aspects of a person and their environment. Rongoa Maori lays its practice on the philosophy of our relationship with nature and each other within it. This is known as taha wairua - the connection between all living things, it is a "total wellbeing philosophy."
In practical terms, our health/healing is determined by the balance or imbalance between what we eat, our relationship with and contribution to the world and others, what we think and how we find peace.
Rongoa Maori uses native plants, flowers, barks and bush for the treatment of aliments and to improve our overall health. However this practice, as Donna explained, is more in depth than just the use of the plants for their medicinal purposes. In the practice of Rongoa Maori, flora and fauna must be collected, cultivated, grown and disposed of after use in the correct manner in order to enable the plants full medicinal properties.
Below are a few of the plants used in the practice of Rongoa Maori that Donna demonstrated.
HOROPITO – Pepper, anti-fungal, food condiment.
POROPORO -Use as contraceptive; stops itching
MINGIMINGI – Clears phlegm, thins mucous.
KUMARAHOU – For coughs, get rid of phlegm.
KARAKA – Use leaves for a poultice, back of leaf draws out, waxy front as dressing
SPIDER WEB – Wrap cuts wounds with it, analgesic
KOROMIKO – Upset Tummy constipation or diarrhoea, eat the young leaf shoot
KAWAKAWA – Toothache, chew it & pack around tooth, good for circulation.
It was such a pleasure to hear Donna speak on Rongoa Maori and learn about the philosophy and beliefs of this practice and the medicinal properties of the native plants around us.
For further information and to register you interest visit:
Next seminar Wednesday, 1 August Gavin Logan from the Auckland Observatory on Astronomy.
FRIENDS OF REGIONAL PARKS (FOR Parks)
Gerry and Christine represented MEACT at the AGM of FOR Parks on Monday 25 June. FOR Parks has been established to work alongside Auckland Council and volunteer groups as supporters and guardians of the Regional parks network. This network is under some threat with the move to the Super City and the committee is working to maintain its integrity as a unique asset for the people of Auckland now and into the future.
They regularly arrange visits for members and guests to the various parks. On Sunday 22 July at 12 noon, they have arranged a visit to Ark in the Park at Cascades in the Waitakeres. This will explore how Forest and Bird have established this major conservation program right near to us. Let me know if you are interested in going to this or on any other Park visit.
MEACT has a group membership so all or members and guests are entitled to inclusion.
The evening concluded with talk on the history of Auckland Regional Parks by Dr. Graeme Murdoch, who has written a book on the subject., “Dreamers of the Day.”
Christine was elected to the committee so will keep us informed of activities and already we have interest from the Piha group for a visit and joint action in Muriwai.
June Evening Seminar
A Muriwai Environment Strategy?
Chris Ferkins, a Kumeu resident, with Gecko NZ Trust, addressed our June seminar on Weed Control Strategy for Muriwai. Like many parts of NZ, Muriwai has a weed problem. Many of the lovely plants imported from overseas have made themselves so at home they are taking over smothering native varieties which are unable to deal with the invaders without our help.
Gecko Trust has helped other communities develop their own community based environment strategies and we are looking to do the same here in Muriwai, weed control being one of the strands of this strategy. This is part of our long-term vision for Muriwai which is based around ‘Aggregated Individual Action,’ i.e. people acting in their own time and own place towards a joint vision. Many people are already doing this and we want to support and encourage them with resources and information.
Following the meeting a number of people wre enthusiastic about what could be achieved for our community by improving the whole environment, and as a result we will organize a further public meeting to get wider input on a plan from the community with an aim to implement this strategy and gain community support. We will also create an online forum for those unable to attend a meeting but wishing to contribute towards a community strategy.
A full copy of the meeting minutes is available on our website. Please go there and register your interest for a Muriwai Environment Community Strategy.
Pest Control Workshop
A small group of neighbors of Goldie Bush enjoyed a practical, hands on learning experience in animal pest control on Sunday. Initiated by MEACT to support and supplement the DOC trapping program in the Goldie Bush area we were introduced to different traps and strategies for controlling possums and mustelids, (weasels, stoats and ferrets). Geoff Aspinall is a highly experienced trapper and pest controller from Timaru where he contracts mainly to the Animal Health Board. He was running a course of instruction for young college leavers on trapping possums and retrieving the fur and pelts. With the current demand and prices for possum fur there is good earning potential for these young men. They can earn a good return while contributing to the environment. Marty Taylor is a local environmental educator and MEACT trustee coordinated the workshop.
We learnt how to select and set appropriate traps, recognize runs and identify our target. Tips on toxins use and the top tip of “pre-feeding” an area to draw possums to a trapping zone were well received. One participant has plans to gain extra income from possum fur.
Please contact MEACT if you are interested in future pest control workshops.
Another successful planting day, initiated by the Rangers and supported by MEACT, was held on Sunday in the far dunes by Okiritoto Stream. A good turnout involving parents and kids made short work of the planting and then enjoyed a sausage sizzle, compliments of the Rangers. Well done all who took part.
Gannet Monitoring Project
Sonya braved a windy day to abseil down onto the gannet colony to lay out marking grids for the monitoring Project (see photos).
The gannets have returned earlier than normal so Sonya & Gabriel kicked off the Gannet Monitoring project early July with a group of gannet enthusiasts.
This project has been going since July, and it's a long term project that we need volunteers for. If you interested in helping please contact Gerry.
To keep up to date with our action days sign up as a member or supporter to get notifications of our events, or check our events page.
In July we held our first Action! day in conjunction with Auckland Council Park Rangers.
40 people gathered down near the Okiritoto Stream and, fortunately it was a beautiful day so we got a large area planted with native trees which was fantastic!
Waicare did a presentation on the life in the Okiritoto stream, with kids assisting in collection of specimens for the presentation after the planting.
After the tree planting everyone went back to the ranger station for a BBQ and where Sonya (our Project Manager) had pulled together a range of interesting speakers from Waicare, Biosecurity and Gabriel Machovsky Capuska (Massey University) who talked about the work he is doing on Gannets as part of his PHD studies
Our weedbusters team has been busy around Muriwai hitting on a number of sites overcome with weeds..
MEACT Evening Seminars
For our first meeting Malcolm Paterson, a local resident and a representative for Ngati Whatua o Kaipara, talked about historical and current issues around Muriwai and how they affect the iwi and us all. Ngati Whatua o Kaipara are an important neighbour for our community and also very important for our Trust's future, and it was an enlightening expierence hearing about the early history of the area.
Afterwards we had a discussion about projects and upcoming events.
The format for future meetings will be similar, based around a speaker followed by discussion on projects and environmental matters in Muriwai
So far we have had talks on Kauri Dieback, Local Ecology, Biosecurity and weeds, Kaka...
Anyone can attend our meetings which will be held on the first Wednesday evening of the month at 7:30pm at the Fire Station.
For more information and to stay up to date with what we're doing, get onto our mailing list or keep an eye on facebook or our 'Events' Page for updates on events.