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Village Green Resoration Project

Update for September 2013

Thank you once again for the great turn out at the last planting day.  You all worked very hard and should be proud of your efforts.  I note that the same lovely people are there each time.  The plants are doing really well, some like the Manuka are looking a little wind blown but this is to be expected out here on the wild west coast.  In my experience natives are best planted small and will look as though they are progressing very slowly and getting nailed but eventually grown to be hardy healthy specimens.  In years to come as this bank of natives grows I hope it gives you satisfaction in the part you played, I estimate over 2500 plants have gone into stage 1.

Thanks very much also to Scott de Silva, Joe Rangihuna, Van Haresnape and the Auckland City Council team at Muriwai.  The local Rangers have been very supportive of this project and helped out with machinery which has been huge.  The massive slasher took care of a lot of the weeds and saved a lot of hard slog and Joe made spreading the mulch a LOT easier with his tractor.  We also had the use of a big digger to cut the wide meandering path from the firestation to the half pipe, again this was a big job made easier with the right machine. Over 500 native plants were also donated by Council.  We have also been lucky to have space down at the Rangers station for MeActs nursery and plant storage. Thanks guys for your support.

While I am in thanking people...none of this would be happening without Phelan Pirrie kicking off MeAct and getting this project underway.  He has worked many, many hours weed clearing this area and many other sites around Muriwai along with Gerry Henly.  Gerry quietly works very hard, giving many unpaid hours to keeping our beautiful community weed free.  Also Vicky and all the other MeAct members who established the nursery and grew 1000’s of hardy locally sourced native plants.  To Robin Fourbisier who took over the nursery and all His helpers and to Ruth Atkinson for running the kids part of MeAct and all her hard work.  To Cathy Thompson for the torturous funding applications for machinery and our wonderful sponsors:  Treescape, Angela Little and Simon Spiller, Lions. Also Delwyn Shepherd for her design expertise and knowledge.

Where we are at with the Village Green Restoration Project  

In the next couple of weeks I would like to plant up the entrance making a feature of this garden.  I have approached Malcolm Paterson for guidance as I would like Ngati Whatua to have input in the way of “markers” in this garden.  Malcolm will take this back to his elders in the next week or two and come back to us with is significant to Ngati Whatua.  This entrance is at the high point of the bank and will be instrumental in leading people down through the wide track.  Anybody that can lend a hand with planting for the entrance please either e-mail me at and I can work out a day that suits us all.

The next big job is to establish our new nursery.  The Rangers need their space for their own plants and  we have a lovely site behind the surf club to use.  Some time ago I did a presentation at Waimauku Lions for financial assistance and hope to hear this week  for confirmation that they will finance a container for us to use as storage for our equipment and an all weather potting shed.  Phelan has some fantastic innovative ideas for cladding the this space!  We can then fence in a nursery area and start collecting seeds to grow more natives for stage 2 which is to carry along the bank towards the village green clearing all the weeds and establishing natives.  Some of the big pines will be dropped and the wood sold as cheap firewood or used to build the boardwalks and bridge across the swampy areas.  Once the new nursery is established Ruth will have a permanent base to work with the kids on her next project.  We also want to build a community composting area on the same site, anybody that can help with post hole boring, carpentry, clearing or anthing else please contact us either through the website , through our facebook page or at my e-mail above.

Thank you again everybody for all your support in this worthwhile project.


Update for April 2013.
Some good 'before and after' photo's of our work on stage one...

Before... view from the Fire Station over a big pile of weeds!
... mulching tractor at work clearing the area (March) ...
... volunteers hard at work spreading the mulch around (April)...

Background on this project...

The reserve area in Muriwai encompassing the playing field, tennis courts and a pond is locally known as the ‘Village Green’.

In addition to some significant recreational facilities and the Community Centre and Surf Club there is also a wetland, pond and large areas of weeds that are currently not enjoyed by residents because they are inaccessible.

It has previously been used as a dumping ground for rubbish and weeds infest most of the green areas, the wetlands have been degraded by invasive plant species and in its current neglected form it under-utilised by the community.

Some years ago local resident Julie Boys created a plan to enhance the Village Green, improving access for users and linking re-vegetated enclaves and recreational areas with paths, this plan was never fully implemented.

In 2012 after many months of working with residents, the community, Surf Club and Auckland Council MeACT produced the first detailed long term restoration plan for the 'green' areas of the Muriwai Village Green. This is a long term plan that with the work of dedicated locals will see this neglected area transformed. When completed a series of attractive native plantings will compliment the recreational areas and these will be linked by formed walking paths and boardwalks.

Local landscape architect Dewlyn Shepherd assisted with developing the plan and the project is being managed by local horticultural practitioner Erin Griffin.

Stage one with weed clearing commenced in 2012 and the first replanting will start in Autumn 2013.

On completion it is envisaged that this project would create an attractive and valued community asset for generations to come.

To get involved with this exciting project contact Erin Griffin on 411 7287 or

A full detailed plan of the Muriwai Village Green Restoration project can be downloaded below.

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