Weedbusters at Tokerau Beach

Posted 12 years, 3 months ago    2 comments

saturday january 10, 2009 

The Far North Environment Centre is holding an orientation day for residents and bach-holders who would like to be involved in a Weedbusters group

  • Learn about the Dune Environment
  • Distinguish introduced weeds from native plant species
  • Bring the family - kaitiakitanga is multi-generational!


  • Meet at Waitaraire Reserve (opp motor camp) in Melissa Road at 2 pm to walk to Weedbusters Action Site.
  • Coordinator, Richard Lee, will demonstrate weedbusting techniques.
  • Community input to develop an Action Plan.
  • Finish 4pm 

Richard Lee will be in the Far North again next Saturday for the first orientation day for Tokerau Dunes Weedbusters. A number of agencies, including the Regional Council and Department of Conservation, are holding a Safe Driving and Family Fun Day to raise awareness of how we can enjoy the beach and dune environment while causing minimal damage to this unique habitat and each other! 

Displays and activities will be centred around the Waiotaraire Reserve (opposite the Motor Camp in Melissa Road, which is off Simon Urlich Road) and start at 12.30. At 2pm Richard will give a brief introduction about the objectives of Weedbusters, after which the group will walk to the DOC reserve a little further south along the beach. There Richard will demonstrate techniques for dealing with the main weeds threatening the dunes and we can share ideas of how best to tackle the overall problem. From this we can formulate an Action Plan to guide further work days on the dunes.

This is a new project for the Environment Centre and will give us opportunties to learn new skills relating to dune protection. If enough people get involved we can extend this to restoration work, eg raising pingao and spinifex for replanting. Potentially we could use the nursery in Melba Street for plant propagation - it just needs community support!

Ongoing weedbusting work at Tokerau will involve maybe half a day every month or two, so it's not a huge commitment if enough people get involved - and we can have plenty of fun at the beach while we're there! 

For more info call Soozee at 4081086 




12 years, 3 months ago
We had an enquiry from Ashiya, who wanted to know if we would be using chemicals. My thoughts on the issue are below.

Thank you for your question. At the moment we are still developing a plan for the project and incorporating community ideas and aspirations. The usual approach of the Department of Conservation – who are our partners in the project – is to use chemicals judiciously, with manual control methods as follow-up wherever feasible. Our technician, Richard Lee, has experience with this approach and was prepared to run with it. However, he has recently relocated to Auckland and will not be involved any more so someone else will be taking the lead role at future workdays. Personally I am not prepared to handle herbicides and would be very interested in any ideas of how the project could be effectively managed on an ‘organic’ basis, but a solution will need to be reached that is acceptable to all parties.

While I have considerable experience in managing organic systems from a horticulture perspective, I have less experience with this kind of natural habitat where issues of sheer scale arise. There are also issues specific to this location. For instance, digging out the extensive root systems of some woody weeds leaves a significant bare area of disturbed ground which is easily eroded in the sandy dune situation. It is also then an empty space that can be readily colonized by more weeds. The idea of cutting and stump-painting with herbicide is that such disturbance is minimized.

I would really value your feedback on this issue. It’s quite a challenge to do it right and we need to draw on skills and knowledge from all you folk out there with an environmental ethic driving your actions!

Cheers, Soozee
8 years, 4 months ago
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