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Fourth year supporting the Nīkau Palm Whānau Restoration Project

Planting for 2019 has come to a close for the Nīkau Palm Whānau Restoration Project. On a mission to restore 6ha of privately owned land in the Nīkau Valley, the group has ambitious plans. 

Since 2016 approximately 1200 trees have gone into the ground. Situated in on the Nīkau Belt, the area is characterised by year round soil moisture, making it ideal for planting our gorgeous natives. The Whānau are basing their project on the Nikau Palm reserve which sits adjacent to their planting and has been a strong success. 

Also following guides from the Wellington City Council and Kāpiti Coast District Council, the group have established ‘nodes’. This means that in the valley there are groups of different plantings that are distances apart. This method supports the restoration process: and also, given the steep nature of the land, with exposed hills and gullies, the zoning has allowed the group to learn how to best manage it. 

Prior to the project commencing, there were pockets of māhoe, hangehange, mamaku, karamu, kānuka, bracken and muehlenbeckia spreading naturally. So on top of their effort to plant more natives, the group is focused on supporting the natural process of regeneration: meaning there's a strong push to remove invasive weeds.

250 trees have been donated to this project from Trees That Count’s marketplace this year. As with the other plantings, it's thanks to family and friends that these trees go into the ground, showing the groundswell of community support for this project. 

Each new native receives a CombiGuard and woolly pads for weed suppression and moisture retention during the planting. On top of this initial care, monitoring is carried out regularly. This process has resulted in good growth and strong levels of survival. 

Unlike the previous plantings, the 2019 ‘nod’ is much more visible from the public walking track adjacent to the property — so these little natives have received many positive comments from passers-by. It's deserving validation for a passionate community group aiming for Nīkau Belt transformation.