Pest Free Piha is on a mission to maintain and protect Piha’s heritage. Known for it’s black-sand surf beach that is enclosed with forest ranges, locals and those that come to the area do so to be with nature.
By 2025 this community group aims to have Piha weed and pest free. With a strategic and action plan in place, it’s all about getting everyone involved. Peter, the group’s operations manager, is implementing a model based on making community members accountable for their own space. Meaning that each road in Piha is responsible for their own restoration.
The current focus has been based around forming these neighborhood groups and removing invasive weeds. Once weed extraction has occurred, trees sourced from Pest Free Piha’s nursery fill the space. Peter mentioned how interlinked weed and predator control is, that managing both is key to ensuring successful planting and seed distribution in the future.
One of the KPIs was to form 6 ‘road groups’ by the end of the year, Peter informed us there are now 8, which is an awesome milestone to have achieved. Apart of Pest Free Piha’s action plan is for each group to hold a working bee once every 6-8 weeks, so virtually one is held most weeks in Piha. When new trees are planted, maintenance then becomes incorporated into the community groups’ agenda.
Specific people have been allocated the task of predator control, trapping and baiting. Pest Free Piha has mapped out areas where new planting has occurred. This ensures trapping occurs in the correct areas and so planting success can be monitored.
Peter relayed Trees That Count’s trees are “popping up all over Piha”, they received 400 trees this year through Trees That Count's marketplace. It was integral that the trees planted could cope with the harsh coastal conditions in Piha, so to ensure successful planting the natives were sourced locally. As the group run their own nursery the funds they received went towards paying back themselves.
The focus should always be long term. Each decision this group makes, like the types of trees being planted, is considering what is best for the future. We at Trees That Count resonate with this, we are all about supporting planting for future generations.
This is such an awesome project that comes down to the passion of the community and their love for Piha and nature. We are excited for Pest Free Piha to continue to meet their KPIs.