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Lupin pulling on dunes

A small crew turned up today (Sunday) to pull lupins in an effort to make the dunes lupin free. Plants were either hand pulled, or cut off and the stump painted. Auckland Council parks staff supervised. Sausage sizzle rewarded workers in hot sun. Another working bee is scheduled for next Sunday, and the time has  [ Read More ]

Lupin removal for mid-beach

Piha locals are invited to two sessions to remove lupins from the stretch of beach at mid-Beach north of the helicopter landing pad. Organised by the Parks staff for the Waitakere Ranges Local Board, the project aims to remove lupins from Piha dunes to enable native dune plants to flourish, rather than being smothered by the  [ Read More ]

Government pledges $26.5m over 4 years for kauri

In the recent budget, the Government pledged over $26 million for protection of kauri forests and research. With kauri PTA recently found in the Coromandel forests for the first time, the Government provided $10.9 million for DOC operational costs over 4 years, and $10.7 million over the same period for capital costs for 100 kms  [ Read More ]

Reserves Restoration Plan adopted by Local Board

The Waitakere Ranges Local Board adopted the Piha Reserves Restoration Plan at its meeting on 8 May. The Plan, developed by Wildlands Consultants covered the reserves fronting North Piha Beach and the Domain. A consultation was held in January and the draft plan was amended to address issues raised during the consultation. The main weeds  [ Read More ]

Wasp menace in the Waitakeres

Posted 24 April 2014 Questions have been asked lately about what the Auckland Council is doing about the increase in wasps people are noting around Piha and the Waitakeres in general. I have received this update from Regional Parks and Biosecurity. Regional Parks is actively involved in the eradication of wasp nests In the Waitakere Ranges  [ Read More ]

Waitakere Ranges Local Board guides walk to Kauri Die back areas

Waitakere Ranges Local Board today (5 April 2014) led a successful walk along the Maungaroa Ridge Track, where the first unusual symptoms on kauri trees were seen by a Piha local in 2006. Starting in Bush and Beach mini-buses at Glen Eden Railway Station, the group went to the Poleline Track off Anawhata Road. Auckland Council  [ Read More ]

Action on polluted West Coast lagoons

Poorly managed or maintained septic tanks are being blamed for high levels of E coli recorded in lagoons at Piha and Karekare. The waterways have been regularly declared unsafe for swimming this summer by Auckland Council after test results indicating contamination by human faeces or animal sources. The council’s Safeswim programme monitors the water quality  [ Read More ]

Protests against oil drilling in the Tasman Sea

Around a thousand gathered on Piha Beach on 23 November in the Banners on the Beach protest against deep sea oil drilling. When the crowd lined up facing out to the Tasman where the Greenpeace protest boat Vega was confronting Anadarko’s exploration ship Noble Bob Douglas, the line stretched from Pakiti Rock to Lion Rock  [ Read More ]

Rabbit bait stations at North Piha

Local and Sports Parks West is warning people that it has four bait stations for rabbits in Les Waygood Park, along the seaward edge of the karo forest (see map below). All the stations are fenced with stock-proof fence which would deter humans and large animals, though small animals could get in. The Pindone bait  [ Read More ]

Surf breaks under threat

Good article in the New Zealand Herald Thursday 15 about consents given to undertake works at nationally significant surf breaks that may harm them. Al Gillespie, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Professor of Law at University of Waikato, criticises recent decisions to Renew the dredging consent of 10,000 cubic metres per year from the channel at  [ Read More ]

New rules for SEAs?

The Auckland Council is considering new rules for Significant Ecological Areas after concerns raised by residents with SEAs on their properties. These are: Dead vegetation – Permit all removal of dead wood within SEAs Trimming and pruning – Permit clearance of vegetation in SEAs to 3m from a dwelling with no restriction on area and  [ Read More ]

Phil Twyford walking for kauri

Caught up with Phil Twyford, Labour MP for Te Atatu, at the Piha Surf Club today (17 January). Phil is walking the Hillary Trail to highlight the disease kauri PTA which is killing kauri trees in the Waitakeres and other parts of Auckland and Northland, and to protest at the Ministry of Primary Industries decision to  [ Read More ]

Piha Pohutukawa safe!!!

The Waitakere Ranges Local Board voted tonight (29 November) to adopt the option of removal of a few bollards and a speed hump to save Piha Pohutukawa. For this option were Judy Lawley, Neil Henderson, Greg Presland and Denise Yates, against were Janet Clews and Mark Brickell, who had previously posed in the tree with  [ Read More ]

Big wet moves the Marawhara

Big rain last night – 18 mm since midnight – has pushed the Marawhara close to the Wekatahi. The two streams were mechanically separated only a few months ago after they had joined up and pushed the streams south, eating into sand-dunes and getting close to Marine Parade North. The question is: will the two streams  [ Read More ]

Waste minimisation at Piha

For the last few months, the Auckland Council has been consulting on a plan for reducing waste through the Auckland region. Many submissions were received and a committee heard these and has recently made recommendations to the Council on the way ahead. The goal is still to reduce waste that goes to landfill, but the  [ Read More ]

Possum blitz in parkland at Piha-Anawhata-Bethells

The annual Waitakere Ranges possum monitoring programme was completed in January, with very pleasing results.  Most of the Waitakere Ranges is still maintaining possum indices below the treatment threshold of 2% residual trap catch (RTC).  However there is a number of patches showing possum recovery in the north of the Ranges, typically at the edge  [ Read More ]

Removal of one limb from Beach Valley Road pohutukawa

Parks are planning on trimming one limb from a Pohutukawa outside 28-30 Beach Valley Road.  This limb is being removed due to a number of reported incidents where vehicles have hit the limb.  These incidents have occurred as the limb extends into the road corridor and extends into the height envelope to allow for safe  [ Read More ]

Marawhara-Wekatahi Update

Friday 10 February 2012 Earlier in the summer, various local groups met with Parks West and the Local Board to discuss whether any action should be taken on the joined up and meandering Marawhara and Wekatahi Streams which disgorge onto North Piha beach. Some trigger points were established for possible separation, which would involve mechanical  [ Read More ]

Beach Valley Road pohutukawa is to lose a branch

Auckland Council Parks Department and Auckland Transport have decided to remove the limb of the pohutukawa in Beach Valley Road that is below the height threshhold for the road. A number of reports had been sought on the safety aspects for traffic and the effect on the tree. Transport officers could not come up with  [ Read More ]

Domain Alligator Weed to be sprayed

Auckland Council has been treating Alligator Weed in the Marawhara, Wekatahi, and Lily Pond over the winter. Now this awful weed has turned up in the Domain. When I reported it in the swale by the Domain entrance, it looked as if it was confined to that area. But Biosecurity report that it was right  [ Read More ]

Photo of the week

Last of the clematis, Piha Road, 30 October 2011

Vetch spreading around Piha

Lots of beachfront owners are being troubled by the appearance of a scrambling sweet-pea like weed smotherings their gardens. It is also well entrenched on the dunes of North Piha, especially north of North Piha Surf Club, but you will also see it at Piha beach in the dunes and in gardens across the road.  [ Read More ]

1611 food wrappers and 462 cigarette butts and more – cleaning up Piha beach

Sustainable Coatslines 17 September clean up of Piha beach resulted in 317 kgs of rubbish and 9910 items. Organisers say the turn-out was great, with some visitors coming all the way from town and avid particpation from the kids from Oratia and Lone Kauri Schools. Among the varied items of rubbish picked up – and counted  [ Read More ]

Plans for dune work available

11-06-29 Information Flyer – Marine Parade Sth Dune and Walkway Maintenance

Roadside trees in Piha in need of protection

Some roadside Pohutukawa trees in Garden Road took a battering recently when a truck moving building materials smashed its way through. Concerned residents who complained to the Auckland Council were told by Helen Biffen of Parks: “Local authorities are required to provide an open envelope within the road corridor which reaches 4.25m high and 300mm from the  [ Read More ]

Rules for groups of trees in urban areas OK says Judge Jackson.

Judge Jackson in the Environment Court has supported general tree rules for areas of trees or groups of trees in urban areas such as those at Titirangi and the pohutukawa lined cliffs of North Shore. The former N Shore City Council, Waitakere City Council and Auckland Regional Council had sought a declaratory judgement as to  [ Read More ]

Tackle weeds at Piha

With a few of the nasties flowering and seeding, it’s a good time to deal to weeds on your property or road frontage. Cotoneaster is currently smothered in bright red seeds. It’s easy to get rid off – saw the trunk off at ground level and paint with Vigilant Gel. There’s not a lot of this at  [ Read More ]

Beetles to the rescue

This is not exactly a Piha story but something I was involved in today 25 March that could be of great benefit to Piha where tradescantia is extremely common in forest in the residential areas. Despite the rain, we gathered at Mt Smart (Rarotonga) Domain to release 300 tiny Peruvian beetles that hopefully will munch their way through  [ Read More ]

Pohutukawa cut and damaged in house moving

Auckland Council will be undertaking remedial tree pruning outside the following addresses on Piha Rd and Seaview Rd tomorrow (Friday 25 March 2011):  28 Piha Rd 17 Piha Rd 63 Seaview Rd 94 Seaview Rd (pictured)  This work is required  to repair  unauthorised cutting of trees growing on the roadside berm which was undertaken  today  during a house moving  [ Read More ]

Terrible weed enlarging its grip at Piha

If you have wondered about the showy red climber on both sides of Seaview Road at the Pendrell Road intersection it is a very bad weed called Climbing dock or Rumex sagittatus. You can find out more by going to Pest Plants A-E  and scrolling down to Climbing dock. This is spreading in all directions and  [ Read More ]

A rare native visitor

Last week I reported on a wander round Piha and one of the things I wondered about was what looked like a very aggressive climbing weed in Glen Esk Road, with stunning violet flowers. Jack Craw, Manager Biosecurity at Auckland Council tells me this is in fact a native, Ipomoea cairica or Ipomoea palmata, normally  [ Read More ]

Alligator weed at Piha

Over Christmas noticed Alligator Weed in Garden Road at the Lily Pond. This is a particularly terrible “world’s worst” aquatic weed that flourishes in NZ climate, clogs waterways and spreads easily. Followed up with other waterways and found it in the Wekatahi and Marawhara Streams – easily visible on both sides of road bridges over North  [ Read More ]

Kokako in Ark heading our way?

I must say I was more than a little anxious about the fate of the Kokako released in 2009 into the Ark in the Park area of the Cascades. That photo (below) shows me feeding one at the release. The funny hat is because it was so damned cold in the kauri forest at 5  [ Read More ]

Nominating trees for scheduling

I have been asked if individuals and groups can nominate significant trees for scheduling directly to the Auckland Council of the Local Board does not want to take nominations. The Council would much rather they went to Local Boards, but if your Local Board is not doing this, you can send direct to Council, see  [ Read More ]

Rainfall at Piha and other wonderful things

I have been using the Auckland Council’s GIS maps for the last couple of years, which is being enhanced all the time. And, hey, check this out! Here’s the link  http://maps.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/aucklandcouncilviewer/ From there, go to Tools, then Environmental Monitoring. Where it says Select Site, go to Piha Rain What you’ll find there is an online  [ Read More ]

Origins of dumped sand?

Seven truckloads of sand were dumped on the roadside at the far southern end of Piha beach, and Auckland Council would like to know who did it. Meanwhile another two loads were dumped in the apex of Beach Valley Road and Marine Parade South. This was observed to contain rubble and plastic bags. Auckland Council says  [ Read More ]

New sewerage system under construction

All that black plastic tubing and green tanks in the Domain are signs of the new sewerage system under construction. The system replaces the old (though really not so old, but never adequately functioning) Domain and campground system. Now, it incorporates the sewerage from the Piha Bowling Club and the RSA. It is hoped that this  [ Read More ]

Flax yellow leaf virus

About 6 years ago, some of our phormium tenax (large flax) started to go yellow and over a period the mature plants died. At that time, Jack Craw, Biosecurity Manager in the ARC, told me it was caused by flax yellow leaf virus. This spread to neigbouring plants so that whole areas of flax yellowed  [ Read More ]

Marawhara and Wekatahi Streams – should they bother to separate?

The Auckland Council has postponed planned works on North Piha Beach to separate the Marawhara and Wekatahi Streams. About 5 years ago the Marawhara pushed southwards to join the Wekatahi, and because the greater force of water coming down the former, it threatened to undermine Marine Parade North, just south of the bridge over the Wekatahi.  [ Read More ]

Working on improving on-site wasterwater

For some years Waitakere City Council has been working with local communities to improve the quality of their waterways by upgrading and finding new technologies for on-site wastewater systems. Piha has some of the cleanest streams in the region in the parkland, but bad things happen when they enter the built area. An On-Site Wastewater  [ Read More ]