In 2010, Auckland Regional Council purchased Te Muri farm - 407 hectares of land behind Te Muri Beach - as an addition to its outstanding Regional Parks Network. Only 45 minutes from downtown Auckland, Te Muri Beach is a beautiful spot overlooking Mahurangi Harbour, favoured by locals for its seclusion and great walking trail - perfect to commune with nature and enjoy Auckland’s great outdoors.
In 2016, Council started public consultations to amend the management plans for Mahurangi Regional Park with the aim to soon open Te Muri Regional Park to the public.
"Te Muri was a critical purchase to protect the landscape of the Puhoi River, Wenderholm Regional Park and the wider area," ARC Parks and Heritage Committee Chair Sandra Coney says. "The whole stretch of coast from Mahurangi to Waiwera is now protected in a natural state for all time."
The park was cleared for farming by the original Bavarian settlers with pockets of vegetation left intact. Whilst part of the property will remain as a working farm, areas of the park will also be restored to reflect pre-clearing native vegetation. In time, the park will provide for picnicking, walking, tramping, orienteering, fishing, mountain biking, horse riding and camping.
Greenfleet is privileged to be able to partner with Auckland City in enhancing this stunning open space. In 2016, Greenfleet revegetated 4 hectares with native seedlings - including Pohutukawa, Karaka, Rewarewa, Cabbage Tree, Puriri, Tanekaha and Kahikatea - to restore the park, with more tree planting happening in 2017.
Remnant vegetation in the park represents 16 distinct ecosystems, 4 of which are listed as threatened on a national and regional scale. In 2016, Greenfleet focussed on restoring the Pohutukawa–puriri–karaka broadleaved forest. This broadleaved forest ecosystem, listed as critically endangered on the IUCN list, was severely reduced in extent by human settlement—first Maori and later European—with a large proportion burnt and cleared for agriculture. Many remaining examples are small and continue to suffer by being fragmented. Greenfleet’s work will play a vital role in restoring and preserving the unique biodiversity of this efocosystem.
These 16 types of forests are home to many rare and threatened or uncommon plants and animals. A recent ecological survey of the site recorded 438 plant species in the park of which 10 are considered nationally or regionally threatened plant species, such as the Marsh Fern (Thelypteris confluens).
Northern New Zealand dotterels (Charadrius obscurus aquilonius), listed as nationally vulnerable, and Variable oystercatcher (Haematopus unicolor) are among the many species of native wildlife which find shelter in the remnant vegetation of the land. By restoring native habitat, this project will bring back and help protect endangered native animals.
We’re thrilled to collaborate with conservation organisations, local landholders and responsible businesses in New Zealand to enrich biodiversity, build green infrastructure and restore ecosystems, such as in Te Muri.
“This site is unique and our restoration project is very exciting!” commented Rob Small, Greenfleet NZ Manager.
“The intact parcels of remnant vegetation can carefully be replicated over the formerly farmed landscape. As Te Muri sits between two existing parklands both with abundant native vegetation, our reforestation work will add greatly to the mass of forest, which will become important for its bio-sustainability and resilience within this local landscape.”
Project partner Andrew Cashmore from Kauri Park Nursery added “To be part of such an outstanding vision of restoration and ecological enhancement is with no doubt a huge privilege for Kauri Park Nurseries. Nearly 4,000 eco-sourced natives have been planted with ongoing seed collection and planting planned in Te Muri for 2017. This project is a credit to Greenfleet NZ and we appreciate being a partner.”