News Page for Friends of Le Roys Bush - latest news for 2017

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News for April to August 2017

Our apologies to those who received the LRB newsletter by email on 31 May - the Gmail editor created a mix of colours which we forgot to remove.  If you didn't receive this evening's email but would like to in future, please let us know. 

"Closed for Good" weeding and planting bee 9am Wednesday 23 August 

The BNZ team will be helping go control weeds and to plant trees around the south west arm of the wetland. We'd welcome anyone who could help with this.

Meeting place: Little Shoal Bay Bowling Club.  Bring gumboots, gardening gloves, spade, folding saw/secateurs, long sleeved shirt and trousers, hat, water, lunch/morning tea, sun tan lotion, insect repellent etc.

Local volunteers are welcome to come and join in - bring gumboots, long sleeved shirt and pants, folding saw, clean spade, hat, water bottle, morning tea and lunch, sun tan lotion.  I didn't see any insects on Saturday - but if you're worried bring insect repellent.

We'll be tackling climbing asparagus, woolly nightshade, moth plant, loquat, privet, honeysuckle, blue morning glory, jasmine, ginger, pampas grass, arum lily, willow, acmena, queen of the night, etc etc  

Friday working bee 10am Friday 3 September
Please watch this space for news of the next working bee or contact Keith 
on 021-240-9414 if you are available to help.

Sunday working bee Sunday 26 August
Please watch this space for news of the next Sunday working bee or contact Keith 
( or 021-240-9414) if you are available to help. 
The working bee will take place from the back of private property in Le Roy Tce - access and timing will depend on the weather - so please email or phone me if you are able to help and I'll let you know. 
Boots, gloves and your favourite spade are recommended. 

Friday working bee 10am Friday 4 August
Many thanks to Geoff, Les and Maureen who did a great job releasing natives around the entrance at 251 Hinemoa Street.

Stage 1 of the Pest Free Kaipātiki monitoring programme - Citizen Scientists wanted! 

The Pest Free Kaipātiki team is ready to roll out Stage I of the PFK monitoring programme – the laying out and retrieval of about 400 "chew cards" in our Kaipātiki Reserves over the next month (late July – early August).

This is a key action to establish a baseline measurement for the predator population to better determine the next steps to making Kaipatiki pest-free by 2026! It expands on the monitoring schedule begun by our expert advisers from the RIMU (the Auckland Council Research Investigation and Monitoring Unit).

(1) Can you personally help with monitoring? Please let us know ASAP by completing this on-line form:

(2) Can you also please help broaden our reach by forwarding this email by asking friends, family and neighbours? 
Obviously, the more volunteers that get behind this, the more success we will have introducing new people to restoration, and helping in our reserves.

If you have any questions, please email us - or call Keith

What’s involved?
  • 1 x Training Session (Thursday 20 July 20 at 3pm) at Kaipātiki Project Environment Centre, 17 Lauderdale Rd, Birkdale. There we will explain where and how to install the cards and how locations are mapped and GPS located. You’ll get enough information to train other volunteers too. [Note: More times may be added for people who can’t make this session].
  • 2 x Sessions in the bush ‘Walking the line’ – one walk nailing up pre-labelled chew cards to marked trees, followed by another walk retrieving all chew cards, 3 days later. (MUST be completed between July 20 and 9 August).
  • 1 x Sending Returning your chew cards and recorded data to 17 Lauderdale Road, Birkdale (before Thursday 10 August 10, 2017).
As outlined, this is stage one of the Pest Free Kaipatiki programme. There are many more exciting things happening soon. The Le Roys Bush email list has been managed for many years by one or two people from a spreadsheet. We are aware that looking after Le Roys Bush also means control pests right across our local board area.  Le Roys volunteers have been playing a key role in Pest Free Kaipatiki.  In line with this, we are thinking of moving our email list to the "Engage" system that the Ubiquity company has provided to Pest Free Kaipatiki - this means that in future, your emails may include both Le Roys Bush and Pest Free Kaipatiki information.  We'd like to hear back from you how you feel about this. 
Beyond the Fence Building For Diversity Workshop Sunday 9 July 2.00pm
This was a great success. Well done again to the Beyond the Fence team.

Friday working bee at 251 Hinemoa Street, 10am Friday 7 July - POSTPONED
The working bee will be in the area near 251 Hinemoa Street. If you arrive a bit late and can't see us, call Keith on 021-240-9414.
Please bring the usual gear - suitable boots/old shoes, gloves, long sleeved clothing, weeding tools, and to suit your needs: hat, water bottle, snacks.
The working bee will aim to control invasive weeds along the new walkway below the pool where the kokopu used to be. 

Birkenhead Neighbourhood Planning 
The Birkenhead Residents Association is undertaking a survey seeking your views on Birkenhead (wider Birkenhead not just the Town Centre).
Please go to and make your views known.
You can vote on what people have already said about what they do like, don't like or think is missing. 
And you can add your own ideas or comments. Please have your say.

Kaipatiki Local Board Plan 2017 - submissions close 4pm Friday 30 June
The KLB is seeking feedback on their current planning round.
It includes ongoing support for the Pest Free Kaipātiki programme. We are very grateful for the support the Kaipātiki Local Board has already been giving to Pest Free Kaipātiki.  
If you haven't already made a submission of support, we encourage you to do this. 

In particular, we are told that it's important that people make a submission to support those items in the KLB plan that they are in favour of - just to confirm that the community is behind these initiatives. It's expressions of support that reinforce the board's mandate to follow through with good initiatives - such as Pest Free Kaipatiki.

If you only have five minutes, then we suggest that, if you'd like to support Pest Free Kaipatiki, you could
  • Go to the KLB Plan feedback form:
  • Fill in your details, select Kaipatiki as your local area
  • If you'd like to support Pest Free Kaipatiki, we suggest you add " Pest Free Kaipatiki" to Question 2 (what you like about the local plan) [or add any other thinks that appeal to you]
  • If you are worried about the erosion and sewage overflows in Le Roys, we suggestion that in answer to Question 3 (what is missing from the plan), you answer:
  •    "Encourage Auckland Council to provide more funding to protect our bush reserves from sewage overflows and erosion"

Sunday planting bee at Le Roy Terrace entrance, 10am Sunday 25 June 

Thanks to Andrew, Ben, Christophe, Geoff, Helen, John, Ken,Laurie, Linda and Keith for coming along to this event. 
The working bee dug out the weeds and planted the native grasses along the left side of the walkway from Le Roy Tce.    It looks heaps better.

Some of the grasses are very small - so hopefully people and dogs won't step on them. Maybe they need stakes around them.  

The natives will need some releasing from time to time - if you are passing by and can tell native grasses from weeds, please stop and stomp on the weeds to allow the native grasses and the native trees to keep their heads in the light.

It's good to see natural regeneration happening alongside the track coming down from Hinemoa Street - this is one of the reasons why it's important for people and pets to keep on the track. 

Advance notice- the next BNZ Closed for Good day is being held on 23 August 2017 
Advance warning - the next BNZ Closed for Good day is being held on 23 August 2017.  If you might be available to help us coordinate the volunteers on that day, please let us know ASAP. Do you have ideas about good projects we should be tackling. 

NZ Garden Bird Survey 24 June - 2 July 2017
Congratulations to Beyond the Fence for the Bird Talk last Sunday 18 June. Great to see so many people there.  
Some people attended who expressed an interest in helping more with pest control and bush protection but we didn't get your contact details. Please get in touch with your contact details. 
The talk was held to publicize  the NZ Garden Bird Survey which runs from 24 June - 2 July 2017.
    • If you'd like to take part click on the link: NZ Garden Bird Survey.
      It'd be great to have local people helping out with citizen science around our bush reserves
Erosion, siltation and pollution in Le Roys Bush - 17 June 2017
You may have noticed the silty mud over the board walk in Le Roys. If you think that's bad, look at what has happened to the pools in the stream - they are being filled with silt - displacing a large proportion of the remaining banded kokopu.

We are fortunate in having a report written by a local geotech engineer on issues with erosion and siltation in Le Roys Bush. As noted on Facebook there have also been problems with sewer leaks running for weeks on private land without being fixed. We have written to the Kaipatiki Local Board to discuss these issues. If you have professional expertise or would like to help us document these issues, please get in touch.

New signs going into Kaipatiki reserves - first sign in Le Roys - 17 June 2017

Many thanks to the Kaipatiki Local Board for funding new signage in our reserves and thanks to Kaipatiki Community Facilities Trust and Steve Cook of EcoScience Ltd for making it happen. 

Some other reserves suffered vandalism of their signs initially - so they are now being mounted on a backing board.

This shows the first sign - the others will be installed progressively over coming weeks.

Please note - if you see any vandalism in the reserve, please take a photo and send it to along with precise details to the Auckland Council contact centre with a copy to
For further info about how you can help by reporting problems, see Report pests, problems & pollution and Some events reported.

Successful Friday working bee at 251 Hinemoa Street, 10am Friday 2 June
Thanks to Ken, Les, Ted and Keith for a good working bee in the area between 251 Hinemoa Street and behind the weedy Westpac building.
Work continued on the wretched blue morning glory below Aetherius Lodge and Rosella Apartments as well as on climbing asparagus, ginger, privet, plectranthus, selaginella, 
By the time we left, the area today it was looking much more promising. The planted natives are looking good and will need regular releasing. 

The Pest Free concept - making progress - would you like to become more involved?
Friends of Le Roys Bush have been supporting the Pest Free Kaipatiki project since its inception. It's a natural strategy since pest plants and predators can spread across the whole area.
But restoring and protecting our native bush and wildlife is still dependent on volunteers and supporters like yourselves.
We are always on the outlook for people who are happy to put their hand up to assist with various tasks or to join our committee.
Our latest thanks go to Les who has volunteered to do more to help with predator control in Le Roys. 
Thanks also to the good neighbours who removed an acmena (monkey apple) tree from their property - this will help reduce the number of acmena seedlings popping up in the reserve. 

On a wider front, we're now pleased to learn that Auckland Council is hosting a Pestival - please see details below. At this event they will introduce councils’ Pest Free Auckland programme which will build on many aspects of our own Pest Free Kaipatiki. We look forward to synergies arising from this.

The Pest Free Kaipatiki project is very grateful to the Kaipatiki Local Board who have awarded the Pest Free Kaipatiki a significant grant which will allow PFK to move forward on its 10 year programme involving more people and more areas to work with Auckland Council.

Little Shoal Bay activities - tidal surges and mangroves
You may have seen the mangroves being removed from Little Shoal Bay over recent weeks and also on the LRB Facebook page the video taken on 27 May of the tide washing around the LSB Bowling Club carpark.
The mangrove work was undertaken by the Kaipatiki Community Facilities Trust and the Little Shoal Bay Protection Society. 
It is proposed that the Le Roys Bush committee gets together with the LSB Protection committee to discuss a community led approach to addressing the underlying issues and seeking optimal solutions for the environment and the community.  

More about Pest Free Auckland and the "Pestival" on 24 June
For more info see the blog at

Pest Free Kaipatiki Programme Coordinator position 

This position is a first step in moving the Pest Free Kaipatiki programme forward. The position has been shortlisted and the appointment should be announced in the week ending 14 July.

Indigenous terrestrial and wetland ecosystems of Auckland

RIMU (the Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit) has published "Indigenous terrestrial and wetland ecosystems of Auckland" - a guide that " ... describes the 36 terrestrial and wetland ecosystems, and their regional variants, that have been identified by Auckland Council as occurring in the Auckland region. The aim is to improve consistency in mapping and describing Auckland’s natural areas.  ... The results will lead to clearer articulation of management aims for council, improved efficiency in consent processing, and more targeted restoration advice for community groups and landowners. "

This guide is dedicated to John Sawyer whose vision initiated the project and who made a substantial contribution to the publication prior to leaving New Zealand. Sadly, John passed away in 2015. John was passionate about biodiversity conservation and brought huge energy and determination to the projects he was involved with. He was generous with his time, knowledge and support for his many friends and colleagues. John presented at a meeting at Birkenhead Library about the new SEA overlay.

Great weeding bee on Friday 5 May 2017
Many thanks to Paul, Mark, Les, Ken, Kelly, Keith and Geoff for a great morning's work. :Les and Kelly did a great job clearing blue morning vines from trees below Aetherius Lodge, Mark and Ken cleared weeds from along the stream edge below the Rosella Apartments, Paul dealt to an outbreak of climbing asparagus below Aetherius Lodge,  Geoff planted some donated totara and kowhai in the grass area below the apartment block and did some weed clearance around the edges.and Keith released plantings and pulled weeds between the new walkway and the stream.  There are some great seedlings emerging in this area but struggling against the weeds including taraire and lancewood.  This area is not a track - people should only enter it as part of a working bee and with clean boots and tools. Weeds removed included:Moth Plant, Queen of the Night, Blue Morning Glory, Palm Grass, Privet, Climbing Asparagus, Bamboo, Woolly Night Shade, Blue Morning Glory, Convolvulus, Honeysuckle and many others.  At this stage, we are only removing some of the Sellaginella and Tradescantia.until we've got the more dominant weeds cleared.  Thanks also to the rat bait station volunteers. Thanks very much to Les for all the weeding work he's done between formal working bees. 
If anyone else would like to adopt a patch of bush and keep it weed free, please email to arrange training and to get equipment if you need it. 

ANZAC Day Moth plant volunteer working bee and a stream walk to review pollution and erosion

Great moth busting afternoon - preceded by a coffee at the Junction overlooking Le Roys and the harbour. Guess we got about 200 pods? Does that translate to preventing 150,000 seeds floating over Birkenhead and Auckland? Then followed by a well deserved beer with the same beautiful view from the Kaimataara. Thanks Angela, Ann, Dale, Duncan, Pam, Paul, Keith. Someone will post some photos on the Pest Free Kaipatiki Facebook page.

Earlier in the day, I enjoyed a very instructive walk down the Le Roys Bush stream from below Rosella Apartments to the waterfall looking at the ongoing erosion and pollution problems. Great to learn from two experts - Laurie about the soil science of the slips and erosion and Kit about the impact of erosion and pollution on banded kokopu and why we might lose all kokopu from the upper stream. Kit pointed out pools and streams which were once deep and healthy and had lots of kokopu. Now most of them are empty. What can we do?  We hope to meet with an Auckland Council pollution expert next week. But how do we tackle the erosion - Auckland Council no longer applies resources to fix catchments like this.  We hope to prepare a report for the Kaipatiki Local Board to address this.
The photo to the left shows a slip of clay beside the east end of the big bridge where the new track meets the old Onewa Road track.  There doesn't appear to be any risk of structural failure - but what a shame that metres of clay have washed down the stream adding to the mass of sediment in this reserve of high ecological value.  

Note added 4 May 2017: Laurie has done another walk documenting the multiple locations of erosion in the upper Le Roys Stream.  It appears that the problems may only be solved by managing the flow of adjacent sites.

Photos below (KH): Left: Pool newly filled with silt looking upstream.  Centre: Downstream view from pool.  Right: erosion under the new bridge.


Sunday working bee at 251 Hinemoa Street 10am Sunday 23 April 

We didn't have a big turnout, but got a lot of bad weeds pulled out - blue morning glory, acmena, privet, loquat and dozens of queen of the night seedlings. .
Most annoying of all was about 50 moth plant vines and seedlings. Retrieved two pods - but there's more pods to collect. Maybe we'll get back to these as part of the Pest Free Kaipatiki moth plant campaign on Anzac Day afternoon.

Suddenly a new stormwater outlet has appeared in the bush - not far from the Westpac stormwater outlet - creating a new overland flow. Hopefully the new building will have a detention tank so we won't get a lot more silt washed through the bush.  (See left and middle photos)

 It's good to see the pohuehue growing under the Kaimataara (see  right hand photo).

Growsafe Certification -  information received 10 April 2017
Would any Le Roys Bush volunteers be interested in getting Growsafe certification? There's a course on 31 May 2017.
Having this certificate will provide an opportunity to learn about the safe use of herbicides etc. Email us if you have any enquiries.

Friday working bee at 251 Hinemoa Street 10am Friday 7 April
The regular first Friday of the month working bee was held in the area below Rosella Apartments. The bush was full of noisy tui and other birds.
Many thanks to Les, Lloyd, Lynne, Maureen, Richard and Keith for clearing blue morning glory, convolvulus and other weeds from the natives we planted last year.

Moth plant control in Birkenhead Point, Chelsea, Glenfield and Beach Haven and other areas - helpers wanted - 10am Saturday 8 April
The Pest Free Kaipatiki Campaign to eradicate Moth Plant is going well but there is still a lot to do.
If anyone would like to help with Moth Plant control around Birkenhead Point, Northcote or Chelsea/Chatswood, please follow Pest Free Kaipatiki's Facebook page and help out when people spot an infestation. 
Pest Free Kaipatiki will also be holding Eradicate Moth Plant workshops in a number of locations from 10am to noon next Saturday 8 April. 
See Pest Free Kaipatiki's Facebook page and let us know if you can be part of the team.

Sewage leak from Birkenhead Ave shops
The sewage leak from the shops next to the Kaimataara has now been repaired. (
Hopefully this rain will flush out most of the remaining sewage from the stream - but it is very disappointing that when the Auckland Council CCO Watercare attended the site, they simply decided the sewer pipe was on private land and left it to that. We believe they should have alerted the public to the health risk and ensured that the sewage was diverted back into the sewer lines till the problems were fixed. 
It took a while for the contractor responsibly to actually fix the leak - in the interim sewage was flowing down Le Roys Bush into Little Shoal Bay.
Thanks to Anne-Elise Smithson for preparing a submission to Auckland Council on behalf of the Kaipatiki Local Board. 

Weeding bee at Le Roy Tce and Hinemoa Street entrances to Le Roys Bush 10am Monday 3 April


We had a very successful informal working bee with Beyond the Fence in the track next to 133 Hinemoa Street to clear the palm grass that is starting to go to seed as well as the moth plant growing in the hedge next to 10 Le Roy Tce.  All welcome. Bring gloves, kneeling pad, secateurs/folding saw.  Water bottle and sunhat (depending on weather). 

We'll also take the opportunity to discuss how best to manage the large bushes intruding onto the track.

The natives planted last year are doing well and if time permits we'll deal to the weeds around them to make sure that they get a good start. Rather than pull the weeds out, we may use the "stomping technique" recommended by a parks adviser. This means that the foliage from the annual weeds remains around the natives - protecting the soil and preventing new weeds from growing.

Little things you can do if you go for a walk in Le Roys Bush
Even if you can't get to working bees, here's a few things you can do when you're walking in the reserve:
  • if leaves are blocking drains on the track, please lift them out and put them somewhere safe on nearby soil where they won't crush plants or wash back in the drain
  • if you'd like to adopt a small patch of bush to look after, email us and we'll get you started
  • if you see weeds with seed heads forming, please email the exact location to with a description of the plants seen (add photos if possible)
  • if you see anyone dumping rubbish in the reserve or if you see wasps, broken boards or dangerous mesh on the board walk, please contact the Auckland Council Contact Centre with exact details and locations (add photos if possible).  We had a case recently reported of a landscape contractor dumping garden waste including moth plant pods over his back fence near Highbury.
For other things you could help click here: How can I help?  To find contact phone numbers and email addresses, click here: Report pests, problems & pollution

Beyond the Fence activities around Le Roys Bush and Birkenhead Point
The Seaview Ave and the Wernham Valley Road Beyond the Fence groups both had working bees last Sunday 2 April and as noted above the Le Roy Tce/Hinemoa Street group has a working bee on 3 April.
A new Beyond the Fence group is forming in Willow Bay after a successful function in March.
The Beyond the Fence team has just released its 2017 Calendar with some great events on it including a Birds of Birkenhead on 25 June and and Wine and Weeds on 15 October. Not to mention their Rat Blitz pulsing dates. Join Beyond the Fence on Facebook for more news.

Forest and Bird Weed Control Guide
If you haven't already got a copy, North Shore Forest and Bird have produced an excellent Weed Control Guide PDF - click on the link to download it, or get a printed copy from the library. The guide tells you how to eradicate weeds manually or with appropriate agrichemicals. 

Saturday working bee at Le Roy Tce Sunday 1 April
A shout out to Hugo, Dave, Ben and Keith who helped clear large vines beyond their back fences growing up into the canopy of Le Roys Bush.  

The technique for addressing these vines is to track the vine through the undergrowth and then
  • Pull the whole root out of the ground and coil the vine up and hang it in a tree 
  • Cut the vine just above ground level and dab the stump with a dab of gel (eg Cut'n'Paste Bamboo Buster or, if not near natives, Metgel)
  • Then coil the vine up and hang it in the tree to die.
This should be done before any seeds or pods form. If you are too late, then any moth plant pods should be retrieved and double wrapped and put out in your landfill rubbish

Many thanks to Dave who had spotted the moth plant and Hugo who'd spotted the madeira vine. By tackling these vines before they went to seed, we've avoided ongoing infestation in the neighbouring bush and avoiding the totara and tree ferns from being smothered to death.

News for March 2017

News from Pest Free Kaipatiki at Eco Fest 26 March

 Le Roys Bush members are involved in the Pest Free Kaipatiki Programme which had a stall at the Enviro Fun day held by the Kaipatiki Project on 26 March.

 This photo shows Danielle Grant, chair of the Kaipatiki Local Board, along with Pam Templeton (CHERPA) and Keith Salmon (Le Roys)

  They are holding a new stencil created by the Hadfields Restoration Group using funding from the KLB's funding provided to the Kaiapatiki Restoration Network.

 This stencil (and another smaller one) will be used to paint warnings around stormwater drains about Kaipatiki - including around Le Roys Bush where recent events indicate a lack of awareness and concern about the impact of pollution on our freshwater streamlife.

 If you'd like to help with applying these stencils to a stormwater drain near you, please get in touch.

Coming working bees and other events - all welcome 

  • Please help support the Pest Free Kaipatiki Moth Plant campaign
For more details go to this web page

We are looking for Le Roys Bush volunteers to help:

  • (1) Put up Moth Plant brochures at bush entrances
  • (2) Become Moth Buster volunteers and coordinators.

  • Raupo growth by Glade Place-Valley Road Bridge -  4 March 2017 compared with December 2016
      • Photos from the Northcote College Fish Monitoring Team show increasing spread of raupo above the bridge
        • It's great to get photos of changes in the reserve.
          Please feel free to forward photos and we'll add them to the website. Or simply add them to the LRB Facebook page.

  • Working bee report -  3 March 2017
    • 3 March: Beautiful day for a working bee.Our thanks to Paul, Maureen, Les, and a big welcome to newcomers Mark and Kelly. It'll be good to see the blue morning glory in the trees behind the Senior Citizens controlled and the new plantings from last year released.  
  • Working bees for 2017: our Bush Rescue working parties are scheduled each month for the 4th Sunday of January and the 1st Friday of February 
    • You are cordially invited to join us on our next bush rescue working bees: Keith is back in action after a knee replacement.
      We are looking for other volunteers who'd be happy to lead these events.  Watch this space to the details of each event.
      • Sunday 26 March      10am to noon  - Email or ring Keith for postponement details if rain is too heavy. Otherwise meet at 251 Hinemoa St.
      • Friday    7 April         10am to noon  - Location TBZ
For most working bees, we recommend you bring: gloves, long sleeved shirt and pants, secateurs or small folding saw. Also: water bottle, sunscreen, sunhat,etc.