A Rocha in Wellington exists as three sub-groups, focusing efforts on the Kapiti Coast, Wellington City, and Hutt Valley. For more information about the projects and working-days contact: [email protected]. We welcome people to join any of the sub-groups.
Three private properties are the focus of the A Rocha group on the Kapiti Coast. Two properties are part of the Kotukutuku Ecological
Restoration Project which seeks to restore indigenous bio-diversity and therefore enhance the corridor for birdlife between Kapiti Island, Kaitawa Reserve, Whareroa Farm and the Nga Uruora project, stretching from Paraparaumu to Paekakariki. Financial and technical support from the DOC Community Conservation Fund and the Kapiti Coast District Council assists in the project work – predator and weed control and a range of activities for monitoring invertebrates, birds and vegetation. Also, the Kotukutuku Project has a permit under the Wildlife Act to carry out lizard monitoring for ten years and therefore biennial skink/gecko surveys are being carried out. One of the highlights of 2016 was four lizard species being found on one of the properties;
- Barking Gecko (aka Wellington Green Gecko/Naultinus punctatus)
- Ngahere Gecko (aka Forest Gecko/Mokopirirakau sp. ‘Southern North Island’)
- Northern Grass Skink (aka Common Skink/Oligosoma polychroma)
- Copper Skink (Oligosoma aeneum)
Over a number of years the group has also had some success in the propagation of a regionally threatened species of mistletoe (Ileostylus micranthus).
The group meets quarterly to participate in work associated with the project, for fieldtrips and to learn from and encourage one another.
The City group works alongside the Friends of Owhiro Stream (FOOS) involved in the restoration of Owhiro Stream. Owhiro stream is the only unpiped stream flowing to the south coast in Wellington City. It provides important habitat for aquatic animals and the surrounding bush acts as a valuable connecting corridor between places such as Karori Wildlife Sanctuary and the town belt.
The A Rocha city group joins FOOS at their working bees on the second Saturday of each month.
The Hutt Valley group, in partnership with Forest and Bird and the support of the Hutt City Council has been working since 2012 in helping to restore the Waiu Wetland in Wainuiomata. Wetlands are one of the most threatened habitats in New Zealand (over the last 200 years 90% of NZ’s wetlands have been drained/modified). The project consists of clearing invasive weeds (mainly blackberry and gorse), replanting native plants, and nurturing the naturally regenerating plants that have been covered by weeds.
Monthly working bees are held on the third Saturday of each month between 10am and 12pm. All are welcome to come.