Penlink Construction

You may be aware that one of the Government’s recently funded projects is a road and bridge known as Penlink.  The new road connects the motorway from just south of the BP garage on SH1 with the Whangaparāoa peninsula.  The road will run across the farm land passing near Stillwater and then onto a new bridge that crosses the Weiti River.  There is also roading to be constructed on the peninsula itself.

The responsibility for building this road has been transferred from Auckland Transport to Waka Kotahi (NZTA), who since July 2020 have been finalising the engineering design and the environmental protection mechanisms. We understand that construction is scheduled to start late this year.

The Society is currently in discussion with Waka Kotahi to ensure that the work can be completed with as little impact on the environment as possible. Areas that the Society is investigating include sediment from construction activities potentially affecting the health of the Okura Estuary. In addition we are concerned about sediment flowing down the Weiti River and damaging the Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve and bird nesting sites. Our discussions with Waka Kotahi are ongoing and we will let you know the results shortly.

Working in the Long Bay Regional Park

As some of you will be aware, the lockdown period last year meant the usual Long Regional Park public planting day had to be cancelled. This resulted in a lot of plants in the nursery becoming root bound in their pots. Fortunately, once we came out of Lockdown, the Society were able to very quickly call on volunteers to get the plants in the ground, and approximately 7000 trees were planted. This is not the usual activity for the Society to be involved in but many of us enjoyed being able to make a practical contribution to the park we so love. Hopefully this year the public planting day will go ahead. However, there is a huge weed problem in the park which we would like to tackle. Elaine Pollock and Richard Walters will plan regular weeding days throughout the year when volunteers will get together, probably for a couple of hours on a Sunday morning, and target some of the worst weeds. Our efforts will be coordinated with Council weeding programs, but Covid has severely restricted the budget for this work.
The first of these weeding days will be on Sunday March 28, starting at 10am. We will probably be working in the wetlands near Vaughans Stream, releasing plants which were planted in 2019. Most have survived but some need help and there are some large weeds starting to take over. Tools and gloves will be supplied but I suggest you bring gardening gloves if you have them. Most of the work can be done with a flax knife. The day and time of these days may change, depending on availability.
Another park project we have been involved in is funding the purchase of 6 autotraps for possums, in response to visible tree damage in the park. There are 4 at Piripiri Point, which was very badly affected, and 2 in the 100 Acre bush. Last Tuesday, when the traps had been in place for less than 3 weeks, 15 possums had been killed at Piripiri Point. None so far in the 100 Acre so those two may be moved. As you will see from the photos, the Park staff are delighted in the success of these traps.
If you can help with the work please contact Elaine Pollock at 021 246 5872 or Email at [email protected].