LocalMatters       

Te Arai nursery at forefront of Kaipara clean up

Posted at 11:30am Monday 16 Nov, 2020 | By James Addis editor@localmatters.co.nz

The native nursery held an open day last month.
The native nursery held an open day last month.

Last year, the nursery produced 850,000 plants.
Last year, the nursery produced 850,000 plants.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff signs the memorandum of understanding between the government, Auckland Council and Northland Regional Council for the harbour clean-up project.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff signs the memorandum of understanding between the government, Auckland Council and Northland Regional Council for the harbour clean-up project.

Te Uri o Hau native nursery in Te Arai will ramp up production to two million plants a year by 2023, in the wake of the Government committing $100 million to clean up the Kaipara Harbour.

The Kaipara restoration project will involve the planting and fencing of waterways that feed into the harbour.     

In addition to contributing to the environmental benefits, the nursery is expected to provide education and jobs for members of the Te Uri o Hau hapu.

The nursery is hoping to recruit 12 to 18 new employees over the next 12 months. Te Uri o Hau is also in the process of establishing an on-site training programme with North Tec, which will gain employees level three qualification in horticulture and sustainable land practices.

Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust chief executive Jonathan Rishworth says the trust will then look to establish satellite nurseries at the 14 marae throughout its rohe (territory).

“We want to support marae-based environmental hubs to restore the Kaipara Harbour,” Mr Rishworth says.

The nursery primarily produces manuka, kānuka, harakeke, cabbage tree, karamu and native sedge for riparian planting, but also cultivates other species on a contract basis.

Seeds are “eco-sourced” from a specific location and returned to that location once propagated.

The nursery was established in 2017 and has already distributed one million discounted or free-of-charge plants to organisations for conservation planting projects.

Settlement Trust business development manager Sesha Perkinson says the nursery is shifting from a not-for-profit model to a for-profit model to enable growth and support more employment.

In addition to supplying the Kaipara clean-up project, the nursery will cater to private industry such as landscapers and developers.

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