Whitireia Park Restoration Group (Formerly known as the Onehunga Bay Restoration Group)


Whitireia Park Restoration Group (Formerly known as the Onehunga Bay Restoration Group)

Whitireia Park

Whitireia Park is a local asset for Ngati Toa, local residents of Titahi Bay and the wider Porirua community. Many people use the park for various activities such as biking, walking, running, model plane flying, windsurfing or just swimming or picnicking. Some local residents and users of the park wanted to help restore some of the local biodiversity in the park and formed the Onehunga Bay Restoration Group to focus their resources on an area that has high usage in the park. The group welcome anyone who would like to join in the effort, as well as benefitting the environment it is a good way to make new friends.

What is the group doing

For the past five years the Whitireia Park Restoration Group has been working to restore two areas in the Park. One of these areas is the sand dunes at Onehunga Bay. The group is progressively replacing invasive marram grass on the foredune with native spinifex and pingao and are also planting some rare native plants such as shore spurge and sand tussock. These foredune plants trap sand blowing onto the beach and are building dunes above the high water mark.  A low bollard and rope fence has been erected around the planted area to protect these fragile new plants from being squashed by people walking or driving on them. Protector nets are put on young palatable plants to prevent browsing by rabbits until the plants have grown out of their reach.

The second area is behind the Onehunga Bay carpark. The aim is to provide a corridor of planting from the bush block in the gully down to the carpark. This involves many wetland species and also some hardy species capable of withstanding the salt-laden wind on the dry hills on either side of the gully.

Following the fire in February 2010 that destroyed over 60 hectares of Whitireia Park, the group organised two community planting days to replant some of the previous year’s plants which were burnt.  Over 7500 were planted in 2010 with the help of the wider Porirua community, local schools and businesses.


February 2010 fire damage to Onehunga Bay

Current activities

After a very busy planting season in 2011 and 2012, the group received finding from two local charitable trusts for funding to extend the planting programme into the wider park.

This winter we are continuing dune restoration planting and wetland plantings, as well as planting a stream margin behind Onehunga Bay.

Planting Dates

Sunday 16 June - 10am to 2pm

Sunday 21 July - 10am to 2pm

Join us to help restore native species to Whitireia Park. Meet at the Onehunga Bay carpark. Come anytime between 10am and 1:30pm. BBQ, hot drinks and spades are provided on planting days.

Phone Chris 027 478 8106 if weather is doubtful. Back up dates are the following Sunday.


If you would like to help out please contact Chris Gibbons

027 478 8106


Onehunga Bay back dune planting May 2010

Onehunga Bay wetland planting, June 2010