Natural heritage

Plan Goal 1: Protect and restore high levels of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem health to enhance indigenous biodiversity and ecosystem services. 

This is a key goal and work in parks to support the Toitū Te Whenua vision of ‘Restoring healthy ecosystems for the benefit of people and nature’. There are multiple streams of work and people supporting natural heritage work in parks. This includes extensive pest plant and animal management, restoration plantings, supporting mana whenua and community conservation work, science programme monitoring and much more. 

A view of greenery in Belmont Regional Park

Belmont Regional Park restoration planting surrounding a wetland near the park entrance at Waihoura Crescent. Keep an eye out on social media channels for opportunities to join the many community planting days. See Ngahere Korowai | Porirua on Facebook.

Across the network, park ecosystems are in different states of health. A significant programme called Recloaking Papatūānuku, or the Parks Restoration Programme, is focused on restoring the formerly grazed areas of parks which are in the poorest states of health from the grazing legacy. Recloaking Papatūānuku includes wetland and forest restoration plantings in QEP, Belmont, Kaitoke and Baring Head/Ōrua-pouanui (East Harbour Regional Park). The programme has been funded initially through Council’s Low Carbon Acceleration Fund (LCAF) and then the Long-Term Plan. The overall programme has a technical guide, the ‘Recloaking Papatūānuku Restoration Guide’, and park-specific restoration plans are to be developed. 

The restoration programme is not just about planting trees. Most of the region’s bushland has regenerated through natural processes. The restoration programme is supporting natural processes of regeneration with extensive pest plant and animal management work. Fire threat management plans, new fire break trails and removal of redundant fencing are also included.   

Many hands make light work. If you would like to get involved in any parks restoration-related work, there are recreation and conservation groups in every park who are helping out. You can find a group and contact details on our volunteering page.  

We are also looking for contractors to join our Restoration Services Panel and provide the many services required to help us plant to the goal of over one million native plants each winter for the next ten years. 

Belmont Regional Park - from bare land, back to bush. In the foreground is a direct-seeding trial planting site beside Hill Road which is showing good success. GW and volunteer pest animal management work (trapping) helps support the success of restoration planting and survival of native birds.

Colin Ryder

Greater Wellington acknowledges the immense work of Colin Ryder in establishing the Friends of Baring Head and successfully seeking grants to enable the development of the Story Hub at the lighthouse complex and other heritage and landscape restoration work. Extensive restoration work is in progress in this park.  

From this to this... it just takes commitment and time and there is still much work to do (two very different landscapes in Belmont Regional Park). 

Commercial stock grazing in Belmont Regional Park
Commercial stock grazing in Belmont Regional Park
Kelson area native bush in Belmont Regional Park
Kelson area native bush in Belmont Regional Park
Updated June 29, 2023 at 12:23 PM

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