Restoring natural habitats alongside Arvida’s Kerikeri retirement community
On a sunny Sunday in May, residents of Arvida’s Kerikeri community, Te Puna Waiora - the Source of Wellbeing, helped to plant native trees along the banks of Te Tahawai Stream.
The working bee was part of a larger Vision Kerikeri project that’s restoring riverside habitats to extend a local walkway and wildlife corridor. When complete, the improved walkway will make it possible to hike from Kerikeri’s iconic Stone Store all the way to Arvida’s Te Puna Waiora community – a distance of about 3.5 kilometres.
Arvida’s team – a mix of staff and residents - prepared the site by removing a thick carpet of jasmine and other weeds, then mulched the entire area. The photo above is a bird’s eye view of the planting site, which is between the Placemaker’s store and Te Puna Waiora.
Grounds and maintenance manager Dane Hawker says the activity demonstrates how Te Puna Waiora is committed to caring for the natural environment, as part of an ongoing sustainability focus.
“We’re lucky to have the Te Tahawai Stream on our boundary, so our residents were very keen to help with the tree planting effort to restore the natural habitat. The native trees we planted were really good specimens raised by local volunteers.”
One of the benefits of restoring the habitat along the banks of the stream is encouraging the return of native species by building a wildlife corridor that runs right through Kerikeri. A wildlife corridor helps birds and animals find the resources they need to thrive.
“We already have a pet native eel living in our stream - he’s about a metre long and getting longer. We call him Bro and he can be summoned by tapping the water. Our residents are looking forward to more pet eels, as the stream’s habitat is restored,” says Dane.
In another sustainability initiative, a partnership with local iwi – Ngati Rehia of Kerikeri – is ensuring wetlands and other natural habitats within Te Puna Waiora are being carefully maintained to support native plants, birds and freshwater species.
Top photo - Arvida resident Christine Cronshaw with Don Wise (Quail Ridge) and Eric Cronshaw (Arvida). Photo / Peter de Graaf