Community group to care for Waikanae dunes

COAST CARE: Dr Amber Dunn and Waikanae resident Eileen Robinson are hoping to establish a community Waikanae Coast Care group to restore and protect biodiversity in the sand dunes along Waikanae Beach. Picture by Liam Clayton

A COMMUNITY group is being formed to restore and protect the sand dunes of Waikanae Beach.

Tairawhiti Environment Centre (TEC), in collaboration with Coastal Restoration Trust/Tahuna Ora, will hold a public meeting on Sunday to gauge support for a Waikanae Coast Care group.

It will be based around a model used for protecting the Wainui sand dunes, where residents care for specific sections and get together for larger working days.

The group will focus on the dunes from Waikanae Beach to Midway Surf Club.

Some sections of the dunes have been planted with dune-specific species, but many of them are covered in weeds.

The group's aim is to restore biodiversity in the area by removing the weeds and planting species that grow well in dunes.

“Waikanae Beach is a really beautiful part of our city,” said TEC’s Dr Amber Dunn, who is also a Gisborne district councillor.

“The boardwalk is stunning and it is really well used.

“We believe it is time to proactively care for these sand dunes, to restore and preserve this natural coastal landscape.”

The public meeting on Sunday will discuss formation of the group.

“Waikanae resident Phil Gaukrodger and I have been conversing about this initiative for over a year now,” Dr Dunn said.

“Then Coastal Restoration Trust NZ came along, saying they were looking for proactive communities wanting to do dune restoration projects.

“Our Waikanae Coast Care idea was a perfect fit.”

Following discussions with Coastal Restoration Trust NZ representatives Jim Dahm and Jennie Harre Hindmarsh, Waikanae Coast Care was accepted as a Tairawhiti outreach project.

“Phil and I are really hopeful there will be good community support to get Waikanae Coast Care established,” Dr Dunn said.

“With the technical support of dune restoration expert Jim Dahm at our fingertips, an existing successful coast care model at Wainui Beach to mimic, and a wider support network from TEC, it's a green light.

“If you want to be part of a project that will enhance our quality of place, right next to our high-use Oneroa Walkway, this is it.”

■ The public meeting is on Sunday, December 3, from 1pm at Waikanae Surf Lifesaving Club.

It will feature dune restoration expert Jim Dahm, and a ‘Walk and Talk’ along the walkway to discuss possible restoration efforts.

A COMMUNITY group is being formed to restore and protect the sand dunes of Waikanae Beach.

Tairawhiti Environment Centre (TEC), in collaboration with Coastal Restoration Trust/Tahuna Ora, will hold a public meeting on Sunday to gauge support for a Waikanae Coast Care group.

It will be based around a model used for protecting the Wainui sand dunes, where residents care for specific sections and get together for larger working days.

The group will focus on the dunes from Waikanae Beach to Midway Surf Club.

Some sections of the dunes have been planted with dune-specific species, but many of them are covered in weeds.

The group's aim is to restore biodiversity in the area by removing the weeds and planting species that grow well in dunes.

“Waikanae Beach is a really beautiful part of our city,” said TEC’s Dr Amber Dunn, who is also a Gisborne district councillor.

“The boardwalk is stunning and it is really well used.

“We believe it is time to proactively care for these sand dunes, to restore and preserve this natural coastal landscape.”

The public meeting on Sunday will discuss formation of the group.

“Waikanae resident Phil Gaukrodger and I have been conversing about this initiative for over a year now,” Dr Dunn said.

“Then Coastal Restoration Trust NZ came along, saying they were looking for proactive communities wanting to do dune restoration projects.

“Our Waikanae Coast Care idea was a perfect fit.”

Following discussions with Coastal Restoration Trust NZ representatives Jim Dahm and Jennie Harre Hindmarsh, Waikanae Coast Care was accepted as a Tairawhiti outreach project.

“Phil and I are really hopeful there will be good community support to get Waikanae Coast Care established,” Dr Dunn said.

“With the technical support of dune restoration expert Jim Dahm at our fingertips, an existing successful coast care model at Wainui Beach to mimic, and a wider support network from TEC, it's a green light.

“If you want to be part of a project that will enhance our quality of place, right next to our high-use Oneroa Walkway, this is it.”

■ The public meeting is on Sunday, December 3, from 1pm at Waikanae Surf Lifesaving Club.

It will feature dune restoration expert Jim Dahm, and a ‘Walk and Talk’ along the walkway to discuss possible restoration efforts.

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