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Pauanui dune programme update

20 March 2018

Over the last three months our Parks and Reserves team have carried out a review of our dune restoration and maintenance programme in Pauanui. The review identified a number of areas where improvements can be made, however we need to continue with some work to protect our existing dune plants.

Photo: Gazania take over sand dune in Pauanui.

Photo: Gazania take over sand dune in Pauanui.

We have a specialist dune care contractor from Tauranga who will be operating in and around the dunes in Pauanui educating our local contractors and the community about dune care and planting.

"Unfortunately some plants, that may be seen as pretty, or desirable in a garden such as agapanthus cape daisy and gazania must be targeted when they are on, or nearby our dunes because they are aggressive and take over," says Derek Thompson, our Parks and Reserves Manager. "They don’t hold the sand or help restore the dunes like the spinifex for example."

The Tairua-Pauanui Community Board havew asked for gazanias to be included in the Waikato Region Pest Management Plan (RPMP) as a pest plant. 

"It grows prolifically in the dunes on the eastern seaboard of the Coromandel, particularly in Pauanui," says Bob Renton, Tairua-Pauanui Community Board Chair. "We believe that if it was classified as a pest plant, we could let our community know that although pretty flowers on our dunes may be aesthetically pleasing, they are detrimental to the health of this dynamic ecosystem ."

The Board have contacted the Waikato Regional Council who say there gazania could be included in the RPMP through the review process by way of a submission.  This review of the RPMP is scheduled to take place over the next three to four years.

Now that the summer break is over it is the ideal time to hit the weeds. This work will proceed in late March and will target plants that threaten to over-run our native species which we rely on to protect our dunes. The team will start around beach access 8 and work North.

"By doing this work we will be helping to improve the integrity of the dunes and increase the ability to self-repair as a result of high tides and storm surges," says Mr Thompson.

To help the team work effectively and efficiently, the use of targeted herbicides will occur. This means that the herbicides sprayed will only target specific types of plants, and leave the valuable dune plants such as spinifex and pingao alone. Hand weeding will also occur where appropriate.

If you would like to assist with the hand-pulling of the pest plants over the coming weeks please contact our Council on the details below and ask to speak to one of our Parks Team about this work.

Additional works include fencing, planning for plantingfor next season, repair and realignment of some beach access points. For example, beach access 7A requires some repair work after the recent storms and we are exploring dune friendly stormwater options to prevent this damage from occurring again.

There will be no full renovation of dunes at this particular point in time, as this work will concentrate on maintaining the existing dune systems.

Check out the links below for more information:

If you have any further questions please contact us on 07 868 0200 or email customer.services@tcdc.govt.nz.