By Jim Birchall 

Friends of Te Wairoa Nursery is a small community nursery located in Clevedon. The group was formed in 2018 to manage an existing Landcare nursery started in 2009, and to meet the pressing need for management and protection of Auckland’s Wairoa River, its catchment and tributaries.

Jodie Little from Friends of Te Wairoa Nursery said their core role is to plant to “stabilise banks, prevent erosion, reduce sediment entering the water as well as providing habitat for birds, lizards and insects”.

Jodie adds that “Friends of Te Wairoa helps restore the quality and mauri of the Wairoa River in south-east Auckland. The group offers support and advice to help restore the river ecology, e.g. on land set-aside, fencing, bush restoration, grants and pest control.”

The nursery works with the local community including Brookby Primary School. Jodie said,” the children come and help with the planting and learn about the importance of healthy waterways.” The Nursery is happy to host groups from neighbouring schools.

The majority of the plants grown end up utilised on the group’s projects and a small number are sold locally. Jodie said the Nursery aims to “get people growing and planting local waterways and unusable land in the Wairoa catchment. We grow 3-4000 plants from eco-sourced seed every year. Through hands-on workshops, volunteering and providing tips on our Facebook page, people can learn the skills needed to set up and grow plants for their own planting projects.”

For those who want to donate their time to this or any of the Nursery’s other projects, you are encouraged to attend a volunteer morning (held every Friday 9-12 pm). The Nursery is located behind the Clevedon Co-op, at 33 Papakura-Clevedon Road.

Jodie said that “locals come together to care for the plants, ask questions and have a chat”. 

So those social media-savvy people, a regular Facebook post called ‘Notes from the Nursery’ goes up Thursdays at 7 am.

In a significant recent development, an initiative of the Sustainable Business Network known as The Million Metres Streams Project has Jodie excited. The project’s funding allows for the restoration of the Brookby section of the Papakura Stream. The project aims to restore a million metres of waterways across New Zealand.