Friday, November 7, 2014

Skink habitat constructed

For these that have been walking over the pedestrian bridge and wondering what we have been building with all those rocks, well it is a habitat for our native copper skinks. Skinks get hammered by domestic cats and mice in urban areas.  The plan is that the skinks will increase in numbers by having protection among the rocks from cats and protection from mice by our poisoning program. There will be further planting around the rocks to finish off the overall design.

Safety signs installed

We have had safety concerns for some time about public using our service tracks that we have built. We have installed signs at all three entry points warning the track users of safety issues to be aware of in the gully. Mangaiti Trust is quite happy that the public use the tracks / board walks but also appreciate that they are not suitable for people that may not be stable on their feet.

Selfie of Rex and rat

Although most of our rat control is with the 12 bait stations through which rats ate 342 baits in the last 12 months, nothing surpasses the satisfaction of actually catching a rat in one of our two traps that we have. We caught 15 in the last 12 months.

Seat donated

We were approached by a local resident to see, if they built a seat, whether we would be interested in installing it. Here is the result. The resident, who did not wish to be named, reserves the right to read the Sunday paper there between 7am and 9am on Sunday mornings, weather permitting!! It has been positioned so that it looks out on some of the best restored area in the gully.

Starting to poison the Grey Willows

You will see that some of the willows have been colour coded. These are the ones we have bored and injected with glyphosate. As they die it is going to look a bit shabby until the native canopy trees grow up and take their place. The canopy trees have all been planted. This will be a gradual process until they have all died and fall down to rot.

Downer donation a great help

We would like to thank Downer for their ongoing support in supplying “Millings” to shingle our tracks with. This is a particularly good product in that it packs down and does not wash out when flooding occurs over our tracks. Whenever we require a load we ring up and they are always happy to deliver it to us free of charge.

Astelia grandis has a good seeding year

The plant in the photo can be seen just off the main board walk south of the new seat.

2nd fish survey

Bruno David and his team from WRC did a second survey of the Mangaiti Gully stream in Hamilton. The last one was done two years ago. There was nothing spectacular found in the 150 meters of stream surveyed. It was a concern that the eel numbers had dropped. Outside the survey area up a ponded tributary behind Sexton Road a significant number of Banded Kokopu were found. It is important that our city streams are protected from contaminants to ensure the health of our native fish.

AGM minutes

The minutes of the last AGM have been loaded onto the “Trust AGM Minutes” page listed on the left hand side of the screen.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Very busy with winter planting

500 plants supplied by HCC have gone in on the south-facing gully slope at the back of Sexton Road. Access through Amanda and Grant’s place at 47 Sexton Road made getting the plants on site a lot easier. The grassing of the gully slope has stabilised the surface and it is looking really good. The photo does not do it justice. Give it three years growth and the slope is going to look fantastic.

The $500 grant from the Honda fund bought plants that went in on another gully slope easily seen on the west side of the main board walk.

Those walking the main track will see clearing and planting has been done along the main creek as the track rises up to Sexton Road.

Other plants raised in our shade house have been planted all over the gully. Tawa for example are frost tender when young. One metre high plants have been selectively planted in suitable locations.

Service track nears completion

We have boxed and put a pit sand base down for the service track along the base of the Sexton Road south face. This is a no-exit track but gives us easy access to the gully branch that we are restoring. It was funded by the Hamilton City Council’s community funding scheme which we successfully applied to earlier in the year.

Native Pigeon in Hamilton

This photo was taken in the gully between Bellwood Place and Porritt Stadium by Kemble Putney in early June. It has been seen several times within the same vicinity.
There are spasmodic sighting of Native Pigeon (kereru) and Kaka in Hamilton. It is important that these are registered on the Halo website so that we can get a handle on the numbers and see if there are any trends developing. The link direct to the recording page is:


I guess it was only a matter of time before we had a graffiti “artist” making a nuisance of themselves in our area. While we acknowledge that the two paintings did have some artist merit, as opposed to a scribbled tag signature or message, it is not what we are wanting in and around the gully. The council “Graffiti Busters” team responded very quickly to cleaning it off once they have been notified. The best way of discouraging graffiti is to remove it quickly. I know some of you walk across the bridge twice a day during school term. If any of you notice graffiti or tagging please either text (021-237-3857) or email me so we can get the “Graffiti Busters” onto cleaning it off quickly.

Mangaiti Gully Restoration Trust AGM 2014

As a charitable trust it is required, by law, to hold a formal Annual General Meeting each year. Our financial year finishes on the 30th June so we usually like to get the AGM tidied up as soon as possible after that date. The AGM is open to the public.

Place: 7 Carisbrook Place, Rototuna, Hamilton
Date: 12th August 2014
Time: 7:00 pm

Minutes of the   2013 AGM
Matters arising

Chairman’s annual report
Secretary’s annual report & correspondence
Treasurer’s annual report

Confirmation of Trustees
Election of officers if required
Re-confirmation of the trust deed

General Business

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The reeds Eleocharis sphacelata are sprouting

The reed tops of sixty plus rhizomes of Eleocharis sphacelata that were planted in the pond late November have all died down. This was a bit of a worry until closer inspection found a lot of new shoots sprouting away. The challenge now is to ensure the Pukekos do not graze them to death before they have time to get established.

South-facing gully slope is ready for planting

The  south-facing gully slope at the back of Sexton Road is ready for planting. There are two areas where the nurseries that used to operate up the top, dumped old potting mix. This is very loose and moves around, downhill, every time it is walked on. The original soil underneath is quite firm. We have secured dead punga trunks on these areas and then planted a mixture of rye grass, lucerne, red clover and white clover to hold the surface until the natives get established.

First cut of the track

The first cut of the eastern gully access track has been done at the base of the Sexton Road south face. The willow trunks that crossed the track have been chain sawn out of the way.  An application for funding to complete the track has been made. It will be a month or so before we know if this is successful. The funding is for pit sand and shingle for the track surface and timber for the downhill edge.

$500 from the Honda TreeFund

Mangaiti Gully Restoration Trust was successful in securing $500 from the Honda TreeFund for the purchase of trees. We thank Honda for their support. Under the Honda TreeFund initiative 10 native trees are funded for every new car that Honda New Zealand sells, with another 3 funded by Waikato Honda. So for every new Honda car sold, 13 trees are planted.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Clearing blackberry ready for next winter’s planting

Clearing of weeds (mainly Blackberry) has been completed on the south facing gully slope at the back of Sexton Road. This is in preparation for planting this coming winter. In April (or earlier if we get good autumn rains) we will be sowing Rye Grass to stabilize the surface and help control other weed growth. The grass will eventually be shaded out as the canopy closes over above it.

Track to be constructed to service the planting area

There will be 2,000 plus plants to go in on the cleared area and maintenance to follow. To enable us to have easy access we are building a service track. This track branches off the existing through track that runs along the gully floor and will be no exit for the foreseeable future. We are preparing a funding application at present to purchase the timber, pit sand and single.

WETMAK photo point video

 Mangaiti Gully was the “on location “site for the filming of the WETMAK photo point video
(here’s the link: ) which is one of a number of WETMAK monitoring kits available from the Landcare Trust website.
WETMAK is a resource designed by Landcare Trust aimed at community groups working on wetland restoration projects in New Zealand. This wetland monitoring and assessment kit is available on line at: