Taipa CoastCare group wins national dune award

Press Release – Northland Regional Council

Several years of work transforming Taipa’s beachfront has earned a small Northland CoastCare group a national dune restoration award. The Taipa Beach Improvement Society is this year’s winner of the ‘Best Coastal Dune Restoration Project Award’; …22 February, 2012

Taipa CoastCare group wins national dune award

Several years of work transforming Taipa’s beachfront has earned a small Northland CoastCare group a national dune restoration award.

The Taipa Beach Improvement Society is this year’s winner of the ‘Best Coastal Dune Restoration Project Award’; an annual award presented by the Dune Restoration Trust of New Zealand.

The roughly dozen-strong Tapia group and its supporters were recognised for work they have done along their beach, which has been transformed from an eroding kikuyu bank to a healthy spinifex and pingao dune with walkways and fences to protect it from heavy foot traffic.

The award was presented – much to the delight of local delegates – at the dune trust’s fifth annual national conference in Taipa recently.

Graham Lutze, the Taipa dune restoration project manager, says it was an honour to receive the award and a great recognition of the efforts the society’s committee, members and supporters – “average age 70” – had put in since the group formed in 2006.

Conference organiser Laura Shaft, CoastCare Co-ordinator for the Northland Regional Council, says the February 14-17 conference had brought together more than 100 people from all over New Zealand including community members, management agency staff, scientists and businesses.

Ms Shaft says the Taipa community had been great hosts and great advocates for the wider Northland area, with fantastic feedback from delegates.

“Participants came from all over the country, from Invercargill in the south to Ngataki in the north, with talks covering a range of topics related to beach and dune systems including dunes and dune lakes, toheroa abundance and distribution and coastal lizards.”

“We also had a number of workshops on topics from Northland coastal weeds and native plants, pingao weaving and spinifex seed collection.”

Ms Shaft says project updates were given by CoastCare groups and council representatives from around the country and three students from Victoria and Auckland Universities gave presentations on their dune-related research.

Delegates also undertook field trips to Tauranga Bay, Lake Ngatu and Lake Gem, Waipapakauri Ramp and Te Arai Reserve (Te Oneroa-a-Tohe), and Rarawa Beach to view restoration work and discuss issues.

The three-and-a-half day conference was hosted by the regional council, Taipa Beach Improvement Society and the Taipa Area School and was based at the school’s cultural centre.

Ms Shaft says the Dune Restoration Trust was formed in 2007 and its aims include facilitating research on dune ecosystems and increasing public awareness of proven methods for protecting, restoring, conserving and sustainably managing them.

She says people interested in finding out more about CoastCare – including how to set up their own group – can visit: www.nrc.govt.nz/coastcare email her on coastcare@nrc.govt.nz or phone her at the regional council on (0800) 002 004

ENDS

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