Contact Us

T: 09-627-3372

E: info@whauriver.org.nz

A: 36 Rathlin Street,
    Blockhouse Bay, Auckland, 0600

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The Whau River Catchment or Watershed
About the Whau River Catchment Trust

The Whau River Catchment Trust (WRCT) is the principal environmental umbrella organisation for the Whau River catchment and has now affiliated with Friends of the Whau (FOW). The WRCT and FOW are working together for healthier streams and river through community participation and kaitiakitanga.

 

Join with the Whau River Catchment Trust and help make a difference, become a FOW Volunteer.
 

Take time out, visit the river, and enjoy the many recreational opportunities it affords e.g. bird watching, kayaking, walking, cycling and fishing to name but a few things you can do or simply join in to improve the river and streams ecosystems by helping to plant and maintain thousands of native trees and shrubs.

Who We Are

The Whau River Catchment Trust (WRCT) is a charitable entity based in New Lynn, Auckland and was established in 2012. The WRCT delivers a wide range of community-based environmental projects, principally in collaboration with the Auckland Council and other key stakeholders within the catchment, and includes programmes and projects in the areas of ecological restoration and conservation. The WRCT is the principal environmental umbrella organisation for the Whau River catchment and amalgamated with Friends of the Whau (FOW) which was established in the year 2000.

 

The WRCT now looks after the governance and management of projects while FOW takes care of the needs of FOW Volunteers and Supporters.
 

The WRCT and FOW are working together for healthier streams and river through community participation and kaitiakitanga.

Our Purposes

The key purposes of the Trust are as follows:
 

  1. To provide leadership by adopting an Ecosystem-based Management approach with the aim of restoring and sustaining ecosystems within the Whau River catchment to meet both ecological and human needs now and in the future. Ecosystem Management aims to conserve major ecological services and restore natural resources while meeting the socio-economic, political and cultural needs of current and future generations. Approaches to effective ecosystem management engage conservation efforts at both a local or landscape level;
     

  2. To maintain, enhance, protect, restore, monitor and nurture the natural ecology and its environment, the support of ecosystem restoration and conservation projects with particular emphasis on the Whau River, its tributaries, margins and catchment areas;
     

  3. To promote community accessibility to and involvement with the Whau River, its tributaries, margins and catchment areas including but not limited to the development of 'Greenways' incorporating walkways and cycleways to and along the Whau River, its tributaries, margins and catchment areas;
     

  4. To promote local environmental leadership, augment knowledge, mentor, educate and raise public awareness amongst local communities living within the Whau River catchment of the principles and practices of ecological restoration;
     

  5. To work with citizens, communities, organisations, iwi, businesses, local and central government and other voluntary and statutory organisations fostering community involvement and kaitiakitanga on projects carried out within the Whau River catchment as well as to ensure the ecology, history and cultural associations of the Whau River are protected and enhanced, including encouragement of appropriate public access to the Whau;
     

  6. To interact with, provide for forums, and co-ordinate with other organisations, with positive initiatives for the ecological restoration of the Whau River, its tributaries, margins and catchment areas.

Our Philosophy

Integrity: WRCT carries out its work in the community professionally, respectfully and honestly. WRCT promotes an organisational culture of integrity and encourages open and honest communication with all of its stakeholders including staff, funders and community partners.
 

Enthusiasm: WRCT people are passionate about the community and the environment. WRCT regularly communicates this enthusiasm to the community through different mediums.
 

Making a Difference: WRCT commits to progressively reduce the environmental impact of communities in the catchment and to be innovative in pioneering new approaches to contemporary expressions of kaitiakitanga.

 

Te Whau Catchment

Tangata Whenua understand ancestral waterways in terms of tribal boundaries and relationships. The “tribal catchment area” is identified in terms of key geographical features such as maunga (mountains), awa (rivers) and puna (water sources/springs), which form the basis of iwi and hapu identity and spiritual and physical sustenance.
 

Maori view water and other natural resources as Taonga (treasures) with spiritual and metaphysical properties. These properties, both practical and spiritual, are bound together within the mauri or life force that empowers all living things, makes human beings a part of the natural world and is central to the mana and life-blood of iwi, hapu and whänau.
 

Te Whau (taken from the whau plant) is the Maori name for the tidal river flowing into the Waitemata Harbour. Te Whau is part of the wider area known as ‘Te Wao nui o Tiriwa’, (‘The great forest of Tiriwa’), the ancient Maori name for West Auckland and surrounding districts.

Tangata Whenua understand ancestral waterways in terms of tribal boundaries and relationships. The “tribal catchment area” is identified in terms of key geographical features such as maunga (mountains), awa (rivers) and puna (water sources/springs), which form the basis of iwi and hapu identity and spiritual and physical sustenance.
 

Maori view water and other natural resources as Taonga (treasures) with spiritual and metaphysical properties. These properties, both practical and spiritual, are bound together within the mauri or life force that empowers all living things, makes human beings a part of the natural world and is central to the mana and life-blood of iwi, hapu and whänau.
 

Te Whau (taken from the whau plant) is the Maori name for the tidal river flowing into the Waitemata Harbour. Te Whau is part of the wider area known as ‘Te Wao nui o Tiriwa’, (‘The great forest of Tiriwa’), the ancient Maori name for West Auckland and surrounding districts.

This illustration of the whau plant (Entelea arborescens) is based on a sketch by Sydney Parkinson, the artist who came with James Cook on his first voyage to New Zealand (1768–71). The final watercolour was done by, Fred Polydore Nodder.

Flyover the Whau River

 

The Friends of the Whau Inc. started as a charitable entity based in New Lynn, Auckland and was established in the year 2000. The FOW now delivers a wide range of community-based environmental volunteer opportunities through the Whau River Catchment Trust. Volunteer opportunities includes programmes and projects in the areas of ecological restoration and conservation specially tailored for Volunteers. Volunteers can be individuals, part of an organisational group such as scouting or a business corporate (contact us to find out more).
 

The WRCT and FOW are working together for healthier streams and river through community participation and kaitiakitanga.

Background

Friends of the Whau Inc. (pronounced “foe”) was originally operated between 2000 and 2012 as a community-based ecological restoration Incorporated Society based in New Lynn, West Auckland at the heart of the Whau River catchment.
 

Once divided by the Auckland Regional Council, Waitakere City and Auckland City Council boundaries, the Whau River Catchment is now united under the new super-city, Auckland Council and is administered by the following Local Boards
 

  • The Whau Local Board

  • The Henderson-Massey Local Board

  • The Puketāpapa Local Board

  • The Waitākere Ranges Local Board.


Friends of the Whau Inc. was formed in Auckland in July 2000 in response to local concerns over activities that were having adverse environmental effects on the health and well-being of the Whau River. The FOW was established after a report was released by Waitakere City Council on the degraded condition of the Avondale Stream and a major pollution incident occurred in the Whau River estuary from an adjoining business area. Local residents were also concerned at the environmental impacts of jet skis on the Whau River.
 

FOW is no longer an Incorporated Society but operates under the umbrella of the Whau River Catchment Trust. FOW now consists of more than 1,000 individuals and organisations which support our various environmental activities on a regular basis. This number is swelled by the many additional volunteers who turn to up on the day to help out at specific events.

Purpose

What WRCT and FOW do:
 

WRCT's purpose today is to support community awareness about environmental issues affecting the Whau River catchment and to mobilise community energy to take practical action. WRCT do this by supporting FOW volunteers through education and practical action to restore the ecology of the Whau River catchment.
 

Our aim is to restore the Whau River systems’ natural ecology by promoting the reduction of pollution and in the ecological restoration of the area by encouraging the natural regeneration of the native flora and fauna. We also aim to raise awareness and encourage the community to actively participate in the protection and restoration of the River’s ecology, history and cultural associations.
 

WRCT promotes ecological health, by organize regular community-based FOW activities to:
 

  • Monitor the biodiversity and ecosystems of the catchment through our Te Whau Citizen Science Programme

  • Biosecurity – Manage weed and animal pests

  • Reduce pollution and remove litter

  • Ecological Restoration by undertaking eco-sourced planting programmes on the margins of riparian areas and elsewhere within the catchment

  • Wildlife habitat restoration.
     

To raise community awareness of the environmental threats and opportunities facing the Whau River Catchment we:
 

  • Work closely with schools, community groups and local businesses

  • Talk with local developers and property owners about the need to minimise environmental impacts upon the Whau River system.

  • Inform residents about what they can do on their own private properties and in their communities e.g. through Neighbourhood Programmes.

  • Advocate for better public access to waterways e.g. Greenways, walkways and cycleways.

  • Support the development of the Te Whau Pathway project.

  • Encourage collection of the historic, cultural and natural associations of the communities within the catchment and make these available through public displays, videos, websites, library archives etc

  • Collaborate with other environmental organisations such as Te Whau Pathway, Wai Care, Project Twin Streams, Forest & Bird, Friends of Oakley Creek Inc.,  EcoMatters Environment Trust and others.

  • Liaise and negotiate with Auckland Council, Local Boards and water supply authorities e.g. Healthy Waters to ensure their programs and policies support ecological goals.

  • Encourage new skills such as plant propagation and maintenance, water quality monitoring, weed identification and control, pest monitoring etc. adopting 'Best Practice methods' for best ecological outcomes.

  • Undertake site analysis and design for ecological plantings within public reserves and on private land areas

  • Organise public presentations, meetings and workshops

  • Use social media to inform FOW Volunteers and the wider public.

Awards

Ministry for the Environment’s Green Ribbon Award June 2002 – “Urban Conservation” category
 

Infratil Waitakere City Community Awards 2010 – Heritage and Environment Friends of the Whau & New Lynn Sea Scout Group
 

Wai Care Awards 2011 – Community Group Involvement in Action – 1st Place
 

Auckland Council Infratil Community Awards 2011 – Heritage and Environment Recognition award

Acknowledgements

Steven Neville

Auckland Photography for the impressive website photos and many of the gallery photographs.
 

Robin & Freya

FOW Volunteers & regular supporters for restoration work on the Kurt Brehmer Walkway and on other projects.

Simarpreet Preet

Dera Sacha Sauda group who have assisted on many of our planting projects.

 

Methven Ltd

For supporting The Rosebank Peninsula Coastal Restoration Project.

The Rosebank Business Association

For supporting The Rosebank Peninsula Coastal Restoration Project.

Funders

Whau Local Board Auckland Council.

TTCF - The Trusts Community Foundation (Portage Licensing Trust).

Foundation North.

Auckland Council

The Whau and Henderson Massey Local Boards.

Mark Allan - Senior Local Board Advisor at Auckland Council.

Parks–West Volunteer and Biodiversity Coordinator (Huw Hill-Male).

 

We sincerely thank all our FOW Volunteers and Supporters for their time in helping to restore the Whau River Catchment’s natural ecology.

 

Ecological Restoration Coordinator

Position Now Filled: JANUARY 2019

Do you have a personal commitment to connecting people with the environment?

If so, we invite you to submit an application for the role of Ecological Restoration Coordinator at The Whau River Catchment Trust, a charitable community based organisation. The Whau River Catchment Trust (WRCT) is the principal environmental umbrella organisation for the Whau River Catchment in conjunction with Friends of the Whau (FOW) volunteers. The WRCT and FOW are working together for healthier streams and river through community participation and kaitiakitanga.

 

The role is a combination of restoration management of freshwater riparian streams, tidal saline river environments and coastal restoration/rehabilitation involving community events operating within the Whau River Catchment.

 

We a looking for a self-managing person who can work with a range of individuals and groups from the community and who is able to engage, inform and build awareness around our river and streams. Through this role you will influence behaviours that contribute to improvement in the long term health of our local water-ways and the environment in general.

 

You will have a broad range of skills including a sound understanding of current best practice in waterway restoration, planning and delivery, (including riparian ecology, both native fauna and flora, native plant selection and the growing native plants); a proven track record in safe and effective agrichemical handling and application; an understanding of current NZ health and safety legislation requirements; effective relationship building skills; planning and prioritization skills and the ability to work cross-culturally and in ways that are appropriate to diverse communities. An understanding of current Environmental Education and Citizen Science practices would be an advantage.

 

A relevant tertiary qualification is preferred; as well as other industry standard qualifications (Growsafe) and a current First Aid certificate. You will have a sound understanding of the bi-cultural foundation of Aotearoa and the ability to work in an inclusive, collaborative way which honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

 

This is initially a part time position negotiable within 20-30 hrs/week, fixed term. Some weekend work is required.

 

How to Apply

Send application including a one page Cover Letter and CV to the General Manger gilbert@whauriver.org.nz

Applications Close: Thursday 28th February 2019 at 5 PM OR when a suitable applicant is found.

Immediate start available.

Environmental Education & Awareness (EE&A) Coordinator:

Position Now Filled: JANUARY 2019

Do you have a personal commitment to connecting people with the environment?

If so, we invite you to submit an application for the role of Environmental Education & Awareness Coordinator at The Whau River Catchment Trust, a charitable community based organisation. The Whau River Catchment Trust (WRCT) is the principal environmental umbrella organisation for the Whau River Catchment in conjunction with Friends of the Whau (FOW) volunteers. The WRCT and FOW are working together for healthier streams and river through community participation and kaitiakitanga.

 

The WRCT has over the years established Community Education & Awareness relationships with three main sectors within the Whau River catchment communities - schools, businesses and the wider community. These relationships fulfil specific outcomes, described as Environmental Awareness and Educational. Invariably, most activities and events comprise a varying proportion of all these outcomes i.e. they are all interconnected. Essentially any environmental activity is an opportunity for education – often referred to as Action or Active Learning. Such relationships may be sustained long-term or may centre on one-off events or activities.

 

The WRCT AA&E Coordinator is to help develop and facilitate a catchment based Biodiversity Survey in 2018-19 to progress its longer term Whau Environmental Monitoring Programme following the Symposium held in May 2017. The Biodiversity Survey will provide opportunities for the Whau River community to participate in the ongoing monitoring of the catchments biodiversity. The Biodiversity Survey will tie in with our ongoing Environmental Education and Awareness programme whereby The WRCT will engage the public as part of a Citizen Science approach, involving the wider community in the targeted monitoring of the biodiversity for the Whau River catchment. The WRCT AA&E Coordinator will engage with local schools and tertiary institutions, as well as local ethnic groups and all other members within the community for this Biodiversity Survey.

 

Schools

It is invaluable to involve students in conservation because their enthusiasm spreads out to parents and the wider community. Thus the whole community benefits as students share their new experiences and growing environmental awareness. One of the key aims of Whau River Catchment Trust (WRCT) is to support the 28+ local schools to integrate the ecological restoration needs of our local waterways with environmental education within the school curriculum. Through a mixture of creativity, technology, knowledge and experience, with our local streams and waterways become an interactive classroom and a living laboratory.

Community

The Community comprises: individuals, residents and residents associations, libraries, churches, scout groups, sports clubs, institutes of further education (students & staff), new immigrants, community & neighbourhood groups, shops, businesses and business associations, political leaders and At Risk Youth. WRCT/FOW has worked with every one of these - educating through displays in libraries, shopping malls and expos, and educating in the field (Active Learning) — through field activities e.g. field eco-excursions, litter clean-ups, weed identification and removal, restoration planting and pest monitoring education exercises.

Local Businesses

A number of smaller businesses in the vicinity of our restoration sites are currently showing a good deal of interest in participating on 'volunteering in the community' days at sites close to their factories or businesses. Again the combination of practical environmental action provides a unique opportunity to educate in this harder to reach demographic - especially significant considering the very real impacts business have locally on our waterways from some of our industrial/commercial areas throughout the Whau River catchment.

How to Apply

Send application including a one page Cover Letter and CV to the General Manger gilbert@whauriver.org.nz

Applications Close: Thursday 28th February 2019 at 5 PM OR when a suitable applicant is found.

Budding ‘Citizen Scientist’ Intern Volunteer required to help with pest animal control and tracking (posted February 2019)

FOW Volunteers Robin and Freya have been trapping and monitoring animal pests on the Kurt Brehmer Walkway for four plus years now. Regularly checking that possum, stoat and rat numbers are kept down and lizard/bird numbers up. They have a line of tracking tunnels and TIMS/DOC 200 traps setup on the Kurt Brehmer Walkway and on various parts of Rosebank Peninsula. Within each tracking tunnel is a piece of cardboard with an ink-pad in the middle. The ink-pad is baited with peanut butter or rabbit meat for rats and stoats, or honey and banana for skinks and then left out for a few nights before we check for footprints. From time to time Chew Cards are also used. Traps need to be cleared and data collected.

 

One of our top volunteers set up the tracking tunnels , but she went on to get a full time position elsewhere, so we are looking for new volunteers or an intern to take this on. Full training will be given and you would be looking at a four hour commitment per month checking the lines (more volunteers would require less time).

 

Other Volunteers are also required for other locations on the Rosebank Peninsula.

Get in touch with Eve if you are keen to help at info@whauriver.org.nz

WRCT Internships 2018-19

The WRCT has unpaid, volunteer Intern positions currently available. Internships may be part-time or full-time. A typical internship lasts between 1 and 4 months but can be shorter or longer.

 

The two primary types of internships are:

 

  • Work experience internship: Most often this will be in the second or third year of the school period. The placement can be from 2 months to one full school year. During this period, the student is expected to use the things he/she has learned in school and put them into practice. This way the student gains work experience in their field of study. The gained experience will be helpful to finish the final year of study.

  • Research internship (graduation) or dissertation internship: This is mostly done by students who are in their final year. With this kind of internship a student does research for the Trust. The Trust can have something that we feel needs researching, or the student can choose a topic themselves. The results of the research study will be put in a report and often will be presented.

 

Another type of internship growing in popularity is the virtual internship, in which the intern works remotely, and is not physically present at the job location. It provides the capacity to gain job experience without the conventional requirement of being physically present in an office. The internship is conducted via virtual means, such as phone, email, and web communication. Virtual interns generally have the opportunity to work at their own pace.
 

Please contact Gilbert Brakey at gilbert@whauriver.org.nz for further details.