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Work has begun to restore Hamilton’s Mangaiti Gully, a three-year Jobs for Nature project with a vision to restore the native flora of the gully back to pre-European status.

The project is a collaborative effort with funding from the Department of Conservation’s Jobs for Nature Programme, and support from Hamilton City Council, the Mangaiti Gully Restoration Trust, Go Eco Charitable Trust and Ngāti Wairere.

“The Mangaiti Gully Restoration Trust has been doing a great job of community-led restoration for several years” said Councillor Thomson, deputy chair of the Environment Committee at Council. “It’s fantastic to see the Jobs for Nature programme bring more hands on deck.

“Gullies are Hamilton’s hidden treasures. Our goal is for Hamilton’s gully network to be thriving with native vegetation and teeming with wildlife. Council is right behind the gully restoration work across our city and this is a great example of what is possible with partnership and funding.”

The newly formed team of four have begun work clearing weeds and planting native species in Zone 2 of the gully, an area that is accessible to the public from Hukanui Road.

The main goal of the project is to undertake native restoration, which is essential to preserve the whenua, birds, wildlife and the ngahere for future generations.

This is just one of the projects working towards bringing nature back into Hamilton City. Council’s Nature in the City programme is committed to increasing native vegetation cover from 2% to 10% across Hamilton by 2050. The next ten years of the programme has been funded in the latest Long-term Plan.

“Habitat loss is a major contributor to fauna population stress which can lead to localised extinction” says Rex Bushell, Co-ordinator of Mangaiti Gully Restoration Trust.

“We must all acknowledge that New Zealand fauna need homes too.”

The native long-tailed bat, crowned Bird of the Year by Forest and Bird in 2021, has been sighted in the gully in recent years.

The Jobs for Nature Programme has provided more than$650,000 in funding and created four full time jobs to deliver on the Mangaiti Gully project over three years.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is overseeing Jobs for Nature projects in Waikato, and Regional Director Daniel Heinrich says it’s encouraging to see conservation work being undertaken in Hamilton.

“This is a great initiative to enhance one of Hamilton’s natural spaces and support biodiversity and protection of native wildlife,” he says.

“It’s also a great reminder to Hamiltonians their city is home to important taonga species which they can help protect, through simple conservation efforts like weed control and backyard trapping.

“We’re looking forward to seeing Mangaiti Gully flourish as a result of this project, and become a natural place many people can enjoy.”


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