A Te Horo lifestyle block owner is achieving her wetland
restoration vision by creating an ecological corridor for
native birds, through Greater Wellington Regional
Council’s Healthy Waterways programme.

Wetlands come
in all shapes and sizes, but their benefits are big; like
ecological kidneys throughout our region, they are able to
filter water, store carbon and provide habitat for native
birds, fish and plants.

Greater Wellington’s
programme supports landowners in the region to restore and
manage wetlands and waterways on their property.

Sally
Dakin, physiotherapist and wetland restorer at every moment
in between, is working to improve the quality of the
freshwater and biodiversity on her property.

Sally
says a recent visit to Zealandia helped fuel her passion and
desire to continue the wetland restoration work of the
previous land owner.

“I’ve always found the
Kāpiti Coast incredibly beautiful, but I want to regenerate
the bush and create a corridor for native birds that
connects up with my neighbours,” says
Sally.

“It’s been a real learning curve to upskill
and grow my knowledge of conservation and ecology – I’m
finding the more you learn, the more you want to
know!”

Sally has big visions for her lifestyle
block; with the additional support of family, neighbours,
the Kāpiti Coast District Council and Greater Wellington
– this is her opportunity to bring them to
life.

Already the Dakin family have witnessed positive
changes, from flourishing harakeke, kahikatea, pukatea,
manuka and a guest appearance from a kererū, which are
rarely seen in the area.

Greater Wellington
biodiversity advisor, Aprille Gillon says, “I met Sally a
few years back while doing drop in visits to landowners with
identified wetlands on their property to increase awareness
of our programme.

“It has been an exciting three
years working with Sally’s family to provide wetland
restoration advice, weed control and pest animal control
support, and native wetland plants for the
wetland.”

Sally’s dune swamp is a part of a
wetland complex that spans across four properties in Te
Horo, it is recognised as a wetland under the proposed
Natural Resource Plan as well as a Kāpiti Coast District
Council Ecological Site.

Greater Wellington
councillor, Penny Gaylor says, “On a practical level our
programme provides advice and financial incentives for
landowners wanting to restore and manage wetlands and
waterways on their properties.

“At the core of the
National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management is Te
Mana o te Wai, a concept which recognises the intrinsic
value of freshwater. In a holistic sense, restoration
projects like Sally’s develop an individual sense of
connection with te taiao (the environment) and emphasise our
interdependency: if the water and land thrive, we can
thrive.”

For more information on Greater
Wellington’s Healthy Waterways programme visit: https://www.gw.govt.nz/healthy-waterways/.

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