Tucked away amongst houses, where Glen Eden meets Titirangi, lies one of Auckland’s hidden treasures – the Wirihana and Kowhai Reserve Wetland. Wetlands are among the most threatened ecosystems in New Zealand and are rarely found in an urban environment, so it is only right this ecological gem is being given the treatment it deserves.
Less than 10% of New Zealand’s original wetlands remain and in Auckland the statistics are even grimmer. Much of the isthmus once boasted wetlands brimming with cabbage trees, flax, weka and bittern, but today this important habitat makes up less than 0.5% of the region’s land cover. Most have been drained to make way for urban development.
Wetlands are described as kidneys, or giant sponges, that slow the flow of water off the land and filter out pollutants. They’re an important habitat for native plants such as kahikatea, swamp maire and cabbage trees as well as native freshwater fish, invertebrates, frogs and birds. Restoration efforts include the management of environmental weeds and restoring stream banks with native plantings.
The PTS Glen Eden team has spent many hours door-knocking, alerting residents to the fact they have something exceptionally special over their back fence. They host neighbourhood weed workshops and planting bees to educate locals on the importance of managing environmental weeds on their properties, as well as providing opportunities for the local community to get their hands dirty.
The aim is to connect residents to this special space to ensure the long term sustainability of the ecosystem. Enabling local people to become the long-term kaitaiki (guardians) of the wetland through education, engagement and practical experience reflects the wider philosophy and aims of Project Twin Streams.
The Wirihana and Kowhai Reserve Wetland can be viewed from the Onedin Place footbridge which crosses the wetland and goes up a path to Withers Rd beside the Badminton Club. At present there is limited public access to the wetlands so the best way to experience this distinctive area is to contact the Project Twin Streams Glen Eden team.
09 826 0554
021 308 257