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Visit by Unitec Ecology Students—4 September 2018

September 4, 2018

Since 2010, Mel Galbraith, senior lecturer at Unitec in Auckland, has been bringing students in his Ecological Restoration class to CUE Haven to give the students a chance to do some first hand observations of a restoration project in progress.  Because we have been planting since 2008, they can readily see different stages in the regeneration process and learn about the issues and challenges associated with each phase of the work.

Today Mel, students Alex, Daniel, Emily, Phoebe and Tia, and Head of Department of Environmental and Animal Sciences, Dr. Dan Blanchon, joined us for a discussion and tour.

We started out with a discussion of the history and objectives of the CUE Haven restoration project, the planting process and our plans for the future.

Before heading out to explore the property the group disinfected their shoes. This is to help prevent the spread of the kauri dieback disease which has been affecting several reserves around Auckland.

Close to the nursery, we have a landscaped area and the group were lucky to see the endangered kakabeak plant in bloom.

Thomas then took the group on a walk through the property.  We started out in the wetlands where the students had a chance to see some of the features and challenges of the wetland planting area.

As we walked along, Thomas pointed out various features and aspects of the restoration work.  We discussed weed and pest control and the positive effect that pest management has had on native bird and animal life.

We visited the area where we had a slip in 2016 and discussed the causes of the slip and the effect of the remedial steps we have taken since then.

We carried on almost to the top of the property with frequent stops along the way to observe various aspects of the regenerating bush.

As always, we had a very enjoyable visit with the Unitec students.  We learn a lot from these visits and are always impressed with the enthusiasm and varied interests and knowledge of the Unitec students and staff.

Our many thanks to Mel and Dan for their continued support and to Mel for organising the visit.  And also a big thank you to the students for their enthusiasm and interest in the project.

It was a pleasure meeting all of you and we wish you all the very best in your endeavours and we hope you will all come back to visit us again soon!

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