Kaitiaki and Friends of Te Aroha Valley and Hekerua Bay
Tim and his wife Jackie built a small house five years ago on a section we had owned for 15 years in Te Aroha Valley. They have lived there on and off since then and moved to Waikeke permanently six months ago.
“For many years I had walked up and down Te Aroha walkway (Don’s Track) bemoaning the fact that no one was doing anything about the weed problem in what is a beautiful regenerating bush valley. I finally realised that if I wanted anything to happen I was probably going to have to get into action and organise it. I am a landscape architect, so I have a particular interest in regenerating the native bush and ecosystems.
“I started this neighbourhood group at the beginning of 2019. Its focus is on weed and pest control and regeneration of the bush in Te Aroha Valley and Hekerua Bay. I am the group coordinator – I manage communications with members, liaise with the steering committee, organise working bees, apply for funding and am working on developing systems to ensure the group has a viable long-term future.
“The big difference this group is making is in creating a greater sense of community for the residents of the Valley and surrounding neighbourhood. I see the potential for the project to be an example of how people can live in a bush setting in harmony with nature, while protecting and enhancing the ecosystems that share the valley with them.
“We have a strong sense of community in our group and really enjoy spending time together. I would encourage anyone who would like to get to know others in the local and wider community to join us, and along the way you will get to make a real difference to the natural environment, something very critical in the face of the challenges of climate change.”