News | 21 September 2022

Planting for Pōneke's future

On any given day, you’ll see Council staff and volunteers weeding, mowing and planting around Pōneke, to restore our wild and beautiful city. But did you know a newly planted native patch can take up to 10 years to establish?

Woman planting in a field.

There are three phases in the restoration process. Let’s dig into the planning, planting and maintenance.

Planning (up to 10 years ahead)

Once an area is identified, our team starts the process of getting a site ready to plant. This involves clearing the weeds or storm damaged trees, and controlling weeds and animal pests, to give the new vegetation the best chance of survival. This stage might take several years before even thinking about planting.

While the section is cleared, we research which native plants call that area home, will survive our weather, and attract wildlife when they’re established. Then, our Berhampore Nursery sources the right seeds and germinates the seedlings, a process that alone can take 2-3 years.

Planting (up to a year)
In comparison, planting happens mostly in a few months each year, over hōtoke (winter) when the rain gives the best start to the 100,000 seedlings we plant every year.

Plants are carefully matched to the area and conditions they’ll be planted in, such as our coastal areas or town belt.

Maintenance (4 years or more)

Revegetation isn’t finished when planting is completed. Our windy weather, the ongoing threat of weeds like Old Man’s Beard, and seedlings not surviving mean after-plant maintenance is essential for several years.

Maintenance is a planned process. Our staff and volunteers follow the schedules drawn up back in the planning stage to weed, replace plants that have died, and monitor plant growth and bird numbers.

As the plants establish themselves, less maintenance is needed, and the ecosystem starts its own restoration process with birds feeding on the maturing plants and spreading seeds throughout their travels.

Keen on becoming a revegetation volunteer? See our restoration planting guides and explore outdoor volunteer opportunities.