Waikato Biodiversity Waikato Biodiversity


Check websites for the nomination dates of these awards.
NZ Plant Conservation Network
Trust Power Awards Waipa and Taupo
Balance Farm Environment Awards
Volunteering Waikato covers Hamilton, Te Kauwhata in the north, Thames, Coromandel and over to Waihi, and south as far as Tokoroa, Piopio and Te Kuiti.
Green Ribbon Ministry of the Environment
Waipa District Council Natural Heritage Awards
The Most Weed-Wise Nursery in New Zealand. The award is offered annually in Australia and New Zealand by the Council of Australasian Weed Societies.

The Waikato Biodiversity Forum coordinator is available to assist groups to fill out award nomination forms.

Awards received by Forum members

Weedbuster Awards 2010

Advocates of the Tongariro River - overall winner of Waikato Region
Weedbusters Award for outstanding work this group has done with weeding
riparian areas of the Tongariro River

Hayes Family- Award for work on Private land for weed work as part of
lake protection & restoration at Horsham Downs

Wharekawa Catchment Care Group - award for Education for running weed
swaps and encouraging weed awareness in their local community.

CAWS Most Weed-Wise Nursery in New Zealand 2009

Congratulations to Wayne and Julia Bennett who manage Forest Flora Nursery in Ngaruawahia. They have won the Most Weed-Wise Nursery in New Zealand Award 2009. The Council of Australasian Weed societies (CAWS) presents an annual award to recognise the most weed-wise plant nurseries in New Zealand and Australia. The award, instituted in 1996, acknowledges nurseries who pro-actively educate the public about plants that pose environmental risks by escaping from gardens to threaten native plants, wildlife and environments.
Forest Flora

Waikato Regional Weedbusters Award 2008

Congratulations to the Barrett Bush Group for winning the Waikato Regional Weedbusters Award 2008 for work on public land. The group works in Barrett Bush is a 5ha remnant of lowland kahikatea forest on the edge of Hamilton City. The bush is designated a scenic reserve and is owned by the Department of Conservation. On the first Sunday morning of every month the group work in the reserve with a major focus on managing the weeds including privet around the edge of the bush and any open spaces, ragwort infestion from an adjoining paddock, blackberry, convolvulus and jerusalem cherry.

Congratulations to Jubilee Weedbuster who are runners up for the Waikato Region Weedbusters Award. A small group of dedicated Weedbusters have been weeding at Jubilee Bush in the centre of Hamilton over the last four years. The major problem in the kahikatea remnant, Tradescantia, is now much less obvious, although constant weeding is needed to keep regrowth under ontrol. After the initial period of getting rid of large areas, with help from many community groups, weeding is now down on the hands and knees, with an eye also being kept on the monbretia, herries and palms which self seed in the bush. The lower storey is now becoming denser with the growth of seedlings able to survive without the smothering cover of Tradescantia.

Bay of Plenty Regional Weedbusters Award 2008

Congratulations to Waihi District Walkways for winning first equal weed-buster on public land. Waihi District Walkways has created a series of linked walkways around Waihi clearing the area of invasive weeds like elaeagnus. The recent completion of the Mill Stream walkway bordering Morgan Park was used by the group to promote itself for the award — showing before and after photographs of the area. The Millstream walkway was the first stream walkways the group worked on. This work began with clearing invasive weeds, domestic rubbish and debris from the river bank and planting and maintaining the area in native vegetation common to the area before it was removed. Their work has also involved building walkways beside and bridges over the stream. Waihi District Walkways are a core group of 8-10 staunch volunteers who have been working in and around Waihi township for 8 years.

Waipa District Council Natural Heritage Awards

Habitat Retention and Management on Private Land
Pieter and Joy van Dongen are protecting and restoring Lake Mangahia. Their work includes covenanting the lake through QE Trust and development of a management plan come / restoration Plan to be implementation during the summer of 2008/09.

Habitat Development and Management on Reserve or Public Land
Kakepuku Mountain Conservation Society
Pest eradication and control by this dedicated group of local farmers, lifestylers and Pokoru School representatives and pupils, has lead to the introduce NI robin from Pureora Forest. This is the only Waikato site where robins occur – and more recently, and largely to the efforts of Laurie and Jan Hoverd, NZ falcon has also been introduced. It is a fine example of a local community adding immense value to a well recognized and utilized public reserve.

Retention, Development and Management of Natural Landscapes
The Te Pahu Landcare Group
This group has planted 1.4km x20m of the Kaniwhaniwha stream banks. This stream flows north from Mt Pirongia to meet the Waipa River at Karamu. . A small nursery was established at the Te Pahu School and contact was made with organizations that could provide funding, trees and ongoing support – and they lead by example with regular planting days every year since. Today those initial planting are over 4m tall and the site is a showcase for what can be achieved in terms of riparian restoration.

New Zealand Plant Conservation Network Individual Award 2007

Congratulations to Wayne Bennett who has won an award from NZPCN. New Zealand's leading guardians of the country's native plants are recognised each year by the NZPCN through its awards. The NZPCN recognises the depth of feeling for New Zealand's indigenous flora, and the remarkable efforts of a range of people and organisations.

Wayne Bennett receives this award for his efforts to lift the profile of ecological restoration planting and eco-sourcing in the Waikato. The judges acknowledge Wayne's vast knowledge on native plant propagation, fruiting and flowering phenology and restoration planting. He has also been heavily involved in projects to save threatened flora such as Cook's scurvy grass.

Regional Weedbuster Award Nominations and Winners 2006

Congratulations to Peter Morris who has won the Private Land Category as well as the overall Excellence Award.

Congratulations to the Opoutere Residents & Ratepayers Assoc who have won an award for work on 'Private & Public Land'.

Opoutere Residents and Ratepayers Association (ORRA) Private and Public Land,
Tree and Chinese Privet were well established in Opoutere and spreading into the valued native bush, foreshore wetlands and private properties. In 2000 ORRA accepted that there was a possibility that these plants pests could be controlled or even eliminated. Opoutere/Ohui is on the east coast of the Coromandel and is largely surrounded by the Tairua pine forest and the sea. It is a less modified natural area with remnants of native forest uncommon native birds in a fragile environment. In 1961 the local residents formed ORRA with the general aim to protect and support this special environment. Management of plant and animal pest has been part of ORRA's activities since then.

High priority areas include a remnant coastal forest around the base of Mangaruawahine, the estuary foreshore, a slope with tree ferns and old natives on the landward side of the village and the dunes conservation strip. A variety of plant pests threaten including ginger, bamboo, pines, honeysuckle, pampas, brush wattle, tree and Chinese privet, cherry, cotoneaster, jasmine, ivy, kikuyu and thistle. Privet was chosen for special attention because it is an invader which out competes natives, is long lived, spread widely by birds, is difficult to kill and was already a significant problem. It was also felt that the majority of people accept that it is an undesirable weed.

Peter Morris Private Land
This weedbusting involves a gully and its associated banks at Matangi, near Hamilton. About 25 years ago, Peter and his family purchased a block of land adjoining the Mangaharakeke Stream. About 6 acres of this property was a gully and steep bank area; the vegetation was mainly a wilderness of gorse, blackberry, willow, wattle, pinetree, honeysuckle and many other weeds. A handful of native plants were also present : a small patch of flax (Phormium tenax) on the floor of a side gully, a few cabbage trees (Cordyline australis), pate (Schefflera digitata), mahoe (Melicytus ramiflorus), swamp sedge (Carex secta) and weki tree ferns (Dicksonia squarrosa).

Because of the unpleasant nature of the weeds there were huge patches of blackberry up to 2m high - it was decided to turn this weed strewn ruin into a pleasant native bush walk. Weeds were removed in small areas at a time, initially by hand (slasher, axe and spade) and later using chainsaws and herbicides. After considerable experimentation, starting with 2,4-D and diesel and rapidly moving on because of devastating volatile herbicide and ground residual effects, Peter came to the conclusion that the best herbicide to use was glyphosate.

Loder Cup Award 2006

Congratulations to Bruce Clarkson who has been awarded New Zealand's premier conservation award, the Loder Cup. Dr Clarkson is a founding member of the Waikato Biodiversity Forum and a member of the Forum's Focus Group. He is a leader in protection and restoration of indigenous biodiversity through his roles in the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, Hamilton Community Environmental Programme, Hamilton Gully Restoration Programme, Hakarimata Restoration Trust, Hamilton Environment Centre and Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park, and his writing on threatened plant species, vegetation in volcanic landscapes and restoration ecology has been widely published.