Waiky River nord west

This is found near the west end of Weggery Drive, between the street and the river bank and was begun by a pair of locals in 2016.  Despite setbacks caused by a vandal (caught in August last year) the plant growth has transformed this piece of public space.

Sue Lusk posted the below information on the Destination Waikanae Facebook page in May last year:


When Julian and John were told, “you’ll never get anything to grow on this ugly eroding sandbank” down in the Weggery Reserve in 2016, they decided to ignore that advice and and have developed something truly extraordinary!

They have been planting and weeding and mulching, collecting horse manure, and buying and sourcing native plants for four years now — some plants coming from KCDC and generous locals like Gus Evans, some they buy themselves (and sadly sometimes lose to vandalism) but nearly all have flourished and created a new ecosystem on this once barren bank.

And as the fast-growing natives are forming a protective canopy, they have started to plant nikaus, tree fuchsias, kohekohe, even kaka beak (what else did you tell me, Julian and John?) to ensure that this is a reserve that flourishes for generations.

Next to the path to the river you’ll also see a small planting in amongst the massive gorse bushes around the bases of the pine trees – John and Julian have done this to show that, once the native trees and shrubs are mature enough, they will form a canopy that prevents the gorse from getting enough light to survive. Wouldn’t it be amazing for KCDC to not have to keep spraying the gorse in the future because native plants have taken over…

Trees are our world’s pumping lungs, and Julian and John have shown – along with groups like the Waikanae Estuary Care Group, the Friends of the Waikanae River, the Edgewater Care Group, Brent Buckler of Greater Wellington (whose planting by the Waikanae River bridges is looking so healthy too!) — that barren and weed-choked land can regenerate with passionate locals working together.