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Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand


-------- Keeping our coasts alive Spring 2020

  Kaitaia intermediate school children replacing coastal pine with natives  

Chair's message


Tēnā koutou katoa


I recently was part of a presentation and panel discussion in Nelson where we were attempting to answer the question: What are the options for Top of the South with sea level rise? This was a joint event organized by the local branches of Engineering NZ and Te Kāhui Whaihanga NZ Institute of Architects (NZIA). An article was published about the event here.


I don’t often get a chance to represent the Coastal Restoration Trust at events with people who have influence on coastal development and management so it was an opportunity to champion the use of native plants and provide examples of coastal engineering that were very expensive and not very effective.


I related te kōrero tara of the battle waging between Tāne Mahuta, god of forest and birds and his brother Tangaroa, god of the sea. See the story here under the entry on pīngao.


My main messages were: It is inadvisable to build your whare in the midst of warring gods and, as sea levels rise, the battles are going to favour Tangaroa, therefore we best provide Tāne some āwhina, assistance and kaha, strength with healthy buffers of native plants along the battlefront.


Manaakitia ngā tukemata o Tāne, Caring for the eyebrows of Tāne


Mā te wā



Living on a Dynamic Coast - 2021 Conference


We are pleased to announce that registrations are now open for our next conference, Living on a Dynamic Coast, will be held from 10-12 March 2021 in Whanganui. The Grand Hotel will be the venue and gathering point.


Working with Nature, a free pre-conference workshop will be run on Tuesday 9 March and it is highly recommended if you haven't attended one of our conferences before and for council staff.


There will also be a post-conference fieldtrip on Sunday 14 March.


Keep an eye on the Whanganui conference page where more information will be posted as it becomes available or go straight to the registration page for the main conference.


We are thankful to  Horizons Regional Council, Whanganui District Council and Progress Castlecliff for making this conference possible.


Working with Nature - Free pre-conference workshop


Registrations are now open for the pre-conference workshop on 9 March 2020. This workshop is an introduction to coastal restoration.


It is highly recommended if you haven’t been to a coastal restoration conference before and for council staff and councillors. If you have attended this day before you will find some repeated information, but there will also be some discussion of local issues.


It focuses on understanding natural beaches and coastlines and the move away from hard engineering towards working with nature and restoring degraded coasts. Sessions will be run by former CRT trustee Jim Dahm who has many years of applied experience in working with and restoring natural ecosystems.


For more information go to our conference page or directly to registration. Registrations are limited to 100.


Scholarship applications are now open


The purpose of this scholarship is to provide funds to assist with an individual’s post-graduate level research to improve knowledge in the field of coastal restoration. The scholarship is usually $2,000 plus expenses to travel and present at the Coastal Restoration Trust Conference.


Go to the scholarship page to read more and download the information and application form.


Applications must be received by us by 31 January 2021.


Coastal Restoration Award nominations are open


The Coastal Restoration Award recognises the team work and tenacity to motivate people to work together to achieve “on the ground” results. The award is generously sponsored by Coastlands Plant Nursery.


If you are involved with a coastal restoration group that you think is doing great work, or want to nominate a group or project that is, go to our restoration award webpage to download the form, fill it in and send it to us by 31 January 2021.


Support wanted to appeal vehicles on beaches legislation


I am appealing the Northland Regional Plan as an individual being a member of Bream Bay Coastal Care Trust. I am appealing 'the use of vehicles and other disturbances to the foreshore and seabed are permitted activities provided that .....'.


The NRC is allowing three days in the Environment Court for the court hearing.


If you would like to help provide a body of evidence by way of photos or first hand accounts of vehicles damaging protected species and or protected places, or the destruction or degradation of our coastal environment, please contact David.


Evidence from any coastal area and/or suggestions of expert witnesses qualified to appear in court, would be helpful.


Effects of sea level rise on coastal systems - 26 November


Although Covid-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 Coastal Society conference, they have an alternative lined up for Thursday 26 November. The event will comprise 3 events including an online webinar and gatherings in 5 regions. The webinar Effects of sea level rise on coastal systems looks especially interesting.


Read the detail and register here.



New: Video and workshops project


We have recently signed up for another project funded by the Department of Conservation's Community Fund/Pūtea Tautiaki Hapori.


The project is called: Act now! Videos and Workshops to Build Resilient Natural Coasts in the Face of Climate Change and will produce a series of videos to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change on coastal ecosystems through multi-media videos and skills to mitigate them.


We will be working with Janet Andrews and Simon Hoyle of Southlight on this, who you may know from our conferences. They are coast care people themselves and have often helped us with photography.


Here is the board discussing the details of this project at our recent board meeting in Wellington.


L to R, top to bottom: Jo Bonner & Alison Waru, Jason Maguiness, Laura Shaft, Greg Bennett & Colin Ryder, Colin, [..], Tim Park, Lyneke Onderwater (administrator), Greg, Moniqua Nelson-Tunley, Graeme La Cock, Dave Bergin & Lyle Mason and Jo. Photo Simon Hoyle


Coastal Buffers project update


Due to the extended 2019-2020 drought, there were great losses of plants that were put in during the winter of 2019. However it was noted that plants that had some shade and/or shelter fared better.


An unintended consequence of plastic plant guards that were put in to prevent browsing was that many of the protected plants overheated. Browse from horses and rabbits/hares was more frequent in the open coast sites compared with the pine gap and canopy sites.  Pōhutukawa did not show any pressure from browse but there was heavy loss due to lack of soil moisture.


Another 9000 plants of about 20 different species were planted this winter at the various sites. We are hoping for a wet summer to get these off to a good start.


Read the full story on the Coastal Buffers project page.


Tūhaitara Coastal Sequence project update



The Tūhaitara coastal sequence project got underway early this year, but got interrupted by the Covid-19 lockdown, which has delayed the work and the reporting.


Nevertheless, lots of trees got planted on the transect (in red on photo). The University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army got involved and 1200 got planted and surrounded by guards in August.


We're hoping for a wet summer to get all these plants off to a good start.


In the meantime you can read the objectives and methods on the Tūhaitara project page.




A tale of two taonga by Johannes Fischer


Our 2016 scholarship recipient has published another paper: A tale of two taonga: mutualistic research and management of heritage landscapes on Codfish Island (Whenua Hou), Aotearoa New Zealand / He pakiwaitara mō ngā taonga e rua: he rangahau, he whakahaerenga ngākau kotahi o ngā whenua tuku iho ki Whenua Hou, Aotearoa


The proximity of the breeding habitat of an endangered species to significant cultural heritage previously led to competing stakeholder interests which limited research and effective management. We present a mutualistic approach to landscape management on Codfish Island, which has resulted in positive outcomes for archaeological research, cultural heritage management, biological research, and conservation management.


Go to this link to read the full abstract and organise access to the full article.


Database now contains over 6000 documents


Our Coastal Reference Database, which was a project funded by the Department of Conservation’s Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (TFBIS) in 2015, has been gradually added to.

It now contains over 6000 titles. If you have or know of documents that can be added to this database or notice anything wrong, please email us.

Here are some recently added documents:


Wild Things, a KCC newsletter from 2012 on shore birds and other coastal features for kids (and kids at heart)

Molecular identification and distribution of native and exotic earthworms in New Zealand human-modified soils by Kim Young-Nam et al


Also added recently are articles and papers on katipō and the weedy sea spurge. Search and you will find...


Flags available for use at events.




A reminder that we have flags available for use at coastal restoration events around the the country. These flags stand out and make it easy for people to find you.


They can be booked for events in Northland, Waikato and other locations.


If you would like to use one of these flags, please click on the link to the location closest to you and we'll lend you one, if available.



Previous issues of our newsletter




A reminder that previous issues of our newsletter are available on our website here. These newsletters go back to 2009.


There is an effort happening to get some older ones uploaded too. We will report if and when that has happened, because some great things happened back then too and some wonderful ideas were offered.


Happy Summer!


Another year almost gone already. I hope it was a good one for you all despite the obvious hick-ups.


Have a wonderful Christmas holiday with whānau and friends and a good start to the new year! And then we hope to see you here in Whanganui for our conference...


Remember also to order your plants for the 2021 season and use our planting calculator and other resources.


Wishing us all a wet summer to make those plants grow!


Lyneke Onderwater


Principal Partners
Greater Wellington Regional Council Environment Canterbury Northland Regional Council
Christchurch City Council Department of Conservation
Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand      PO Box 11302, Manners Street, Wellington 6142
Ph: 04 889 2337      Email:
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