Written By Anja Hennig
Anja Hennig has been a leading force behind the weeding and regeneration of the Paturoa Way track for nearly a decade. She has written more about the journey to weeding, replanting and replenishing this natural space.
It is exciting to wait for the official opening of the Tinopai Track. Finally! It feels like such a long time ago that we were walking, running, biking, and weeding on this track. We never lost the thought that we may not use this track for a very long time.
Over the last 10 years, a lot of hard work went into this track. It was full of climbing asparagus, ginger and agapanthus, a real jungle! We started to weed this track with just a handful of neighbours. It felt utterly daunting. Without the encouragement of our then Gecko facilitator Karen Mann, we may not have tackled this massive mission. We were encouraged to focus on one weed first, then progress to others.
A small team of 5 neighbours started to weed the track with their bare hands, just pulling mountains of asparagus ferns off of the native plants. Quickly filling a lot of weedbags, but the rescue work felt very rewarding. It was surprising how much we were able to achieve with only 5 people in 2 hours. After the first push we returned regularly to the track with small and bigger weeding/planting bees.
Over time, the council gave us two big weed bins, many weedbags and native plants for replanting. Weed bins and weedbags got quickly filled, and we were able to clear whole sites of agapanthus (especially on the top entrance by Tinopai Rd). It has since been replanted and the agapanthus has not returned! For years we have been back attending to asparagus fern and ginger seedlings.
Unfortunately the appearance of Kauri Dieback has dampered our progress and we were not able to return to the track for the last two years. The design of the new walkway means we do not need a spray station which is great news. People can walk from the street onto the walkway and get out at the other end onto the street without touching the ground.
To protect the Kauri trees and their ecosystem, please stick to the track and don’t let children or pets jump off the walkway. One side of the track is heavily riddled with Dieback, but the other side is still reasonably healthy.
It is time we reconnect with our beautiful track that makes our little beaches (Titirangi Beach and Davies Bay) so accessible again. It also gives easier access to the bus stop on South Titirangi Road. Let’s hope for a similar success story for the Eric Leigh Hunt track/Tinopai Reserve.