Robin Taua-Gordon of local iwi Te Kawerau ā Maki is set to bless the 1km pathway and bridge at Matuku Link on Wednesday 2 November. Minister of Conservation and Disability Issues Poto Williams will then declare it open.
Matuku Link is a large native forest block bordering the Te Henga wetland in Auckland’s Bethells Valley. It forms a vital link between three neighbouring eco-restoration projects. Through revegetation and pest control, it’s providing a safe corridor for native birds and wildlife. The onsite nursery is run by the volunteers of the Waitakere Rivercare group. It has grown more than 10,000 eco-sourced plants for the revegetation of what was paddocks.
The pathway is the first fully accessible boardwalk for Auckland’s largest wetland. It includes a pedestrian bridge over the Waitākere River. It connects the Sustainable Wetland Education Centre to a pāteke viewing platform. It’s suitable for wheelchairs, buggies, prams and people with walkers.
SBN administered funding as part of the government’s Jobs for Nature, Mahi mō te Taiao fund via the Department of Conservation for the work. The bridge was donated by Fulton Hogan, an SBN Investor. Since 2017, Matuku Link has received $60,000 through SBN’s Million Metres Project. Other major sponsors include Lotteries Foundation and the Regional Environmental Natural Heritage Fund. Many more have donated money, time, materials and expertise.
Alaina Pomeroy is senior project and partnership manager with SBN. She’s worked with the team throughout the project.
“It is amazing to see how far they have come!” she says. “The wetlands are flourishing and now fully accessible. The open barn is now an enclosed and functional space. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do over the course of the next five years! What an incredible asset to engage in and learn about wetlands and biodiversity out West.”