Stupidity Strikes AGAIN!

Monday 24th January 2011

Polly Pollock of Devonport has sadly passed away but what a legacy she has left in memory of her daughter who died of cancer in 1989.

I would have liked to have gone and paid my respects to a lady who fought many battles just to improve her local neighbourhood with people who are elected and paid to do just that!    However I was repairing the damage paid contractors had done to the planting that Friends of Sherwood have done in their local neighbourhood, along the Taiaotea Creek, here in Browns Bay so I’m sure that Polly would understand.

FOS have spent a lot of time raising awareness of the importance of looking after the waterways, the lifeblood of any ecosystem, emphasising that anything that happens in the catchment of any stream will have an impact, for better or worse, on the stream itself, and in turn the body it drains into . . . in this case the beach at Browns Bay where people like to swim and which serves up staple food for the snapper people like to catch further out.

We are revegetating 2 kilometres of the stream bank and would like to think that any personnel paid with our exorbitant rate monies would be eager to do the same . . . BUT NO!     I watched in disbelief as contractors spread thick mulch over much of the planting we have recently handed back to North Shore City Council (now the ‘super’ Auckland Council) having largely rid the area of kikuyu and most other weeds (ALL WITHOUT THE USE OF ROUNDUP OR OTHER TOXIC CHEMICALS!) and established native species throughout to retain the bank, provide habitat for insects, birds  and other animals, improve the water quality and provide a much more interesting and pleasant picture that banks of overgrown kikuyu.

The Council’s own handbook requires that mulch is not spread over the interior of native bush areas since it inhibits regeneration, and in this case it was completely covering plants that I was trying then to uncover the next day, rather than attending Polly’s service.

To add insult to injury the young lads that had been sent to mulch were merrily pulling up Haloragis erectis and procumbens that were doing a magnificent job of providing ground cover  and I found out later a Tairaire had been uprooted as a beautiful Pseudopanax and several Kahikiteas had been on a previous occasion . . . the latter often appearing dead because they have little green on them in juvenile stages except with new growth.

If that wasn’t enough one lad then picked up a slab of concrete that had been strategically placed to provide a stepping stone for weeding delicate areas of a fragile bank, and tossed it into the creek!   Quelle horreur!   This is exactly the behaviour we have worked so long and hard at stamping out . . . too long out streams have been used as dumping grounds and we could expect the council contractors to take a lead and be a model that the public could emulate . . . I won’t even start on cigarette butts here . . . and I hate to bore you with all this petty detail BUT isn’t it about time we showed respect  to our native vegetation because it is the only place in the world much of it grows AND IF WE DON’T LOOK AFTER IT WHO WILL!!!!

So where I’m getting to here is a challenge to this new ‘Super’ Auckland  Council to ensure no contractors are let loose on these areas unless they are fully trained and instructed in how to not only look after our native bush areas but also our streams and beaches . . . and of course WITHOUT THE USE OF TOXIC CHEMICALS!

I’ll post some photos up if I can get the hang of this blogging!

Tricia CHEEL for Auckland Mayor

Biographical details for Tricia CHEEL for Mayor for Auckland

Source: Tricia CHEEL for Auckland Mayor


Our most loyal and devoted VOLUNTEER

You'll find Muffin wherever the action is.

Like to see The Taiaotea become A Shining Example of Working With NATURE?

Passionate about fishing and want to make sure those snapper get the very best food to grow big and juicy?

Want to see your neighbourhood come alive with birdsong and bloom with flowers the native birds will love?

Wish to spend an hour or two communing with nature AND feel you are contributing to the beauty?


Friends of Sherwood are working most days somewhere in the catchment and if you sign up as a subscriber you will be sent an automatic email update of what we are up to and how you can contribute . . . so check out what’s on whenever the urge to make a better world gets the better of you!

TODAY – Saturday 26th March 2011 – it’s drizzling along so while the plants are lapping it up and growing like mushrooms . . . in fact the mushrooms are probably preparing to make an early Autumn debut right now! . . . I’m here working on this site to get the neighbourhood mobilised for the planting season that is about to burst forth.

DO YOU HAVE COMPUTER – INTERNET SKILLS . . . phone me now on 09 476 7279!

We are planning to build a potting up – shadehouse to raise 1,000’s of seedlings for all along the stream bank around the Freyberg playing fields and behind the tennis courts.


We can skill you up on raising seedlings and potting up so . . .  don’t delay PHONE TODAY   09 476 7279 . . . or email:

VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME TODAY and help us make a schedule for the next week / month / year.


*  AUCKLAND CITY ANNUAL PLAN . . . deadline for 1st April 2011 . . . help us prepare and present AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!

#1 No Rates For ROUNDUP a proposal to get the chemicals off our streets NOW . . . and keep them off . . . easily and inexpensively.

#2 Protection of our precious areas of NATIVE BUSH by educating ALL CONTRACTORS about how to maintain AND ENHANCE these areas by simply changing some particularly bad habits . . . read more in our WEED REPORT coming soon.

#3 Review of all specifications for building anything and anywhere for ease of maintenance without the use of TOXIC CHEMICALS.

* WEEDING . . . good time of year to roll up the convolvulus and wandering jew and bundle off to the composting plant! . . .

# Freyberg Park at back of playing fields.

# At Tri-Bridge opposite Red Cross in Glencoe Road.


# At Tri-Bridge . . . 2 lovely piles of mulch from A1 Trees Services ready to spruce up the plantings along from the tri-bridge and consolidate the weeding efforts.


# At Tri-Bridge opposite Red Cross in Glencoe Road

# At St Annes Hall cnr Beach & Glencoe Roads.

# Freyberg Park

# Sherwood Reserve

We are concentrating on these sites at present with a view to having them completely finished and handed back to the Council to maintain but are concerned that with the techniques and specifications they work with at present a significant amount of our effort is demolished as they pull up plants that look dead e.g. kahikatea and remove the litter we have deliberately left to protect the lizards and wetas . . . hence the importance of getting the Annual Plan to address this.


(. . . and further afield if you wish . . . we can run a WWOOFER-type scheme and offer a room in exchange for 2 hours help for 5 days a week . . . or 10 hours per week however it fits in and gives you a chance to explore the wonders of the rest of East Coast Bays and beyond! )


. . . believe you me THE TAIAOTEA NEEDS YOU! . . . and will repay you a million fold in cleaner air, water and land.

I’m waiting by my phone right now . . .



Co-ordinator for


Working hard to enhance the neighbourhood since June 1990.