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We have a number of projects that we are involved in.  We would love to hear your thoughts!  



   PEST FREE HOWICK COMMUNITY FIGHT AGAINST THE                                                 MOTH PLANT                       



























                                                      Why is it a problem?


This rapidly growing, invasive vine crowds out desirable native plants and has spread across the Auckland region.


It develops large green pods which contain hundreds of parachute-like, airborne seeds. Large pods can contain up to 1000 seeds.


These seeds can remain dormant in the soil for up to 7 years before growing.

  • What can be done about it?

  • To remove moth plant yourself please follow these steps:

 First remove all pods. Then cut the vine near to the ground leaving a small stump.

                                            Apply herbicide gel to the stump.

Pest Free Howick runs a moth plant pod competition for schools in the Howick Ward area.

                                                          Join the fight! 


Click the button below to visit the Pest Free Howick website for competition details

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Cockle Bay Residents and Ratepayers submission on the sale of local reserves.

In 2020 the Auckland Council's Finance and Performance Committee agreed to sell a number of Council owned public reserves including a number in East Auckland. The sale of the reserves was to be managed by the Council Agency Panuku Developments Auckland.  Council publicly notified and sought public and iwi submissions on its intent to revoke the reserve status of particular reserves.  A large number of submissions was received none of which were in favour of the properties’ reserve status being revoked. As a result Independent Commissioners were appointed to hear further submissions about specific areas eg East Auckland.


The Cockle Bay Residents and Ratepayers Association (CBRRA) is against the revocation of reserve status and the sale of public reserves by the Council. Following a period of extensive research by CBRRA Committee members Mrs Maja Heiniger, Ms Kathy Kennedy and the Chair of the CBRRA Mr Laurie Slee a detailed submission was produced and presentation made to the Independent Commissioners by Mr Slee on behalf of the CBRRA. Many thanks to Maja, Kathy and Laurie for their efforts!


Following consultation the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries has revoked the existing seasonal closure at Cockle Bay/Tuwakamana and replaced it with a full year-round closure to the recreational taking of shellfish. This closure took effect on 1 May 2021.

You can view the consultation documents, public submissions and summary table of the minister’s decisions at this link!

Fisheries New Zealand will continue to survey the bed periodically, and at the moment the year-round closure will be for 3 years.   


The CBBRA submission was kindly researched and prepared by Miriam Clark, and the closure reflects the many years of voluntary work and relentless advocacy carried out by local Cockle Bay resident Barry Wood. Thanks Barry!


Lastly, if you are visiting Cockle Bay and become concerned that someone is taking shellfish, call the Fisheries hotline 0800 4 76224 or freephone 0800 00 83 33.  


Barry: 'Having lived at Cockle Bay for around 30 years I have seen many changes in the beach. In those earlier days it was very rare to see anyone collecting shellfish. However, about 15 years ago during the summer public holidays the beach began to be visited by large groups of collectors which put the cockle population under threat. It was around this time that the community shellfish monitoring program started to monitor the number of shellfish. These yearly surveys showed a steady decline in the number of cockles and I felt it was time to see if we could get some restrictions to have a sustainable fishery. The Ministry of Fisheries, as it was then known, placed a seasonal closure on the beach to help control the cockle population. This seasonal closure proved successful for the first few years but with the increasing number of people moving into the area and Auckland as a whole it soon became a problem and over a five year period there was a 72% decline in the cockle population. It took several attempts by locals to convince Fisheries NZ (MPI) to address this over harvesting. In October 2020 the Auckland Council Community Shellfish Monitoring Program Coordinator Hazel Meadows worked with myself, the CBRRA, local residents and Honorary Fisheries Officers to conduct a survey of the cockle population in Cockle Bay. ​Finally, in 2021 MPI asked for submissions on a scheme to close Cockle Bay for a period of three years during which time they would monitor the cockle population. Here we are several months into this closure and to my knowledge no cockles have been taken which is a fantastic outcome! Personally, I would prefer this closure to become permanent as Cockle Bay is far too accessible to a very large population and the many benefits of a healthy shellfish population justifies this. Among some of the benefits are: feeding the fish and sea birds, filtering sea water, building up the foreshore with shell, and having a healthy cockle population so spat will spread to nearby beaches.

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Barry Wood with AC Community Shellfish Monitoring Program Coordinator Hazel Meadows, Oct. 2020.

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Volunteers carefully counting shellfish, Oct. 2020

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Miriam: 'I am very pleased about the decision of MPI to fully close Cockle Bay/Tuwakamana Beach to shellfish harvesting for the next three years. Data from both MPI and local community studies have shown a decline in overall cockle numbers since 2009 and the number of large individuals is continuing to reduce. It is these large individuals that have the biggest breeding potential and will keep the population going, so protecting them is absolutely crucial. Cockles play a very important role in the intertidal ecosystem, both as a food source for other organisms and for other ecosystem processes, so it has been great to see the passion by locals to protect the species for future generations. ​In early 2021 MPI requested public submissions on whether or not to close the Cockle Bay/Tuwakamana cockle bed for three years. Miriam wrote the CBRRA submission.  Miriam has a BSc (Hons) in Marine Ecology. '


The north end of the beach, next to the playground, suffers from erosion, and a large storm in January 2017 caused significant damage. Two main problems require resolution:   the sea wall deflects waves down the beach, resulting in the movement of a lot of sand to the southern end of the beach, and reclamation of eroded land.   A group of residents from Shelly Beach Parade worked with the Howick Local Board and the council to create a plan to resolve these problems, and work started in late July to place large rocks in front of the sea wall.   Barry Wood is working with the council and the contractor to ensure the works are carried out to the approved plans. We are concerned that the rocks in front of the sea wall stop at the ramp, instead of carrying them all the way along to the end.   We are also asking the council to re-grass the backfilled land, and to install parallel parking to increase the grassy area for people to sit on, especially during summer.

images of erosion

before and after proposed reinstatement

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