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Protecting our precious places

Restoring a rare Taranaki wetland

Community helps to enhance rare Taranaki wetland

On World Wetlands Day on 1 February 2009, Kevin and Marianne Murphy hosted an open day at their wetland covenant on their 180ha dairy farm at Auroa east of Opunake.

Now managed by their children, the property runs 650 cows.

‘We had this untidy swamp near our house,’ says Kevin.

‘By protecting it with a QEII covenant and planting natives, it’s become a valuable asset on the farm.’

Raupo wetland before being fenced Photo: Neil Phillips


Right: Before being fenced and replanted in 2007, the raupo wetland was susceptible to weeds and stock intrusion.


With assistance from QEII, South Taranaki District Council, Taranaki Tree Trust, Auroa School students and Pihama Young Farmers Club members, the 2.1ha covenant has been fenced and enhanced with 6,500 native plants.

‘We’ve planted 33 different varieties including flaxes and toetoe,’ explains Kevin.

‘It’s an ongoing project and there are still bigger trees such as totara and rimu to go in.

'Neil and Denise Phillips provided the technical expertise on what to plant, where to buy the plants and where to plant them.

‘I see my job as putting in the trees and controlling the blackberry and other weeds.

'It’s all about leaving a legacy for those following us.’

Kevin Murphy explains the restoration Photo: Neil Phillips

Above: Kevin Murphy explains the restoration of the wetland at the open day. It is now protected from stock by a 6-wire (1 electric) post and batten fence.

Open SpaceTM Magazine No. 75, March 2009 © QEII National Trust

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