top of page

December updates: workshops, a conference and a cartoon

Kia ora koutou,

The past couple of months have been filled with workshops and presentations, all of which were a huge success thanks to you.


At the end of October we had three workshops – one with each of our farms and their surrounding communities. It was great to get everyone together to share what we’ve found so far, get feedback and discuss ideas about ‘where to next’.

These hui were a chance to not only meet loads of new people, but also share place-based and national-scale information that will hopefully benefit everyone who attended.

Kaipara workshop
Perfect weather for a field trip at our Kaipara workshop

After the farmer workshops we ran an ‘agroecology’ symposium at the New Zealand Ecological Society conference. The symposium was well-attended and featured talks from our researchers, as well as Living Water, NIWA, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and Kunzea Consultants.

A panel talk (along with audience discussion) topped off the day by bringing farmers together with land managers and scientists. Again, it was great to get people with a range of views discussing issues and solutions they do, or could have, in common.

Farming with biodiversity website

We’ve taken a lot of the feedback from recent events and incorporated it into our Farming with Biodiversity website plan.

The first stage of this site is well underway and we should have the first draft page ready to receive comments in mid-late January. We recently completed the centrepiece of the home page – an animation explaining what biodiversity actually is!

If you haven’t seen it already you can check it out here:

We’ve already been asked if we can translate this into te Reo Māori, so we’re trying to find some more money to make that happen.


We've recently had two publications accepted, details of which will be up on our website in the new year so keep an eye out in the next newsletter.

One Billion Trees: a catalyst for (re)building resilient and multi-functional agriculture landscapes - New Zealand Ecological Society online article series.

Restoring mature-phase forest tree species through enrichment planting in New Zealand's lowland landscapes - New Zealand Journal of Ecology.

Living Laboratory update

Since August we’ve gotten around 5,000 plants in the ground at the first Living Laboratory site. And by ‘we’, we mean a huge community of partners and volunteers.

Of course our project partners Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei haven’t hesitated in getting their hands dirty – helping us out at the same time as they plant many other areas around Bastion point.

Most recently we’ve had students (plus their dedicated adults) from Randwick Park School and St Joseph’s Ōrākei visit to help release the native saplings, which were in danger of being swallowed by the spring weeds.

You can take a look at the Pourewa site from the comfort of your computer by clicking here. We have every tree marked on a GPS which makes for a fairly impressive visual and a great interactive map!

We’re really proud that this project is adding to the global conversation of nature-based solutions for climate change. We’re also excited to be well on our way to signing on the dotted line for our second Living Lab site, news of which we can hopefully bring you early next year.

“One route is a landscape approach, where trees are aligned to the particularities of the landscape, and to the values of the communities who live there.” – David Hall, AUT in a recent Stuff article.

Wishing everyone a safe and relaxing holiday,

The Farming & Nature Conservation team:

Hannah Buckley, David Norton, Brad Case, Margaret Stanley, Valance Smith, Stacey Bryan, Tarn Gillman, Adam Forbes, Jeff Silby, David Hall, Estelle Dominati, Margaret Brown, Fleur Maseyk, Bruce Small and Roxanne Henwood.

bottom of page