Newdicks Beach is an area of coastal cliffs, duneland and beach located to the east of Okurei (Town Point), Maketu. The unique topography of the area means there are a variety of habitats within the coastal zone. Unfortunately, a high prevalence of pest plants and animals were impacting the area, so in March 2014 a group of locals, including Maketu Ongatoro Wetland Society volunteers, made an Earth Hour pledge to start cleaning up Newdicks Beach.
With the support of BOPRC, WBOPDC, DOC and Landowners, the Newdicks Beach Biodiversity Management Plan launched in July 2015. Great progress has been made in the zones along Newdicks Beach such as:
- Upper car park: removal of gorse and replanting with mixed native trees, toi toi and flax. This has improved the view down the beach. We have plans to create a picnic area here.
- Lower car park: a fence was erected, and native plants such as Horokaka (native ice plant) used to anchor the soil and reduce erosion. This has helped to build a dune to protect the car park and the pohutukawa. Steps were set up to access the beach, the norfolk pines and a large palm tree were removed, pohutukawa and taupata have been planted, and a great deal of work has been done to protect the large pohutukawa tree which is being washed away by the sea.
- Cliff zone: invasive grasses are regularly sprayed, a fallen macrocarpa tree has been removed, and there are plans to work on removing gorse and moth plant in sections and to replant native species.
- Dune zone: more dune species have been planted, invasive grasses sprayed, and there is a pest trapping programme near the bird breeding sites.
Baseline monitoring of the ecology of these zones has been completed so we can monitor the improvements.
We have had a great turn out for working bees by the usual MOWS volunteers and local people. Te Kura o Maketu have visited the beach to help with planting as part of the environmental education programme.