On Wednesday, 22 May 2019, a number of WSRRA committee members (and friends) visited the privately owned Dragonfly Springs Wetlands situated harbour side at Onerahi. Once a waste area comprised of open drains and illegal rubbish dumps, the area has been transformed into a nature reserve where freshwater springs and a system of ponds have been extensively planted to capture rain, and filter stormwater run-off and sedimentation into the harbour. The once neglected site also provides extensive bird and other wildlife habitat and is an educational asset for the local (and wider) community.
Previously earmarked for subdivision in 2002, the land was purchased by Jeremy Busck and Pamela Winter in 2004 after an unsuccessful campaign to have Whangarei District Council buy the site. The couple then embarked on the mammoth task of turning the neglected low-laying land into a wetland sanctuary that would also provide the basis for environmental education. Today, the resource is used by a number of educational facilities ranging from primary through to tertiary level, as well as trusts and gardening clubs. Community planting and maintenance is encouraged with regular planting days scheduled. Many of the plants are derived from local native plant seeds collected and grown on at the on-site nursery.
Here in Oakura Bay, WSRRA in conjunction with WDC, are about to embark on the construction of a wetland and nature reserve shortly. With this in mind, and on the recommendation of Councillor Anna Murphy, we arrived at Dragonfly Springs Wetlands eager to observe and learn as much as we could. Jeremy was extremely generous with his time. He not only lead us on a guided walk through the wetlands, but also spent considerable time imparting some of his wide and extensive knowledge. We would encourage others to visit this stunning reserve.
Where: End of Raumati Crescent, Onerahi 0110
For more information, visit the Dragonfly Springs Wetland’s Facebook page.
Or contact Jeremy Busck and Pamela Winter – Phone (09) 436 0112, Mobile 021 232 6525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org