Mondelez NZ Helps to Restore and Protect Waterway

Mondelēz New Zealand (MDLZ NZ), maker of Cadbury Dairy Milk, Pascall, Oreo and Philadelphia, and Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ) today announce a multi-year project aimed at restoring and protecting the Papakura Stream. The Papakura Stream in South Auckland runs from Brookby to the Manukau Harbour via the Pahurehure inlet and is approximately 63 km long with a catchment covering 4,100 ha. The restoration of this significant freshwater system will include installing fencing, planting native trees and shrubs, weed control, litter cleanups and community engagement.

The multi-faceted project will kick off with the planting of 12,500 trees and the installation of nearly 400 metres of Future Posts fencing, made from recycled soft plastics. In addition to the conservation element of the project, the project will teach people about the recycling of soft plastics and how these materials can be turned into new products such as fencing and gardening boxes.

“This is an incredibly important project for us as it combines both conservation efforts as well as consumer awareness around recycled materials and underscores our commitment to protecting the environment,” said Cara Liebrock, Managing Director, Mondelēz New Zealand. “We want to illustrate the importance of collecting and recycling soft plastics and divert it from landfill. It’s a great step forward in achieving New Zealand’s goal of transitioning towards a circular economy.”

The stream restoration project also includes an educational element for schools focused on the longfin eel, one of New Zealand’s threatened species which calls the Papakura Stream its home. Poor understanding of the species has led to general disregard for the important role this species plays in freshwater ecosystems. The survival of the longfin eel is intricately linked to healthy waterways and requires action to help ensure its protection.

Beyond the longfin eel, protecting the Papakura Stream will help many native species including inanga and banded kokopu which live in the stream itself. Increased tree cover will also provide food and habitat for bird species including kākā, bellbirds, kereru, tūī and New Zealand’s only native mammal, the long-tailed bat.

“The Papakura Stream Restoration Project is a multi-stakeholder programme that encourages local boards, landowners, corporates and the community to work together on a common goal – the restoration of the Papakura Stream. We aim to not only make a difference to stream health, but also mobilise and educate as many people as possible on the importance of getting involved in the protection of our waterways,” said Siobhan O’Grady, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Conservation Volunteers New Zealand.

In 2020, CVNZ, in partnership with the Papakura, Manurewa and Franklin Local Boards and Auckland Councils Healthy Waters Team, conducted a landowner engagement survey which identified community members keen to get involved in the project. Since that time, CVNZ has engaged additional partners and sponsors such as Mondelēz New Zealand, One Tree Planted and Million Meters Streams Project to grow the programme.

“Community involvement is an essential aspect to any restoration project. Engaging with those that have the Papakura Stream running through their property, as well as those that operate businesses or reside in the wider catchment, is paramount to ensuring there is a community who are supported to take on a role as caretakers and guardians.” Bianca Lily, Intermediate Healthy Waters Specialist, Healthy Waters Team, Auckland Council.

The Papakura Stream Project extends the ongoing conservation efforts between CVNZ and MDLZ NZ and will commence on Wednesday, 26 May. The project will require the ongoing work of volunteers to help with the weed control, litter collection and tree planting. For more information or to learn how to get involved, visit the Conservations Volunteers website.