Preservation of Otama Reserve Village Pa Site

The Otama Reserve Group is very happy to have achieved its goal to preserve and protect the Village Pa Site -te wāhi tapu - an historical site on the beach reserve. Originally this site was used by Ngati Hei as the site for a village. Subsequently it has been used for - grazing, camping and more recently for parking and as a viewing point. To protect and respect this special site going forward a decision was made in partnership with Ngāti Hei , DOC and the archaeological experts, to form earth mounds to separate the area from the rest of the reserve and restrict traffic movement.

The mounds were formed during this last winter. We are very grateful to Roadworx for supplying the large boulders which would not be there but for the generosity of Venetia NZ who generously placed them with their digger free of charge. The rocks look great and add real interest to the area.

We welcomed a large group of enthusiastic volunteers from our supportive community to assist with the planting. Low growing plants and ground covers were selected to beautify the area- Carex Testacea, Waekāhu (Muehlenbeckia complexus), Wharariki (Phormium Corkianum, a low growing harakeke ), Wīwī (Knobby Club Rush) and Tarakupenga (Sandy Coprosma) were used. In total we planted approx 2000 plants and we are very grateful to the Mercury Bay Environment trust who provided them all. As they develop, they will combine to create a variety of colours, shapes and textures.

We want to extend a huge thank you to the 25 volunteers who arrived to assist on planting day. It was clear they all thoroughly enjoyed the experience and especially the sausage sizzle at the end of the day. It was a lot of fun and a great community activity. A satisfying day of good mahi!

Since then mulch has been spread over the mounds to suppress the weeds and retain moisture. We are looking forward to watching these plants grow and flourish .