The Kahikatea Fragment Enhancement project, funded by the Waikato River Authority’s Clean Up Fund, was completed in June 2019.

Over a two year period, this project assisted eight landowners with enhancing kahikatea stands on their properties. Seven existing stands were fenced from stock, and one new wetland area was fenced and planted with kahikatea to become a mighty stand two hundred years from now.

All stands were provided with some understory planting of characteristic kahikatea species that were missing from the stands, with a total of 12,454 native plants planted. The plants were sourced from the community nursery run by the Waikato Ecological Restoration Trust, and Forest Flora. The Waikato Weedbusters Squad provided volunteers to assist in undertaking weeding and planting in many of the stands, while some weed control was contracted out.

Additionally, each landowner received a restoration plan for their stands so they can manage them into the future.

During the course of this project, Waikato Regional Council also updated their fact sheets about kahikatea, which you can access here:


There is also a website dedicated to kahikatea in the Waikato, which can be found here: http://projectkahikatea.weebly.com/ This website has collated information on the history, management, propagation, resources and research about kahikatea, as well as links to stands to visit in the Waikato.

I’d also like to acknowledge the Waikato River Authority’s Clean Up Fund for providing the financial support for the fencing and plants.

– Nardene Berry, Waikato Regional Coordinator NZLT

Waikato Weedbusting Squad

The Waikato Weedbusting Squad (WWS) works with Queen Elizabeth II Trust to clear weeds from various covenanted sites across the Waikato Basin. Squad members enjoy the camaraderie, the variety of sites, the satisfaction of seeing the results of a team effort and knowing they are making a positive difference in terms of restoring indigenous biodiversity.

Weeding takes place two mornings a month on different days to suit members’ availability. Work involves hand weeding, cutting and pasting or spraying – whatever people are comfortable doing.

There are usually 8 to 10 weedbusters at each session and currently eight covenants being supported. The Waikato Weedbusters Squad is always looking for fit volunteers to assist with their work, so if you like the idea of being part of a mobile weedbusting squad and are based in the Waikato, the Waikato Weedbusting Squad welcomes new members.


List of characteristic kahikatea species found in the Waikato:

Alectryon excelsus subsp. excelsus – Titoki
Aristotelia serrata – Wineberry
Astelia hastata (syn Collospermum hastatum) – Tank lily
Beilschmiedia tawa – Tawa
Carpodetus serratus – Putaputaweta
Coprosma areolata – Thin-leaved coprosma
Coprosma tenuicaulis – Swamp coprosma
Cordyline australis – Ti, cabbage tree
Dacrycarpus dacrydioides – Kahikatea
Dacrydium cupressinum – Rimu
Freycinetia banksii – Kiekie
Geniostoma ligustrifolium var. ligustrifolium – Hangehange
Hedycarya arborea – Pigeonwood
Knightia excelsa – Rewarewa
Melicytus micranthus – Swamp mahoe
Melicytus ramiflorus subsp. ramiflorus – Mahoe
Metrosideros diffusa – White rata
Metrosideros perforata – White rata
Muehlenbeckia australis – Pohuehue
Myrsine australis – Mapou
Nestegis lanceolata – White maire
Parsonsia heterophylla – New Zealand jasmine
Passiflora tetrandra – Native passionfruit
Podocarpus totara var. totara – Lowland totara
Prumnopitys taxifolia – Matai
Pseudopanax crassifolius – Lancewood
Ripogonum scandens – Supplejack
Streblus heterophyllus – Turepo
Asplenium bulbiferum – Hen and chicken fern
Asplenium flaccidum – Hanging spleenwort
Asplenium oblongifolium – Shining spleenwort
Asplenium polyodon – Sickle spleenwort
Blechnum chambersii (now Austroblechnum lanceolatum) – Lance fern
Blechnum filiforme (now Icarus filiformis) – Thread fern
Blechnum fluviatile (now Cranfillia fluviatilis) – Thread fern
Blechnum novae-zelandiae (now Parablechnum novae-zelandiae) – Kiokio
Carex dissita – Sedge
Carex lambertiana – Sedge
Carex virgata – Purei
Cyathea dealbata – Ponga, silver fern
Cyathea medullaris – Mamaku, black fern
Deparia petersenii subsp. congrua (incl. D. tenuifolia) – Fern
Dicksonia fibrosa – Wheki-ponga
Dicksonia squarrosa – Wheki
Diplazium australe – Fern
Doodia australis (syn D. media, Blechnum parrisiae) – Rasp fern
Histiopteris incisa – Waterfern
Lastreopsis glabella – Fern
Laurelia novae-zelandiae – Pukatea
Microlaena avenacea (syn Ehrhata diplax) – Bush rice grass
Microlaena stipoides – Bush rice grass
Microsorum pustulatum subsp. pustulatum – Hounds tongue fern
Microsorum scandens – Hounds tongue fern
Oplismenus hirtellus subsp. imbecillis – Panic grass
Parapolystichum microsora subsp. pentangularis (syn Lastreopsis) – Fern
Pellaea rotundifolia – Fern
Pneumatopteris pennigera – Fern
Pteridium esculentum – Bracken
Pteris macilenta – Fern
Pteris tremula – Fern
Pyrrosia eleagnifolia – Fern
Uncinia uncinata (now Carex uncinata) – Hooksedge

How to start a squad in your local area:
  1. Start small and build up membership as you go along.
  2. Decide what sites you would like to tackle. Maybe there is a nuisance weed you want to
    eradicate, landowners seeking assistance with restoration or local reserves in need of maintenance. You could talk to your local QE II Trust representative about covenants that would benefit from a weeding session.
  3. Identify a time to suit most squad members. Perhaps start with one morning a month and do more as time goes on.
  4. Prepare a health and safety plan of generic hazards as a base for identifying risks at a site. You can use the WWS plan as a guide.
  5. Consider having a team resource of tools, gloves, high-vis vests, herbicides etc. There are some starter kits available.
  6. Be prepared to reassess the squad’s involvement in a project if the scale of the weed problem requires alternative control methods beyond the capability of the team.
  7. Enjoyment should come first.
  8. Keep mobile. Retain the flexibility to assist and support a variety of projects. It is the diversity of sites that makes the task interesting and appeals to many weedbusters.
  9. Weedbusting becomes an enjoyable and satisfying social activity when undertaken as part of a team.

For further information, contact:
Waikato Weedbusting Squad