Community work teams are helping to bring back native vegetation along the Tauranga coast.
Most Fridays, a group of offenders on a community work sentence do some work on one of the beaches between Papamoa and Mount Maunganui, looked after by one of the community work supervisors. They clear weeds or do a general clean up and help replant natives in some areas.
Native dune plants play a vital role in preserving the dunes, binding light blowing sand onto the beach and making stable sand dunes. Without these plants, the sand blows away and dunes disappear - leaving the land vulnerable.
Chris Ward, who works for Coast Care, says that the teams do a great job in helping them to restore the dunes: “I always explain to the offenders what they are doing and, although some teams work harder than others, I do find that they understand the bigger picture.
“It’s great to work with Corrections on this. Coast Care volunteers do most of the replanting and it’s so good not having to worry about weeding and clearing first. The community work teams do a marvellous job. I don’t think we could manage without them!”