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Operation Greenleaf Plants a Milestone

Ohakea Base Commander Group Captain Nick Olney and Spotless Facility Services NZDF Regional Environmental Sustainability Manager Cameron Burton plant a Kowhai tree.
Ohakea Base Commander Group Captain Nick Olney and Spotless Facility Services NZDF Regional Environmental Sustainability Manager Cameron Burton plant a Kowhai tree.

5 June 2015

To mark World Environment Day the Ohakea Sustainability Committee with support from Horizons Regional Council, held an opening ceremony at the historic native bush remnant at Gate Pa Avenue on RNZAF Base Ohakea.

Gate Pa Bush is five acres of bush featuring nearly 50 types of native tree species, including a significant number of totara, and is one of the last areas of its kind in the Manawatu.

Base Commander GPCAPT Nick Olney officially opened the new entranceway to the remnant saying everyone involved had done a stellar job to get the bush to the point where the biodiversity in the area can start to flourish again.

“Convincing people to help out was easy, there are so many people who are keen to protect and enhance this area,” says GPCAPT Olney.

The Gate Pa restoration project started earlier this year when the Committee got together with representatives from Massey University, Horizons Regional Council and Spotless Facility Services (NZ) Limited to identify the types of foliage present and to clear the area of noxious weeds. 

Volunteers from Ohakea have become Guardians of Gate Pa where they each look after a 30mx30m plot. The Guardians have to be Ohakea personnel because the bush is located within the Base itself.

Horizons Regional Council’s group manager environmental management Craig Mitchell says there is not much of this type of bush left now so to discover it at Gate Pa was very exciting.

“Together with NZDF, Massey University and Spotless we intend to work to enhance and sustain this valuable piece of bush. Plans include developing walking tracks through the bush, creating educational signs around the flora and fauna and eco-sourcing native plants for restorative planting.

“The great thing about this project is there will be a real community benefit for those at Ohakea and we expect it to become a highlight for everyone there. It’s been fantastic to work with the other stakeholders on this project as by sharing expertise, resources and working together we can achieve more.”

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