From HB Regional Councillor Liz Remmerswaal:

Recently, Te Mata School Room One teacher Claire Capel took her class for a study of Te Karamu, or Karamu Stream, accompanied by local Jim Watt of the St Columba’s House Environment Group, or SCHNEG.

They have been looking after and planting the ‘Park ‘s Reach’ stretch of the stream between the two Havelock bridges alongside Mary Doyle. Under their care, in conjunction with the Regional Council, the area has gone from being very untidy to a lovely walking area. They were originally inspired by the World Environment conference in Rio to ‘Think Globally, Act locally’, and adopted Te Karamu as a millennium project, lead by Cyril and Hettie Park.

Here’s what the kids had to say:

  • Thank you for telling us the Maori didn’t throw rubbish in the Karamu Stream because they got eels and fish in their waka. I think the Karamu Stream is a very special place…Lucas
  • Thanks you for telling us lots about the Karamu Stream. I was amazed to learn that it used to be messy. I liked seeing the gooey river weed. I had a wonderful time walking along the Karamu Stream…Amy
  • It was interesting when you told us that there was a harbour at Crosses Road. A long time ago there was a jetty. I learnt that there are 54 native trees there. Maori knew that they shouldn’t chuck rubbish in the stream because they can’t fish there….Christopher
  • I learnt about the beautiful shoveller duck….Tamra
  • I liked scrambling across the slippery rocks and climbing up and down and up the steep bank. I liked looking at the Karamu tree…..Daemon
  • I liked going across the rocks…. Kauri
  • I love it that you took us for a wonderful explore around the stream. What I really love is that the Maori used to go on their waka along the Karamu stream. It is one of my favourite places….James
  • The sheep were amazing….Brayden
  • It was amazing when you said Maori used to build waka out of the carved wood. I was so proud when you told us that the Maori kept the Te Karamu so clean. I liked it when you told us that one of the ducks was called a shoveller It is special because it is a native. I loved our walk along the Karamu Stream…..Julia
  • My best thing that you taught me is the pukeko. The shoveller was splashy….Noah
  • I love it when you told us when the wall was built…..Lili
  • I liked clambering across the rocks. It was fun because it was slippery. I liked looking at the white duck. It reminds me about the magpies…Campbell

For the last year Karamu Enhancement Group, or KEG, has been meeting twice a month to organise and weed all the new wetland areas we planted last year, north of Crosses Rd. The long term aim is to have Te Karamu as a lovely walkway/boatway/cycleway from Paki Paki to the sea!

And yes, it is OK if it gets flooded, as it does periodically.

This Saturday the 6th between 10.00am and 2.00pm everyone is invited to continue planting the stream edges between the two bridges to continue the beautification of the area. All during this week, schools, preschools, churches and workers have been helping with the next stage of planting, led by the HBRC.

Please come and join us this Saturday, or let us know if you would like to help during the year with the upkeep of the stream plantings. We would love to have you.

Warm wishes,
Liz Remmerswaal, HBRC Councillor, member of KEG.

For more info or to join KEG please contact Anita at HBRC on 833 8085 or email or myself on

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1 Comment


    Well done Liz Remmerswaal of H.B Regional Council ,teacher Claire Capel,and children of room one Te Mata School for concern and practical outcomes to clean up the Karamu Stream.

    From the warm, intelligent comments from the pupils,they have already "bonded" with the stream thus adults will follow the childrens enthusiasm towards a succcessful conservation outcome for a stream, well overdue for some tender love and care.

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