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Auckland couple's green gift to the city

A couple passionate about the environment is working towards creating a nature reserve for Auckland City.

For the past four years, Thomas and Mahrukh Stazyk have been transforming their 59-acre Kaipara Coast farm into a nature paradise.

They are planting species including Manuka, Kanuka, Karamu, Mapou and Mahoe to create a canopy under which other native plants and bush will grow.

The aim is for the initial planting to be completed in 2017, at which point the couple will apply for a QEII covenant to protect the land from future re-development and gift the land to the city for Aucklanders to enjoy for years to come.

The couple decided to create Cue Haven to protect the farm from being sectioned off for property developments.

“That’s what helped us decide to plant not only in the wetlands and along the banks of the streams, but to revegetate the entire property.”

They spend winters planting the seedlings and the remainder of the year performing maintenance on the property. Cue Haven also features a memorial planting area, which allows those who have lost a loved one to plant a tree in their memory.

Neighbours, community groups and schools have all gotten involved with planting, as have local and national companies – Honda New Zealand has donated more than 3,000 native tree seedlings.

Along the way, the Stazyks have also secured grants from the Department of Conservation and local councils.