NZ Defence sector coordinates opening of Gate Pa Bush Project

On Friday June 5, Spotless helped our client, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), to celebrate and mark World Environment Day, by holding an opening ceremony for a native bush restoration project of Gate Pa Bush at the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF) Ohakea Base.

Featuring nearly 50 types of native tree species, Gate Pa bush is one of the last areas of native bush species in the Manawatu. Working towards regenerating and enhancing the whole area, the area has been divided into ‘management squares’ by Spotless and adopted by Base units to look after.

Commencing early in 2014, the Base Ohakea Sustainability Committee (which has a Spotless Representative on it) collaborated with representatives from within NZDF, Massey University and Horizons Regional Council to gather an inventory of those species present and to clear the area of noxious weeds. 

After being underway for two months, Base units removed a huge quantity of weeds which will allow light in to the forest floor, and have sourced seeds from the bush to grow the seedlings for replanting back in the bush.

Spotless Environment and Sustainability Manager Cameron Burton said that everything that had gone into the Project had been donated and that volunteers from the RNZAF Base Ohakea completed all the physical work, as the bush is located on the Base itself.

After the Ohakea Base Chaplain blessed the bush remnant and those working on the Project, Base Commander Group Captain Nick Olney officially opened the new entranceway to the remnant and noted the important role each volunteer played in encouraging the biodiversity of the area to flourish.

Group Captain Nick Olney said: “Convincing people to help out was easy, there are so many people who are keen to protect and enhance this area”.

Horizons Regional Council’s Group Manager of Environmental Management, Craig Mitchell, said that it was exciting to discover Gate Pa bush:

“Together with NZDF, Massey University and Spotless, we intend to work to enhance and sustain this valuable piece of bush. 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.”