The Mayoral chain and robes were notably absent when Kaipara Mayor Greg Gent joined Otamatea HarbourCare’s community planting day at the Lupton farm last Saturday.  Rather, spade and gumboots were the order of the day.  Apart from getting over 1,500 trees in the ground, the more than 20 local volunteers had the opportunity to chat with their Mayor about local issues at smoko time over a cup of tea and fresh scones.  “It’s another great example of what community groups can do in Kaipara.  Congratulations Mark and your team,” said Mayor Greg.  The plantings added to those carried out last year on the same stretch of stream just couple of kilometres from the Kaipara Harbour.  Farmer Bryce Lupton said: “it is really gratifying to see the excellent survival rate from last year’s plantings, especially considering how dry the place got in early summer.  We really appreciate so many people coming along to help us out.”

One of the concerns HarbourCare organiser Mark Vincent has on these occasions is the weather, and Saturday’s could not have been much better for the task in hand.  “With the turnout we had, and what we got done, it was a great way to kick off our planting season,” said Mark.