Steps to the backyard of an eroded property on a Kapiti Coast beach, with Kapiti Island in the background.

These concrete steps on a Kapiti beach once connected a seaside backyard with the beach, but now connect only with thin air. They are a poignant (and somewhat whimsical) reminder of the very real effects of coastal erosion.

This coastline, on the west of the North Island of New Zealand, is subject to ceaseless erosion; many properties are literally being “eaten away” by the effects of waves and weather. (more…)

A view of the beach at Raumati South, looking north-west towards Kapiti Island

A view of the beach at Raumati South, looking north-west towards Kapiti Island

Generally, when we go for a stroll on the beach, our gaze tends to fall towards the sea, rather than inland. But sometimes it pays to turn our gaze towards the dune landscape too, as dunes sometimes harbour treasure troves of environmental history – in the form of middens. (more…)

In the last post, The “Hautere Turnips” of Te Horo, the origin and history of the stone walls, cairns and piles characteristic of this area was discussed. Another unusual feature of Te Horo is the large number of totara groves that can be seen in the fields. (more…)

Driving through Te Horo recently, on the Kapiti Coast, I was fascinated by the number of stone walls, stone cairns, and stone piles evident in the locality – more reminiscent of my image of the English countryside, than of typical rural New Zealand. I sensed there must be a story there, and I was not disappointed. (more…)

Today, the 30th April 2011, was a day of great triumph and celebration for many people in the Kapiti Coast community, with the official opening of 440 hectare Whareroa Farm Reserve, between Paraparaumu and Paekakari [click here to view location]. It is certainly not every day that a new recreational and nature reserve is opened to the public, and Whareroa Farm has only become such a reserve as a result of persistent lobbying by the local community and the ongoing work of one community-based organisation, the Whareroa Guardians Trust. (more…)

Today, as I was putting my son down for his afternoon nap, I caught the melodic, undulating song of what might have been a tui, but when I looked out of my son’s window the bush on the bank outside, it was the distinctive olive shape of a smaller sized bird that I saw. It was a bellbird – the first that I have ever spotted either around my home, or indeed, in Paraparaumu [click here to view map], the coastal town in which I live.

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A view of the Hemi Matenga hills, which overlook the town of Waikanae, taken from Elizabeth Street, eastern Waikanae. Low morning cloud shrouds the hills, threatening rain, and creating a sense of drama and mystique. (more…)

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