The South Titirangi Neighbourhood Network (STNN) is a group of neighbourhoods who have come together to take action to improve the wellbeing of people and nature across the South Titirangi Peninsula.
Originally run by neighbourhood coordinators of individual Sustainable Neighbourhoods (an Auckland Council programme that ended in June 2015), Gecko has been assisting these neighbourhood coordinators to form a network. The network uses Living Neighbourhood principles to develop peninsula-wide weed and pest strategies.
The South Titirangi Sustainable Neighbourhood trapped rats and removed weeds on private and public property just like other Sustainable Neighbourhoods, but they had difficulty engaging and getting support from their neighbours when all they were offering were environmental focuses. They became overwhelmed with how hard the weed control task was, and that no one in the area seemed to want to help no matter how much they advertised. Over time they adopted Living Neighbourhood principles and began engaging neighbours in a different way. They connected more with them socially and this slowly grew to support the environmental focus they always had. Now as part of the STNN, the group holds regular social events (such as Tea, Cake & Weeds @ Tamariki and Christmas @ Tamariki) in their local park (which is being restored by the community) that are well attended by both adults and children alike. The landscape restoration task is large so the engagement of the people that live there must match it – and they have much more fun in the process!
STNN recognises that everything is connected – that weeds, water, birds and pests move widely and don’t conform to boundaries. The health and happiness of people in the area is affected by the health of the environment in the area so the community is retaining a large focus on connecting to their neighbours.
As well as working to reduce invasive weeds on private property, they are also steadily working on restoring local reserves across the peninsula. Due to the scope of this work, they are now developing an MOU with Auckland Council’ Parks department to progress restoration efforts in a more timely way.
Gecko’s work with STNN in the last year has resulted in:
- The growth of the network from five streets to twelve in the last year, and linkages with local ratepayers and neighbourhood support groups
- The rapid rise in interest in neighbourhood-led pest control (initiatives reaching over 200 people run “pulses”)
- Restoration progress on Tinopai, Tamariki and Titirangi Beach Reserves
- Partnering with Auckland Council to achieve a Peninsula-wide weed strategy
More detailed information is available on their Facebook page
This work has also been supported by Lotteries