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Source: Auckland Council

Ma tini ma mano ka rapa te whai – Many hands make light work.

And that’s true even when the hands are the little ones of tamariki from Papakura’s Te Maunga Kohanga.

Youngsters left the kohanga behind for a trip to Smiths Avenue Reserve to plant natives in the rain garden being developed at the reserve.

It was a return visit because when the youngsters first visited the site to watch the contractors in action, Citycare decided to come up with a way to engage the tamariki in the project.

Citycare and Seger donated 1600 plants for the rain garden at the reserve entrance and Citycare’s horticultural team organised the planting session for Te Maunga Kohanga.

Papakura Local Board chair and Deputy Brent Catchpole and Jan Robinson joined member Sue Smurthwaite at the reserve to help, ensuring the children were kept safe as they dug their holes and planted native grass.

“We thought they might plant a few and get a bit bored but they smashed it,” Mr Catchpole says.

“They’ve planted an entire bed and it’s been great fun to see them engage in something that is going to make their own area a better place.”

Citycare and the Manukau Beautification Trust have organised community volunteer groups to finish off the planting in the coming weeks, including members of the Tongan Catholic Church community.