Matuku Link’s Mission
For the past two years, we have given back one million dollars to community groups all over West Auckland through our Million Dollar Mission.
During the initial two-month application phase The Trusts receive hundreds of entries. A handpicked selection panel, including members of the Local Boards and other leading West Aucklanders, choose the 30 or so most deserving groups. Million Dollar Mission is just one of the ways we give back profits to the community of West Auckland.
The community of West Auckland then votes for their favourite group or cause, to help them reach their funding targets. These groups receive $5.00 per online vote received, to a maximum of their target dollars, and repeat voting is permitted – for the same group or others.
Matuku Link Wetland Education Centre
In May 2017 Matuku Link received $85,125 from this initiative, to upgrade their old barn into a Sustainable Wetland Education Centre. The centre hopes to teach people about lowland forests, wetlands and the importance of maintaining high water quality, as well as encouraging people to become involved in replanting this section of the Bethells Valley.
Matuku Link is just that – a 37ha area of wetland and native bush roughly linking Ark in the Park, Matuku Reserve, Habitat te Henga and Forest Ridge. Auckland now has less than five percent of its original wetlands, and Matuku Link will offer the only public access to experience the te Henga wetland , the largest remaining site.
“The funds from the Million Dollar Mission are being used for materials to change our old barn into our future education centre,” Matuku Link secretary Annalily van den Broeke explains.
Volunteers cleaned, cleared, dug out the drains and then spread gravel down. They used plywood to create the exterior walls of the barn and thick plastic to create a wind barrier for when groups visit. In June they received more plywood to clad the outside, plus materials to build an accessible toilet and a basic kitchenette. The group has also been given the opportunity to help demolish a house in Orakei and rescue floor boards, toilets, doors and other parts that can be used in the barn.
They have also been working with Unitec students to develop a landscape design for the Master Plan of the whole area. “We’re looking forward to working further with them on the design of Stages 2 and 3 of the barn – the interior fitout and the future extension of the barn towards the house to create an inspiring educational centre,” she says.
“So far, we’ve partitioned the barn’s ground floor and are using locally-sourced and recycled materials to construct an upper floor. My hope is to eventually have a stained glass section all down one wall, providing stunning light to both floors and peeks of the land beyond,” adds Matuku Link trustee John Sumich.
“Thanks to The Trusts and the Million Dollar Mission funding, we’re well on our way!”
Matuku Link were recent recipients of the Restoration Award at the Mayoral Conservation Awards.