A major restoration programme has been quietly happening in a special ecological part of the community.
The area of focus is the Pharazyn Reserve between Waikanae Beach and Peka Peka Beach, where the connecting road, Rutherford Drive/Paetawa Rd, generally bisects it.
In the 1970s two expansive ponds were dug out of the eastern side of the area as part of the Waikanae wastewater treatment plant.
But by 2002 the sewage treatment ponds were decommissioned which led to a community desire to see the ponds restored as part of the surrounding Te Harakeke wetland.
A management plan was signed off in 2005 before a focus group was established the following year.
The focus group, council and community then started a major restoration plan which involved a lot of work.
The reserve was overrun with blackberry and boxthorn, there were hundreds of pine trees, and a vast amount of fill was needed to naturalise the concrete pond margins.
Slowly but surely various areas were cleared and there was even a helping hand from Mother Nature when a tornado ripped through the area in 2011.
"It [the tornado] ended up being a blessing in disguise as all the pine trees had to come down because they were so dangerous," said Jocelyn Prvanov who chaired the focus group from the start until she was elected Waikanae ward councillor in 2019.
"And the material that couldn't be milled end up as mulch."
One of the biggest shout-outs has to go to pupils from Kapakapanui and Waikanae primary schools who have planted thousands of native species each Arbor Day.
"I was really keen to set up this relationship years ago so that our local children have the opportunity to experience planting trees which ultimately has improved the natural environment of the reserve.
"As the years have progressed and the plants have grown they are now being maintained by council staff and a small group of volunteer friends for the reserve."
Volunteer Noel Sungren goes to the 41ha reserve a few times a week to help with maintenance.
Most of his work focuses on maintaining the coastal species that have been planted by the school groups in specifically prepared areas.
The work involves weeding as well as monitoring combi guards around the plants which act as a protective shield especially against rabbits.
"There is quite a bit of work involved in the first few years as the plants are quite vulnerable to the extremes of temperature as well as rabbits."
It's physical work but something Noel and other volunteers enjoy.
"I just love the challenge which is working against the elements and the pests.
"You get a lot of satisfaction seeing trees survive and grow."
Once the first generation plants, featuring about 10 species, have survived and established, other species of trees can be planted.
"We're actually working to a plan which was prepared in June 2011 by Wildland Consultants for the Kāpiti Coast District Council.
"It's labelled the Pharazyn Reserve Landscape and Ecological Restoration Plan."
The overall goal is to establish a nature and wildlife site with recreational facilities and amenities as well as an educational resource in the long-term.
The reserve also features a children's playground and flying fox, picnic tables, a toilet, and extensive walking trails including one that provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the wider area.
And a bird hide, by the southern pond, is a great place to observe the variety of birdlife especially waterfowl.