Kaipātiki Project

Engine Bay Nursery

Thriving native plant nursery

A hive of activity playing a vital role in nature’s revival

We eco-source, propagate and pot up tens of thousands of native plants every year to help restore the bush for our native birds, animals and plants, and remove carbon from our atmosphere. Our community-driven, chemical-free kaupapa reflects our regenerative, whole system approach.

We grow a range of native plants (90+ species!) that we use for restoration of our local forest reserves, and to supply to other groups and individuals doing restoration projects. Community involvement and learning are crucial to our work – it is really important to us that there is an educational component for our volunteers when they come to us. We rely on the combined effort of our staff and volunteers to keep our nurseries and restoration work going.

Our Work

We inspire and empower people to share in nature’s revival and live lightly on the planet.

  • Our approach is to make it easy, practical, impactful, community-connected and fun.
  • We treasure mātauranga Māori and practise concepts of good stewardship.
  • Knowledge and skills lie with many people and so we create opportunities for sharing and exchange.

Teaching garden

We work with various community groups teaching how to grow your own food and provide advice on community garden setup, sustainable practice, volunteer involvement, crops and crop management to schools and community groups, as well as advise on composting and hub operation. We support and enhance volunteer experience and opportunities, including leadership for a self-sustaining system, and create a welcoming environment for the community. 

Hobsonville Community Compost Hub

A Community Compost Hub at the Engine Bay nursery, Hobsonville Point on Bomb Point Drive is open. Generously supported by Compost Collective, Four Winds Foundation and the Upper Harbour Local Board, it supports many stages of food production and sustainability.

To start composting with us, please register here and you’ll receive all the details. We’re on-site every Wednesday, 9am – 12pm, if you’d like to see us and ask any questions, or contact Judith at [email protected]

  • We only take bokashied food scraps and offer free composting workshops through Compost Collective.
  • Bokashi food scraps can be dropped off anytime into our drop-off bin by people who signed up with us.
  • The bins are emptied into the composters on Wednesdays.
  • We have bulk bokashi mix for sale on Wednesday mornings. Bring your container: $10 per kg, a 2L container is $4.

Weekly volunteer opportunities

We provide volunteer opportunities at two nursery sites. Activities include propagating plants, pricking out seedlings, potting small plants, weeding, moving plants, tidying in and around the nursery, and may also be involved in controlling invasive weeds and planting in the local reserves. 

A variety of tasks are available to suit different people. Simply contact us to register and turn up at the following times and we will get you involved in our plant nurseries. When coming along please wear closed shoes, bring sun block, sun hat, water and raincoat if it rains.  A reasonable level of mobility and the ability to follow simple instructions if necessary. Gloves are provided here but are not personal.  Contact us if you have any disabilities.

Activities: relating mainly to native plant propagation, potting small plants, weeding, moving plants, tidying in and around the nursery.

Health & Safety precautions: Please note that we take all the necessary health & safety precautions to ensure our volunteers and staff are safe while working with us. Every person on-site is required to register on arrival. We ask everyone to stay at home if they don’t feel well. 

We are looking forward to seeing you and Thank You again for your ongoing support.