Rakino Easter Market

Join us across three venues for the Easter Market, Sunday March 31st, 1pm – 3pm.
Our hosts are Lyndsey at 51 Ocean View Rd. with a selection of vintage treasures, Harriet at 6 Ocean View with a group show of artwork, crafts, a pottery making activity for kids, and Wim and Jo on the corner of South Pacific and Woody Bay Rd. for kids clothes and hair accessories.
There will be a sausage sizzle at 6 Ocean View, with all proceeds going to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Trust.
Please bring gold coins for the sausage sizzle, $3 to an excellent cause.

West Bay Track weed & Beach Clean-up this Easter

Save the date! Saturday March 30th at 10am for a weeding bee on the West Bay Track followed by a high tide swim for the intrepid. Bring along your weeding gear, sunblock and togs. Track access is at the end of Woody Bay Rd.


Come back at 4pm with a bucket and a buddy, and let’s clear West Bay Beach of the rubbish middens. We’ll do our visiting sea critters a favour.

Rakino fish-counting project to date..

A citizen science project funded by the Waiheke Local Board.

On Labour Weekend of 2022 Experiencing Marine Reserves held a workshop on Rakino Island, the purpose being to train the snorkeling participants on timed swim methodology in order to collect rocky reef species abundance and diversity data, to better understand the state of Rakino’s rocky reefs. Ten Rakino-ites attended, and EMR also brought ten of their volunteers over for training.

Rakino snorkelers

The funding for this was provided by the Waiheke Local Board, and Waiheke Resources Trust generously umbrella-ed our grant application for free, in the interests of encouraging an ongoing relationship with the Rakino community. https://wrt.org.nz/
We’re very grateful for this. We were also able to purchase an underwater camera and some dive slates with the funding.

We spent the morning in the Hall learning to identify the rocky reef dwelling species we were likely to see around the Rakino coastline, and schooling up on health and safety. Both of these things are harder than they sound!

Seaweeds in Maori Garden Bay

After a shared lunch the intrepid snorkelers donned their wet-suits and headed for the Sandy bay transects EMR trainer Sophie had plotted out earlier. One group headed around the rocks in the direction of Maori Garden Bay, and the other headed out towards the variously named island in Sandy Bay. I stayed on the beach with the weighty responsibility of counting snorkelers in and out of the water, and generally keeping an watchful eye.

Parore in kelp

It was a chilly October day and a couple of snorkelers sensibly heeded the health and safety instructions and headed back to relative comfort of shore when they felt out of their depth. The team that headed in the direction of MGB had a more successful snorkel so we have abandoned the transect around the back of the Sandy Bay island in favour of a couple of less challenging yet more fruitful transects.

Happy snapper

Simon has since constructed a species identifying chart, and a form for participating snorkelers to record their fish counts on. https://www.rakino.org.nz/fish-count/
The hope is that over time we’ll accrue enough data that it can be mapped to show trends. Unfortunately this year didn’t start brilliantly weather-wise, so it’s not been easy to coordinate snorkelers, but we have a chat group established on FB messenger, and we may get one more fish count in before winter, at which point we’ll resume again in November. We’ve tried to get one fish count in per month. It requires ongoing practice to get the methodology right, and hopefully next season the weather will be calmer and the water less turbid.

Three young snapper in the kelp
Rocky reef fish habitat

I’ve also since learned to snorkel and identify the commonplace fish species so I can participate too, though I’m still learning how to wrangle the underwater camera!

The project is intended to be ongoing, and driven by volunteers. If anyone who couldn’t attend the workshop is keen to participate in future please let us know.

Easter Art Ramble

Art Ramble Map

As our art space is red-stickered this Easter we are hosting an ‘art ramble’. There are four venues as listed on the map, and you are all welcome to ramble around to each of them between 2pm & 4pm on Easter Sunday, or if those hours don’t suit txt or call the host to arrange a more convivial time, possibly when the sun is shining. The Easter forecast is challenging, but don’t let a howling gale stop you. Slap on a rain-slicker and a pair of red-bands, grab yourself a refreshing rambling beverage, and set forth! The exercise in gale force winds will be bracing, and you’ll cross paths with your fellow windswept islanders while seeing what the island artistes have been working on. Start at either end of the map; it’s a very small island and the distances are short.

Here are a few tempting samples of art to view…

Desirable bronze lancewood leaves by Jim Wheeler.
Delicious discs by Holly Shepheard
A natural history plethora of wearable beetles & moths by Lisa West
Carolyn MacKenzies ever popular Rakino flora & fauna paintings
Beautiful pearls by Harriet Sommerville.

Labour Weekend Market Day

We haven’t had a market on Rakino for a few years, so a few enthusiastic people have decided to have a crack at reinstating it on the Rakino events calendar.
It’s going to happen this year on October 23rd, 1pm till 3-ish, down at the Hall, after the RRA meeting. There will be a $10 a market table koha to be donated to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Trust.

If you have bits and bobs to sell, come on down, and if you have some cash burning a hole in your pocket, definitely come on down. Come on down regardless.
There will be a sausage sizzle, so bring some gold coins for that, and Jennie Cruse will be busking, so bring some gold coins for her.
There will be t-shirts, tote-bags, cool pottery mugs, preserves, pearls, and much more. The art rooms will be open also, for painting ceramics, and jewels. Cash transfers are available.
If you need more info, email me, lisa@lisawest.co.nz

We look forward to seeing your lovely faces on Sunday. 🙂

EMR Labour Weekend Workshop

I have good news for the aspiring Rakino fish-counting snorkelers.
Many thanks to the Waiheke Local Board who have approved the grant we applied for to fund the Experiencing Marine Reserves workshop to be held on Rakino this coming Labour Weekend. Part of the grant includes funding for an underwater camera for documentation purposes, so with a bit of practise we’ll be able to show the non-snorkelers what lives in the rocky reefs around Rakino.

Also a big thanks to the excellent people at the Waiheke Resources Trust who supported our application. I’m confident we can build on that relationship in future.

Here is the link for anyone who is interested in Rakino-based citizen science;


It’s free to participants, and we’ll supply your lunch. All the details you need to know are in the link, but don’t hesitate to email me at lisa@lisawest.co.nz if you require anything further.