North Harbour

Living Legends volunteers, along with Buck Shelford, planted a total of 14,000 native trees at Long Bay Regional Park on Auckland’s North Shore over our three year planting programme.

The Living Legends plantings on this extensive wetland/pasture will complement the great efforts already undertaken by the Park’s community supporters. Maintenance of the plantings that have been completed by Living Legends has been handed over to Auckland Council.

Northland Rugby Legend Richie Guy and volunteers from The Warehouse at the 2012 North Harbour event

Long Bay Regional Park is a popular recreation area for Aucklanders, attracting over a million visitors a year with its sweeping beach which adjoins a marine reserve and contains stands of native forest. It’s home to a significant area of coastal forest with a canopy of pohutukawa, puriri, and taraire. Living Legends plantings will help restore a rare habitat type, wetland forest, to what we expect was there in the past.

Maori occupants of Long Bay gave it the name Oneroa, meaning long expanse of sand. Ngati Kahu was the main tribal group to live here until European settlement began in the 1850s. The Vaughan family bought 600 hectares at Long Bay in 1862 and farmed sheep on the property during the next 100 years. George Vaughan built the Vaughan Homestead as a farm cottage in 1863. It was extended and altered over the years but the Torbay Historical Society has restored it to its present form.

The Vaughan family ran the current picnic areas as a camping ground until they sold the park to the Auckland Regional Council in 1965. Among the park’s interesting historical sites is a World War II gun emplacement north of the beach (on the Coastal Walk). This was part of a defence network to protect the Waitemata harbour from Japanese invasion.

Check out the photos from the 2013 North Harbour Living Legends planting day

Photos from the 2012 North Harbour planting day

Photos from the 2011 North Harbour planting day

View the planting location on Google maps in a new window

36°40' 32" S 174°44' 43" E

Rugby Legend - Wayne (Buck) Shelford

Buck Shelford

Buck Shelford was thrilled to be the North Harbour Rugby Legend as part of the Living Legends project. “I guess the selection shows me I really have achieved in my sport” says Buck.

A household name in New Zealand, Thomas Wayne Shelford (Buck) started playing rugby as a five year old, recalling his earliest rugby memory as breaking his collar-bone on the frosty grounds of his primary school as a young boy.  The accident obviously had no lasting effects as he went on the become one of New Zealand’s most dominant All Blacks.

Buck was educated at Western Heights High School in Rotorua where he played in the first XV in 1973 and 1974.  He went on to play for Bay of Plenty Secondary Schools and Auckland age grade sides before he made his Auckland debut in 1982. He stayed with his North Shore rugby club and automatically moved to North Harbour Rugby Union when the separate union on the North Shore was formed in 1985.

Buck Shelford and North Harbour players at 2011 Living Legends event

His rugby career was going from strength to strength and by 1985 he was selected for the All Blacks.  His son Eruera was born in the same week he was picked for the All Blacks. “That’s got to be one of the best weeks of my life” says Buck.

Buck was an automatic choice for the 1987 Rugby World Cup, and played in five of the six matches. He was thrilled that New Zealand’s hosting of Rugby World Cup 2011 resulted in another All Blacks home win!

He took over from David Kirk as captain for the tour of Japan in 1987 and played in each of the five matches. Upon becoming captain, Buck brought his teammates to Te Aute College, a Maori school, to see the students perform a traditional haka. Although the All Blacks had been performing the haka at the start of their matches since the team’s inception, it was Buck who taught them the proper way to perform the “Ka Mate”, the haka they still use to this day at the start of their matches.

Buck then led the All Blacks on one of their great periods of domination, going through unbeaten from 1987 to 1990. This Buck says was his greatest achievement in rugby.

Buck retired from playing rugby in 1995 after a spell at the Rugby Roma, in the Italian Championship and coached for some time in Britain, including spells at Saracens and Rugby Lions. He returned to New Zealand and was the assistant coach of the North Harbour team in 1997, and coach in 1998.



Volunteers complete major conservation initiative in North Harbour

On Saturday 17 August, 80 volunteers donned their gumboots to plant 4,500 native trees and shrubs at Long Bay Regional Park.   This staggering achievement was part of the Living Legends project. Living Legends is…

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