From the General Manager

04 Mar 2013

Lower North Island Field Officer Vacancy

By Mike Britton

We have not been in a position to fill the vacant Lower North Island Field Officer position since Aalbert Rebergen left Forest & Bird for the Netherlands last year. This is partly because we have put a hold on filling all but critical positions in the short-term to enable our income to catch up with some of the commitments we have had to make, such as to our Denniston campaign.

We are also looking at the prospect of appointing some locally-based volunteer co-ordinators in the area. This will depend on whether we can get financial support for these positions either within the Society or from outside funders.  This might change the nature of the position we seek to fill.

In the meantime, the rest of the North Island conservation team, in conjunction with central office staff, are trying to provide support for branches in the area and deal with the arising conservation issues.  I certainly appreciate that this is placing pressure on our branches, volunteers and staff and hope that in the near future we will be able to provide adequate staff to cover the needs of the region.

New opportunities with Australian Birdlife partner

Don Stewart, the Pacific Director of BirdLife, and I recently spent a few days meeting with BirdLife Australia senior staff its new Chief Executive Paul Sullivan. The discussions opened up an array of possibilities on how Forest & Bird, as a member of BirdLife International, can work with its Australian counterpart.

Our BirdLife International membership already allows us to actively engage in international programmes such as the Global Seabirds Programme. And now, with the recent development of BirdLife Australia, the potential for further opportunities has grown and will allow us to combine forces and make conservation gains in collaborative programmes abroad.

For example, in association with the Pacific Secretariat of BirdLife, Forest & Bird will soon be taking the lead in a new international programme focussing on controlling invasive species. The role recognises the work coming out of New Zealand and the Pacific in leading the development of techniques for controlling invasive species.

BirdLife Australia was formed on January 1 last year, with the amalgamation of two leading and historic organisations Bird Observation and Conservation Australia (BOCA) and Birds Australia.

BirdLife Australia is slightly smaller than Forest & Bird and focuses more narrowly on bird conservation. But it is still a very important conservation partner in the Oceania and Asian region.

There are a lot of similarities between our organisations and both sides are keen to work co-operatively on wider conservation issues in the Pacific region and also provide benefits for the members of both organisations.