June eNews

Battle for our Birds public talk
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27 May 2016

June eNews

Kia ora,


Forest and Bird Advocacy Manager on TV1's Q&A.

Kevin Hackwell, Forest and Bird Advocacy manager, appeared on TV1's Q & A programme on Sunday 22nd May. If you missed it view on demand here.

The underfunding of DOC to do the core and strategic conservation work required to prevent the extinction of species and to protect the conservation estate as a whole is apparent to all who work (paid or unpaid) in this sector. In the face of booming tourism, which is now our biggest export earner, DOC while seeing none of the benefits are expected without extra resourcing to do so, to service the burgeoning tourist numbers.

Core conservation work has been devolved using the so-called 'partnership' model more and more onto NGOs and volunteers, with corporate and philanthropic funding being increasingly relied on. The term 'collaboration' is used as a mantra to cover the cracks in this model. The fact that volunteers are being burned out, and the work done 'piece-meal' without the hard science and coordination DOC should be allowed/expected to focus on.

This means DOC are unable to effectively safe-guard visitors out in New Zealand's wilderness, but more significantly given that they are still named DOC not DOT, this broken business model has them mismanaging many of our unique native species. Many endangered species don't even have a management plan in place! We have 985 threatened species, plus another 2772 at risk. The Government needs to get serious about New Zealand's wildlife and wild places.

Well done Kevin for your input to an overdue (in mainstream media) and critically important discussion.

Public Talk: The Battle for our Birds

7.30pm Tuesday June 14th WEA,
59 Gloucester Street (opp. Art Gallery)

The chair of the Mohua Charitable Trust, Dr Graeme Elliott, will speak on “The Battle for Our Birds”, focussing on the mohua and other endangered species.

Dr Elliott is a scientist with the Department of Conservation and has a life-long interest in birds and worked on mohua since studying them in the Eglinton Valley in the 1980’s for his PhD. Graeme has also undertaken research into yellow-crowned parakeets and kea in the 1990s and been involved in kakapo conservation.

Since 2003 his attention has been focussed on finding new ways to protect native forest birds from our ubiquitous and cunning predators.

Photo Ian Sothey

'Sanctuary' braided river project working bee

1:00pm - 3.00pm Saturday 28th May 2016
Meet at the western end of Coutts Island Road 

Our new braided river project called 'The Sanctuary' is on the Waimakariri and is a partnership project with the Parks and Reserves team of Environment Canterbury and in particular with Greg Stanley an ECan ranger who has been doing wonderful work in the area and is pleased to work with us. We will be organising an official opening of this project in the early spring but if you would like a preview and to meet with Greg and others come to our working bee.

The meeting place is at the western end of Coutts Island Rd - see map for directions. Some equipment will be provided but please bring your own if you prefer and wear working clothes. The working bee is weather dependent and there will be no postponement notice, so please make your own judgement.

Public meeting with Keith Woodley on Bar-tailed godwits, the S.E. Asian Flyway and Safe Havens in China. 

1:30pm - 3.00pm Saturday 25th June 2016
South New Brighton Community Centre

Keith is manager of Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre, in the Firth of Thames, which ran the successful campaign to get the bar-tailed godwit named NZ Bird of the Year for 2015. Keith will cover the above topics and others in his address at a meeting organised and supported by Avon Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust (AHEIT) and North Canterbury Forest and Bird. The team at Miranda have been pivotal in the achievement announced in March 2016 of a Memorandum of Agreement with China to establish safe havens for godwits and other migratory birds. Come and hear how this was achieved, what it means and hear about the other important work Keith and the rest of the Miranda team are involved with.

Translocation of Water Plants for Mudfish Habitat

 On the 21st May, a group of North Canterbury members assisted Sophie Allen of Working Waters Trust to translocate Myriophyllum plants from the farm of Becky Pocock to their new mudfish habitat at Althea MacLean's Middelmost dairy farm.

Photos by Sophie Allen.

Canterbury Water News

  • North Canterbury committee members Penny Wright and Valerie Campbell gave a robust presentation on Freshwater to the ECAN commissioners on March 18th. The presentation can be read here.
  • Press article on the water quality of Lake Forsyth here.
  • Lan Pham, a freshwater ecologist and director of Working Waters Trust, wrote a piece onCanterbury's chronic eco system failure 
  • Murray Rodgers piece on breaking the Canterbury water stalemate.

Climate Change

  • "Hands Across the Sand" action postponed until 11:30am - 12:30pm, Saturday 28th May at New Brighton Pier. 
  • Forest and Bird put ANZ on notice to divest from fossil fuel investment.
  • A good graphical demonstration of rising temperatures over the last 166 years.
  • RNZ piece on Royal Society report about weaning off fossil fuels here.

Chairperson's Report

The Chairperson's annual report, as presented at last month's AGM, is available online here. It is worth reading as it summarises the activities of the branch, many of which occur unadvertised, behind the scenes.

Should You be a Ratepayer Voter?

Are you one of the many Forest and Bird members who own a property, often held for conservation or recreation purposes, in an electorate away from your home address? Are you aware that as a ratepayer in that electorate you are entitled to vote as a ratepayer elector in local body elections?

Please contact the appropriate local council office for an enrolment form, enrol to vote and then get your vote in later this year. If enough of us do this it could make a lot of difference to the type of leadership and concern for environmental issues that we might see in some areas.

Nature Heritage Fund

An excellent article on the good work done by the Nature Heritage Fund over the last 25 years protecting conservation land. 

Other Events

City Council Tree Planting Day, South New Brighton

10:00am - 1:00pm Sunday 29th May
Meet at South New Brighton Community Centre

For further details see flyer.

Matariki in the Zone

10:00am - 2:00pm Sunday 19th June
Anzac Drive Reserve access from Chimera Crescent

Celebrating Matariki, mahinga kai and 2 years of community restoration planting with the Avon-Ōtākaro Network in partnership with Ngāi Tahu, CCC and DOC.

  • Kids activities and treasure hunt
  • Mokihi (raupo waka) - making, weaving and carving workshops
  • See where whitebait spawn and how our planting helps fish, birds, insects and humans thrive
  • Planting trees - native and orchard trees - bring a spade and gumboots
  • Entertainment, displays and talks Good coffee, free soup and hangi available

Get in touch!

If you have any questions, suggestions or just want to say hello then please drop us a line.

Chair - Colleen Phillip (Ph: 981 8556)
Secretary - Frances Wall
Treasurer & public talks Ainslie Talbot
KCC - position currently vacant
Mahoe-nui BushVanessa Horwell
Website, eNews - Michael Godfrey
Boyle Base - Lesley Shand (Ph: 379 0316)
Calder Green Reserve - Mick Ingram (Ph: 03 384 8080 / 021 816633)

Membership - for changes to membership or donations.  
membership@forestandbird.org.nz  (Ph: 0800 200 064)

Committee members - 
Valerie Campbell
Steve Attwood

Penny Wright
Helen Hills
Hugh Thorpe



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Forest & Bird North Canterbury · PO Box 2389 · Christchurch, Canterbury 8140 · New Zealand 

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