North Canterbury eNews February 2016


30 January 2016

February eNews

Kia ora Mr and Mrs Godfrey,

New Year's Greetings from the Chairperson

Happy New Year everyone!

Thank you North Canterbury branch members and friends for turning up in such numbers to the Climate Parade on November 28th last year. I spoke to members, and non-members, and was told by a number of people that this was the first time they had done "anything like this". One woman I spoke with said "I don't believe they do or will listen, but I am here for my grandchildren. We can't give up hope and maybe this time …?"

Well, we got a much better result from Paris than we had expected even a couple of months earlier. Now we hear 1000 existing coal mines are to be closed in China and no new ones will be built for at least three years [Tieke: ECO Alerts & Events 13 January, 2016], and President Obama has approved a moratorium on new coal leases on public land in the U.S. [Tieke: 20 January, 2016]

Thank you Warren for your efforts leading our work for the Climate Parade. It was indeed one of those "moments in history" but Forest and Bird work in this sphere will continue in 2016.

Also in 2016 a major focus for the North Canterbury branch is to up the ante in the battle for our rivers, particularly the braided rivers on which rely some of New Zealand's most endangered bird species. Well done to people who stayed tuned over the holiday season and joined or watched the debate through the letters to the editor, in The Press at the beginning of January, about the state of our rivers and the reasons for the crisis we face.

A busy year ahead, as always, for those committed to being 'the voice for nature', our friends and supporters. We know though, that we do, and we will make a difference!

Colleen Philip

Public Talk: What are the challenges in keeping our biologically important islands pest-free?

7.30pm Tuesday February 9th
Rooms next to Knox Church on the corner of Victoria Street and Bealey Ave

Christchurch based Dr Euan Kennedy is DOC’s National Advisor for Island Biosecurity and will speak on how DOC is protecting NZ’s offshore island sanctuaries from pests and predators. He is leading an innovative new project to upgrade DOC’s biosecurity arrangements for these very special islands which host some of our most threatened and endangered wildlife. The project aims to radically reduce rates of pest reinvasion on islands previously cleared of unwanted plant and animal organisms.

However this is a very challenging project in which DOC needs new tools and methods. It is also about designing effective behaviour-change strategies to manage the wide ranging biosecurity risks associated with public traffic to these remote and sensitive islands.

Please note the change from our usual venue which is currently undergoing earthquake repairs. There is plenty of parking next to the rooms behind the church.

Field Trip: Carews Peak Reserve, Banks Peninsula

Sunday, February 21st  
0900 meet outside Halswell School (carpool)

This all day field trip will visit this new 112ha DOC Reserve on Banks Peninsula above Wainui and its stunning views from the crater rim above Akaroa Harbour.

The North Canterbury branch contributed to the purchase of Carews Peak Reserve last year, in association with the Nature Heritage Fund, following a generous bequest to the branch by the estate of Mrs Diana Watson. The reserve has now been fenced off from adjoining farmland by DOC, and encompasses regenerating bush, a wetland, rare plants, plus superb views across Akaroa Harbour and along the coast and to the West.

This field trip will be guided by ecologist Alice Shanks, who has expertise in the ecology of Banks Peninsula. Along the way we will stop and look over Saddle Hill Reserve another recent purchase supported by the NHF, and the Josef Langer and Rod Donald Trusts.

Bring lunch, a thermos, and parka etc. May be postponed if the weather is inclement (high wind or rain) so please register your interest by email or phone with Ainslie Talbot , 355 4409.

Job Vacancy (Unpaid) : Support 'secretary' for North Canterbury branch committee  

Duties: Tasks would vary and be negotiable. We do, however, need a minutes secretary if that particular role would be of interest to anyone.

Needed: Willingness to attend meetings; a few people, communication, and organisational skills; a love of the natural world and desire to defend it.

Rewards: Contact with NZ's largest environmental lobby organisation (and kindred organisations.) Rewarding participation in promoting the survival of the biodiversity in our native plants and animals and our onshore and marine environment. Helping to provide 'a voice for nature'.

If interested: Email Chairperson or phone her on (03) 981 8556

Cycling for Fresh Water

We have an amazing Forest & Bird supporter called Katie who is starting out on February 23rd at 2pm to cycle from the top to the bottom of New Zealand to raise funds for us! So, that’s 3,000km in 30 days with a target of $30,000. Amazing eh!?

Even better she is one of our biggest champions for the plight of the long fin eel and freshwater – have a look at her fundraising page.

Katie is aiming to complete at least 100km a day. She is carrying only the most basic of equipment, not even a tent, just a survival bag and will be pedalling over really challenging terrain. This is her route  and this is more about her challenge

Calling all Cyclists (or people who like the idea of a cycle ride with friends and family on a Sunday afternoon)

Would you be interested in a Seaweek cycle ride on Sunday, 28th February starting at 1:30pm. (We can show some support for Katie and her advocacy for fresh water - see item above - as well.) We are thinking of two options

   a. into Tutaipatu Lagoon in the Tuhaitara Coastal Park and back to Woodend beach or
   b. along part of the lower Heathcote/Opawaho river, and then along the estuary edge to Sumner beach where we can join the "Great Summer Picnic" which goes till 5pm?

Please register your interest and vote for your preferred option by emailing 

Other Events

World Wetlands Day Workshop, BBQ and Walk at Travis Wetlands

Sunday 31st January 2:30pm
Matariki Gardens (on Chimera Crescent)

Shane Orchard & Colin Meurk will be presenting a field-based workshop on running citizen science projects for education and monitoring at the Mahinga Kai Exemplar. 

This will be followed by a free BBQ at 5:30 at Travis Wetland and then a guided wetlands walk at 7PM.  

All events free. Please bring an iPad or smart phone with the NWNZ app installed and/or camera & notebook.

Eastern Bays/Port Hills Predator Control Public Meeting

Thursday 11th February 7:30pm
The Old Sumner School Hall, Wiggins Street

Present at the meeting will be representatives from the Christchurch City Council, Sumner Environment Group, Redcliffs Residents Assn and Forest & Bird.  If you're interested to learn more about Pest Control in the area, are keen to volunteer or just want to hear first-hand what is currently happening, and what the intentions are for 2016, come along and get involved.

For any further info please call John Cook on 3841710 or 0272537458

Public talk by Dr Colin Meurk : Ecology, Plants, Landscape and Place-making key indicators of Nationhood, Cityhood and Neighbourhood

Friday 12th February 7:30pm
Redcliffs Bowling Club, James St., Redcliffs

Colin is an eminent ecologist, well known in his field, and will talk about the significance of including native plants in our gardens and public spaces. He was also the instigator of the Christchurch 360 Trail which encircles the City, showcasing its fascinating richness of natural and cultural heritage.

Purple Peak Curry Reserve Opening

Saturday 27th February
Akaroa Recreation Ground

The purchase of the new 192ha reserve, formerly farmed by the Curry family, was made possible through a three-way funding partnership between the Native Forest Restoration Trust, Christchurch City Council and the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust. The new reserve, which includes a mix of remnant old growth and regenerating forest with wonderful views over Akaroa, will be managed by the Maurice White Native Forest Trust under the watchful eye of Hinewai Reserve manager and renowned botanist Hugh Wilson. RSVP by emailing Sue Cameron by 11 February 2016 as places are limited.

For details, see here.

Wilding Pines Volunteer Days

Saturday 19th March and Saturday 2nd April (backup day being the following day)

Environment Canterbury and the Waimakariri Ecological and Landscape Restoration Alliance (WELRA) are working in partnership to bring you two Wilding Pine Volunteer Days in 2016. These days are a collaboration between a number of individuals, clubs and community groups to tackle the problem of pest pine trees spreading in the upper Waimakariri basin. These days are a great opportunity to spend a day in the high country and assist in controlling the spread of wilding pines.

 As with previous years, we will all meet at the Yaldhurst Hotel in the morning and be transported by bus to the selected work sites in the Flock Hill Station area.

If you are going, please contact Joy Talbot, 03 9422 917 before 11th March for Day One and 25th March for Day Two (one week prior to each volunteer day).

A $30 donation per person per day will be provided to North Canterbury Forest and Bird. 


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 - Hendrikje Buss
Treasurer & public talks -Ainslie Talbot
KCC - Eleanor Bissell
Mahoe-nui BushVanessa Horwell
Website, eNews - Michael Godfrey
Field trips - Valerie Campbell
Boyle Base - Lesley Shand (Ph: 379 0316)
Calder Green ReserveMick Ingram (Ph: 03 384 8080/ 021 816633)
Committee members - 
Greg Byrnes 

Steve Attwood

Sharon Heatherbell
Rachel Hurford
Penny Wright

Links of interest

© Vanessa Green

Diary Dates

9 February 7:30 pm
Public talk next to Knox church.

21 February 9:00 am
Field trip to Carews Peak Reserve

8 March 7:30 pm
Public talk by Stocker Scholarship winners

13 March 9:00 am
Field trip to Arowhenua Bush

7 May
Rivers and estuary rubbish clean-up event

To see a summary of upcoming events, please visit our website.