Auckland conservationist’s service honoured

 Anne Fenn of Auckland has received the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society’s Old Blue award for 25 years outstanding service to the environmental organisation and to conservation.

Anne Fenn received the award at Forest & Bird’s Face Up to the Future conference in Wellington on Saturday night, and her supporters were thrilled her tireless work has been recognised by New Zealand’s leading independent environmental organisation.

She has served on the Central Auckland Forest & Bird Branch Committee for 25 years, including over 10 years as Chairperson. She also spent nine years on the Forest & Bird National Executive and chaired the organisation’s Legal Sub-committee.

Forest & Bird’s Janet Ledingham has worked with Anne Fenn since they met on the Executive in 2006. “I know she has given a sterling service to Auckland Branch ... and has been much involved with the Kiwi Conservation Club to its great benefit. She richly deserves the award of an Old Blue for her dedicated service to the Society.”

Anne Fenn is a familiar face on the frontline of local conservation efforts and is known for working with local conservation organisations, council groups and Forest & Bird’s eight Auckland branches for co-ordinated environmental efforts.

She has also helped achieve notable environmental gains behind the scenes. She spent five years on an environmental advisory group to Auckland’s Watercare wastewater treatment plant prior to its plant upgrade in 1996. During these years, Anne Fenn was the sole representative for a number of environmental non-government organisations, including Forest & Bird. Despite having to “force our way in as a legitimate contributor” to initial discussions, she says the environmental side eventually became respected as an ally.

The resulting plant upgrade significantly improved wastewater quality, which enabled the removal of 500 hectares of oxidation ponds and prompted a 13km coastline restoration.

Since the upgrade, Anne Fenn has continued to represent Forest & Bird as an advisor on Watercare’s water supply and wastewater treatment systems.

Her governance roles include eight years on Auckland’s Conservation Board and co-founding ‘Auckland Naturally’, which precipitated the development of Auckland’s wildlife corridor, the North-West Wildlink.

Anne Fenn has also been active nurturing the next generation of Kiwi conservationists. She has been heavily involved with the local Kiwi Conservation Club over the last decade, founded the Green Schools Award and administers the Forest & Bird Greater Auckland Facebook page.

Former Auckland Central chairperson Kit Howden says: “Anne has had a history of not only conservation but caring for people.”

Forest & Bird awarded four Old Blue awards