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2013 was a landmark year as Forest & Bird members celebrated the 90th birthday with events around the country, focusing on local milestones and the work done by long-standing volunteers.

It was an opportunity to reflect on an extraordinary range of achievements during the nine decades since Captain Val Sanderson and a former prime minister, Sir Thomas Mackenzie, launched the Society at a public meeting in Wellington in 1923.

On the national stage, our successes during the past 90 years have included several new national parks and marine reserves, saving Lake Manapo¯uri, protecting West Coast and central North Island native forests from logging, the purchase of Maud Island in the Marlborough Sounds and Mangere Island in the Chathams as wildlife sanctuaries, the creation of the Department of Conservation and the protection of many precious rivers.

Captain Sanderson’s daughter, Nancy Jordan, attended the 90th birthday dinner in Wellington in June along with his grandsons, Justin Jordan and Guido Panduri. They link us with Forest & Bird’s founder and his vision, just as today’s supporters have followed the earliest members who laid the foundations of an enduring Society. Since 1923, Forest & Bird has influenced hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders, acting on the pressing environmental issues of the day, changing the course of history and fostering new generations of conservationists.

As we approach our centenary, Forest & Bird continues to play a key role as a kaitiaki for nature. Forest & Bird has a unique blend of national and local focus, doing on-the-ground conservation work and speaking up for nature in our cities and rural communities, and engaging wha¯nau from children to grandparents. Our diversity is our strength.

We are looking to the future, identifying the most critical threats to nature of invasive pests, climate change and unsustainable development, and working on meaningful solutions in which all New Zealanders can play a part. Our vision is for a predator-free New Zealand, landscape-scale conservation and an ecologically sustainable economy, engaging in partnerships with iwi and others who share our values.

The Society’s guiding principles and structure are under review and we are reshaping the organisation so it has the strength to meet the societal, scientific, commercial and technological demands of coming years.

We are proud of Forest & Bird’s legacy of conservation achievements for Aotearoa New Zealand, and we look forward to the challenges of the next 90 years.

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