Kei te mahi tātou mō te taiao | Communities working together for nature
We’re doing it Wairarapa, and together we’re making a difference. Every day, locals are out there planting and weeding, pest-trapping and tracking, water monitoring and habitat building. And if you’d like to get involved – or to connect your biodiversity project and passions with others’ – then the Wairarapa Biodiversity hui is for you.
The Wairarapa Pūkaha to Kawakawa Alliance (WaiP2K) provides a network to connect and support all of these groups with their wide range of interests, concerns and areas of expertise. WaiP2K was established to give groups and individuals from Pūkaha (Mt Bruce) at the northern tip of our region to Kawakawa (Cape Palliser) at the southern end a chance to see what others are up to, share expertise and experiences, and to connect and coordinate.
One of the ways that WaiP2K is connecting, supporting and celebrating all the work that is being done is by holding a biodiversity hui on Sunday, 30 October. Anyone interested in environmental projects is welcome; while it is free, participants must register.
Community-led large landscape-scale environmental restoration is one of WaiP2K’s aims. An outcome of last year’s hui is the landscape-wide pest-animal control strategy that has recently been created. The report will be presented at the hui by Philippa Crisp. It details the current situation for pest animals and biodiversity in our area and proposes ways of achieving and monitoring the strategy.
Also presenting and leading a discussion is Dan Henry – the voice of Country Calendar and a founding member of the enormously successful Predator Free Miramar group. His talk will be followed by small-group discussions, an overview of who’s-doing-what across our region, and time to question and chat.
“WaiP2K has a vision of thriving native biodiversity, waterways to be proud of and prosperous communities,” says WaiP2K chairperson Gill Murray.
“This hui means anyone who’s involved or interested in environmental projects in the Wairarapa can network, learn, share ideas and find ways we can work together to achieve our aim of Kei te mahi tātou mō te taiao | Communities working together for nature.”
Wairarapa Biodiversity Hui
When: Sunday October 30, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Where: Waihinga Centre, 8 Texas Street, Martinborough
Philippa Crisp has over 25 years of experience in terrestrial ecology having worked for both the Department of Conservation and the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) over that time. At GWRC she oversaw the ecological health programme for the council’s 40,000ha of indigenous ecosystems in its parks and forests. In more recent years, she led an Environmental Science team that provided scientific data and advice in relation to the region’s land, climate and biodiversity. She has established regional monitoring programmes for terrestrial and wetland ecology and published a number of conservation planning reports.
Dan Henry – Predator Free Miramar
Dan Henry helped establish Predator Free Miramar over five years ago, bringing the community together to trap predators such as rats in their own backyards. There are now over 1000 households actively involved, barely a rat to be found, and a stunning increase in the abundance of birdlife on the Miramar peninsula. “How to kill rats and engage a community” is an inspiring and practical resource developed by Dan Henry to support, encourage and provide tips for other predator-free groups “It’s not a blueprint,” he says, “because there’s not one right way of doing it. But hopefully, there are a few tips in there for other groups.”
Jessi Morgan – Predator Free New Zealand Trust
Jessi Morgan is the Chief Executive of the Predator Free New Zealand Trust. Predator Free New Zealand is committed to dramatically reducing NZ’s predator populations, including rats, stoats, possums, feral cats, weasels and ferrets. They want to protect our native species and see their populations increase in our lifetime. It’s one of the most ambitious conservation projects undertaken in NZ – ambitious, but achievable.
Photo: Tara Swan Photography