The Cape to City team visits Whangawehi

Wendy and Nathalie from HBRC came to have a look at the catchment. They work for the Cape to City project and were interested to see how we were carrying out our pest control work. Pat drove them to the whare, the weather was terrible but they enjoyed their time there and got to see the project for themselves.  Pat also took Wendy and Nathalie to Okepuha Station where the next generation of environmental warriors are growing. Eva Coop was proud to show us her rifle…and apparently she doesn’t like cats !

A big thank you to Pat and Sue, Richard and Hannah (and Eva) for making themselves available.

We may see Wendy and Nathalie a bit more if the Mahia Pest free project progresses.

 

Mahia Pest Free community meeting 14th of April at Tuahuru Marae

MAHIA peninsula could be an ideal area for a large scale pest eradication programme says the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council. In 2016, the government proposed a $28 million project-to make New Zealand predator free by 2050. The project was aimed at ridding New Zealand of possums, rats, stoats and other introduced species to help the goal of predator free New Zealand become a reality. Hawke’s Bay Regional Council manager land services Campbell Leckie said achieving this goal would deliver huge benefits across the country, particularly to threatened native species. “Due to its isolated geographical configuration, the Mahia peninsula could be an ideal area for a large scale pest eradication programme,” Mr Leckie said. “Back in the 1990s, a project involving a predator fence didn’t get enough community support to get off the ground.”

The regional council has been involved with pest control in Mahia for many years and has organised a series of community meetings. Mr Leckie encouraged feedback from the community about a pest free Mahia vision. “The meeting will discuss a range of elements of a potential pest free project including pest control techniques, community benefits, funding and the importance of community support. “One potential funder from a petroleum company OMV NZ Ltd will be present to discuss their interest in participating in the project, should it proceed.” Mr Leckie said the Mahia pest free project was an exciting opportunity for the community to be involved in a cutting edge ecological restoration project. “It can only work if local landowners, Hapu and Iwi participate in, show leadership and help shape the direction of a Pest Free programme.

“This is an opportunity for locals to leave an impressive conservation legacy for future generations to come. Come along, ask your questions, air your concerns. Bring your family and whanau. Hot drinks and finger food will be provided.”

The first meeting will take place on Saturday April 14 from 9.30am-12pm at Tuahuru Marae for the Rongomaiwahine Iwi Trust.

The second meeting will be open to the wider community and will take place on the same day and at the same venue from 1-3.30pm.

Suzi Lewis

Journalist

The Wairoa Star Ltd

 

Richard Coops is extending his network of traps

Rod Dickson from Hawkes Bay Regional Council recently visited Richard Coops on Okepuha Station.  A few years ago Richard started off with a few traps but is now extending his network of traps.  In the upcoming days, his traps will be GPSed and then loaded onto a cloud application “trap.nz”, a great reporting and collaborative platform.  This will enable Richard to record trap catches from his mobile phone via an app or from his computer.  These traps will be laid out around the newly restored/planted area where we hope to encourage more bird life to the area. Richard has already contacted to say that he needs more traps! Well done Richard.

PREDATOR CONTROL WORKSHOP – MAHIA.

FOR FARMERS, LANDOWNERS, OR ANYONE WISHING TO LEARN HOW TO TRAP PESTS. 17TH OCTOBER 2017 9.30 AM – 3PM TAHAROA STATION 1637 MAHIA EAST COAST ROAD, MAHIA.

 

17TH OCTOBER 2017 9.30 AM – 3PM TAHAROA STATION 1637 MAHIA EAST COAST ROAD, MAHIA. A practical day with trapping experts from the pest control business. Learn about best practice.

PLEASE REGISTER BY 15TH OCTOBER; MHSMITH @ DOC.GOVT.NZ OR PHONE 0274998527

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Rare birds thriving at Whangawehi

At the end of January, pest control and bird watchers experts from HBRC came for a field visit at Whangawehi. The goal was to receive feedback from the wireless trial underway and also assess the potential for habitat enhancement in the future. The day was well worth while and gave Landowners the confidence that what they had started was already successful. Hans Rook, Bittern expert, was amazed by the scale and the quality of the wetland habitats protected. He encouraged the group to raise water levels in the wetlands  and urged them to increase their pest control effort. While on site the group assessed the possible site for a predator free fence that would allow native birds to colonise a predator reduced environment.

The group was most impressed to spot the rare Fern Bird on the frindges of one of the wetlands. With the return of the white baits and the increase in eel populations in the Whangawehi river, Hans Rook predicted a significant increase in bird life in the very future.

The WCMG group is grateful for the assistance received so far and is looking forward to implementing more pest control work in the catchment.

 

A success for the last guided walk

Friday was the last of a series of 4 very successful guided walks for the Whangawehi group. Nearly 50 participants attended this last event for a walk starting at the Waste Water Treatment Plant and finishing at the Whangawehi bridge. The public was given en explanation of the scheme as well as the restoration programme undertaken downstream  by the community. The large numbers of participants reinforced the group’s conviction that there is a demand for a walk way/cycle way in order to show case the work done and share some of the stories associated with local Maori history with the wider community.

All participants were impressed by the work done and some will come back to support the community planting weekends. Thank you to the landowners for opening their gates for these special events and thank you to Arthur and Malcolm for sharing their knowledge of the area.

Whangawehi display at the Mahia market

Despite the bad weather forecast, the Whangawehi Catchment Management team came together to display the work done and promote the summer series of guided walks and presentations. A huge crowd turned out in the later part of the morning and a number of these people showed interest in the  out coming guided walks. Not surprisingly many of these people were already aware of the group’s profile which was quite satisfying.

A big thank you to Oha Manuel (Engagement Officer),  Jenny Scothern (school coordinator),  Malcolm Smith (DOC), Rae and Toria Te Nahu and the O’Briens for their support during this promotional day.

Our next promotional event will be at the same market next week 10th of January followed by the A&P show on the 16th of January.

Thank you for your support.

Nga mihi nui ki a koutou