News & Events from Otanewainuku

Chair’s Report - August 2013

Chair’s Report - August 2013

Read the latest update from our Chair, Phil Wells.

Volunteer's Thank You Day

Kia ora. The Volunteer's Thank You Day on Aug 11th went really well with a large crowd enjoying the entertainment. The star of the show was Aaron Smart's video of the egg up lift and hatching of Pistachio – you can see this at Aaron has done a brilliant job – this has been done as a donation to the Trust and we are really excited to have it as a resource. The Trust really appreciates Aaron's time and expertise.

My thanks go to Kate and Harry for the organisation and to WBoPDC, Comvita, NZ Geographic, Trev Connolly (Wild Kiwi Clothing) for the donations for the prize table. And a special thanks to Glen Ayo and the Western Bay of Plenty District Council for funding the costs of running the day. Glenn's telling of the Otanewainuku legend was a highlight.

Bait Station Operation

The turnouts to our workdays have been excellent and the toxin work is going to start in early September. Several new lines are in operation along the Whataroa Ridge to extend our control into areas where we believe the kokako will benefit. Phil Commins will be our contractor for the next two years. One job that Phil does is to estimate the bait left at each bait station at the clean out time (i.e. the finish of the toxin operation in February). This he then plots out for us and I have included this map: See larger map

The map demonstrates a number of things that are important to us - in simple terms the blue area is the area of highest pest numbers and the other colours are lower pest numbers; i.e.   

We have a large core area that has low pest number.s  Our boundaries with bush areas are our main areas of re-infestation.

Operations have used this data to plan this year's toxins - the core area receives less toxin than the outside bush boundaries. However from the Trust's perspective the really important thing is that this map demonstrates that our  toxin work is effective in achieving its objectives of giving us a large area of low pest numbers. This gives us high confidence going forward that we are on the right path.

Pistachio the kiwi chick

Pistachio the kiwi chick continues to thrive and is now in excess of 1000gms. She (yes this is official - the DNA test is back) is now in quarantine and she will be moved early September to David and Juliet Wallace's crèche (Warrenheip) near Cambridge. We have three other kiwis there from Kidnappers and expect another couple to arrive over the next couple of weeks. Nigel Veale has done a lot of work to bring this project to fruition and a lot of the kiwi world is watching to see how our new approach works. Monitoring will continue at Warrenheip and the kiwis will be moved to Otanewainuku as they become territorial. Work is continuing on bringing adults up from Maungatanewha to Otanewainuku.

Des Heke has resigned as a trustee.

Des has been our tangata whenua representative and has proved invaluable to the trust. I thank Des for his contribution in what is a critical area for the Trust. We are investigating several options to replace Des but if anyone feels that they have the skills to do this role then please contact me.

Phil Wells
Chair | Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust  

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