brute472 75M
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5/14/2006 10:38 pm

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5/16/2006 2:01 am


This is an article I wrote for the local newspaper on what is happening in our area to improve the plight of the Kiwi, I have reproduced it mainly because Bucfannn was interested.
The photo is of the area where this is taking place in fact I was on my way to the sanctuary when I took the pic.

Community trust working to restore kiwi and other native fauna to lake area

Thursday, 29 September 2005

With the steady decline of safe habitats for native species around the world the Lake Waikaremoana Hapu Restoration Trust is guaranteeing the future of New Zealand’s native flora and fauna.

The trust was elected by the community to represent tangata whenua in the kiwi recovery project.

Chairman James Waiwai and trustees Dr Rangimarie Rose Pere, Maria Waiwai and Te Whanau Pani Turipa are voluntary and receive no remuneration.

The trust has been registered for three years, although members have been working in this area for many years.

In partnership with the Department of Conservation the Trust carry out their part in the Lake Waikaremoana Kiwi Restoration Project.

Currently it is in an operational role, although the trust hopes to take up the full management of the project within the next couple of years.

With their headquarters in Tuai Village the trust carries out a vigorous regime of predator control on the Puketukutuku peninsula on the shore of Lake Waikaremoana.

The trust’s vision ‘To facilitate and assist in the restoration and protection of the Lake Waikaremoana catchment, this includes all waterways, lands and endangered species of flora and fauna,” are not just words but are the basis of their work ethic.

They said a strong foundation must be laid if the kiwi and the unique flora and fauna are to survive into the next generation.

Predator control is a something the trust has improved to the point of lowering the numbers of stoats, ferrets and rats by way of a system of traps stretching over 70 kilometres.

Three of the four full-time staff are employed to monitor the traps.

“It’s a really big job, they’re out there hiking in dense bush and rugged terrain checking traplines every week,” trust Kaimahi Lisa Waiwai said.

“If you are looking for kiwi experts, these are the ones who work in the kiwi habitat every day.”

Trust chairman James Waiwai says there are hopes of setting up a kiwi hatchery at the old Ministry of Works building recently obtained at Tuai.

Mr Waiwai said abandoned eggs had traditionally been sent to the nearest hatcheries in Hawke’s Bay and Rotorua, and there was a chance of eggs being lost in transit.

“It is hoped that by having a facility within our own community we can decrease the risk,” he said

With the agreement of local Maori landowners, a kiwi chick enclosure was constructed on the peninsula, with a height of 1.5 metres and a circumference of 600 metres and taking in an area of about three acres.

Supervised by Robert Waiwai and built by tangata whenua with the help of DoC and Concorps, it took only 23 days to complete.

Preparation of the thickly forested area, along with manually carrying all the equipment in, was a credit to Mr Waiwai and the people involved.

With the aim to keep the chicks safe from predators, the fence is electrified via solar panels.

Across the neck of the peninsula is an anti-dispersal fence that stretches 1.5 kilometres to keep the kiwi on the peninsula.

Robert Waiwai, who is now the field manager for the Lake Waikaremoana Trust, led this project.

The fence was constructed when information gathered over the past 13 years, largely by Dr John McLennan, suggested six out of 10 juvenile kiwis left the Puketukutuku peninsula.

When the target population of kiwis is reached on Puketukutuku, a similar scheme on the Whareama peninsula will be instigated with predator trap lines and an anti-dispersal fence allowing another population of kiwi
a chance for survival.

To date there have been more than 5,000 voluntary hours dedicated to the kiwi project.

Working in other areas the trust and staff have an ongoing commitment to the native nursery established by the community at the local school with the aim of involving the children in flora restoration.

The final outcome of the replanting will be to repopulate the area surrounding Lake Waikaremoana with native plants and to encourage the return of native birds and the short-tail bats by replenishing their food source.

Education is another area that is covered by upskilling the community in the ecology of the area and encouraging participation in the ongoing project.

High on the list of priorities is the trust’s involvement in Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s possum eradication programme.

Relying heavily on sponsorship, the trust has benefited from funding and resourcing from Eastern and Central Community Trust, Genesis Energy, Manaaki Whenua, CoGS, WINZ, Lotteries Environment and Heritage, World Wildlife Fund, Te Puni Kokiri and BNZ Kiwi Recovery Trust Te Pikinga Aio, Grandma’s Slipper Trust, Department of Conservation-Aniwaniwa and recently from the students of Putere School.
Since writing this article our little theartre has sponsored a Kiwi and Its name Walt( WAiroa Little Theatre)

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