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Guardians AGM held Weds 21st Oct in Paihia

thumb isabel castralThe 2015 Guardians of the Bay of Islands Inc AGM was held in Paihia on October 21.The meeting was followed by a captivating presentation from Dr Isabel Castro, Massey University Behavioural Ecologist on her study of hihi behaviour, her kiwi research and exciting new technologies.

The meeting saw the encumbent committee returned - Chair Fleur Corbett, Secretary Andrea Sim, Treasurer Jill Toplis and committee members Richard Witehira, Rod Brown, Tom Lindesay, Theresa Vujcich, Roger Chignell, Debby Bayens, Arana Rewha. Just Darryl Honey is yet to confirm. There was no new interest from the meeting this year in joining the committee.

The Chair's report detailed Project Island Song's achievements of 2015 including species reintroductions, education programme, planting and gave an insight into upcoming projects - Te Tangi o Te Ata Transitional Management Plan for a mainland island and a Sustainable Future Strategy.

The Annual report was approved and the auditor PKF Poutsma Lemon were reappointed. Membership fees remained the same.

Roger Chignall – Lizards
• Keenly surveying the current populations
• Hopeful that any numbers will multiply now that the islands are pest free
• Planning translocations once more information has been gathered

Helen Ough Dealy – Education Programme
• Supported by Air New Zealand Environment Trust, Kids Restore NZ and DOC
• Five schools went planting in July ahead of the Floating Classroom programme getting underway
• An education kit has been developed for the Floating Classroom programme including an Educators pack which can be delivered by any competent educator, with all the resources included.
• The educational experience includes a pre-trip and post-trip visit to the school to engage and reinforce the experiences had on the boat and on the island
• Students commit to an action back home
• Students are engaged in leadership – biosecurity wardens (checking each other’s equipment), Health and Safety as well as hands on conservation activities (planting, making up flat pack nesting boxes, etc)
• Feedback from students, teachers and parents has been very positive

Rod Brown – Planting
• Historically the planting programme has been mass planting in open kikuyu grass, on the coast where there is easy access, using 100 or more people (Waewaetorea and Urupukapuka Islands.)
• More recently there has been planting under canopy in kanuka forest valleys on Moturua and Urupukapuka Islands. The biggest issue for these sites is access (up to 900 metres inland) and water. DOC has made their quad bike available.
• A new massed planting site has been identified at Squid Bay, Urupukapuka Island, a steep valley below the Ihumatea pa, with an old stock dam which may be excavated and made into a pateke habitat.
• Gradually the new plantings are modifying the soil and creating conditions for further biodiversity.

Don McKenzie – Bio-Security Manager, Northern Regional Council, Whangarei
• Very complimentary about Project Island Song, NRC is committed to supporting the project
• Invited the Guardians to participate in their Long Term Plan process and their Pest Management Review, which is due in October this year
• Some exciting work being done on biological controls for moth plant

General Business
There was no general business.

The meeting closed at 7.30pm

Angela Newport gave a presentation to the AGM on her 18 months spent doing pest control on the subantarctic island of Macquarie with her predator dog Cody.

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Tags: Hapu partnership, Guardians of the Bay of Islands, Department of Conservation

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