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Project Island Song on the move

Laura Rumsey

Laura Rumsey

Engagement Manager

It’s taken a while but Project Island Song is finally on the move with a ute and boat of our own!

First came the wheels…

The arrival of the Project Island Song ute in late January 2023 has already made a huge difference to the Project Island Song team.

The Mazda BT50 has been kindly gifted by Lodge Kororāreka No 304, with support and contributions from Pacific Motor GroupMazda, Fleetline, and Visual ID.

As you will see from the pictures the ute has been wrapped to showcase Project Island Song and help us standout on the roads.

The ute not only helps us in promoting Project Island Song when we’re on the road, at events or when we visit schools for our education programme, but it will be critical in helping us tow our new boat.

Thank you to everyone who braved the rain on Monday 30th January for the unveiling, with thanks also going to the team at Kororāreka Russell School for allowing us to use their playground for the unveiling, and the deck to stay dry!

…then came the waka

The project’s new workboat, Mārara, was officially launched in a small whakaingoatia – naming ceremony – on Saturday 25th March 2023, with Project Island Song whānau, mana whenua, and the community present.

The waka is named in memory of Rāwhiti kuia Mārara Te Tai Hook, recognising her support of and commitment to Project Island Song since its very beginnings. It was particularly special having her whānau leading this significant day.

Keeping the islands of Ipipiri pest-free is critical in ensuring they flourish and the species, whether reintroduced or not, remain safe on these island sanctuaries.

As Project Island Song steps up to take on the pest-management and pest-surveillance on the islands, previously undertaken by the Department of Conservation (DOC), the need for a boat is vital.

Thanks to considerable support from donors who have connections to the islands or who want to ensure the longevity of the island wildlife sanctuaries, having our own boat has become a reality. Thank you also to Magnetic Pictures for capturing the boat in motion so beautifully above!

Our new Kingfisher Catamaran will enable Project Island Song to undertake the critical work around pest-surveillance and pest-management on the islands, ensuring regular checks are completed and will provide the ability to respond urgently to any incursions that may be detected.

The workboat will also give Project Island Song greater independence and flexibility in running our volunteer programmes on the islands and developing ecotourism opportunities to help local and international visitors enjoy the regenerating wildlife on the islands and engage with our work – watch this space!