Volunteer News 12th December

Tāwari (Ixerba brexioides)

Photo Jacqui Geux

Hi all,

This email contains:

1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

2. Project Manager’s Patch

3. Ark end of year party

4. Kowharawhara in flower at the Ark!

5. Ark session calendar

Happy reading!


ARK IN THE PARK Volunteer Co-Ordinator

Physical address: Cascades Ranger Station

Falls Road, Waitākere

09 810 7014

1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

This week, we will host a group from Southern Cross Health Insurance who will help us with seed collection on Thursday, the 14th of December. I'll need help so that there is an Ark volunteer allocated to each of the lines they will collect. Volunteers not helping with the seed collection will bait the remaining lines in the northern blocks of the Ark (R, F, K blocks). The group will arrive at 9am, but the meeting time for Ark volunteers is at 8:30am at the ranger station as usual.

Saturday, the 16th of December will be the last weekend session of the year! We will do baiting in W block. The session will start at 8:30am at the ranger station.

Please let me know if you are coming to any of these sessions. Also please note that if you make a last minute decision or have an unexpected change of plans it's best that you leave a message on our phone 09 810 7014 rather than email me.

2. Project Manager’s Patch:Rāhui update #2

Two weeks ago we provided information about the rāhui on the Waitākere ranges.

You can remind yourself of that information here .

The rāhui covers all the forest areas of the Waitākere Ranges, but not coastal tracks or beach areas.

The rāhui also excludes private land, however we held a workshop in October for residents in the Ark’s buffer zone to provide information, Trigene and brushes to people to protect kauri on their own land.

Since then two important meetings have taken place:

Auckland Council’s Environment and Community Committee meeting

A community hui run by the iwi, Te Kawerau a Maki

At both meetings the value of the predator control work undertaken by Ark in the Park, Auckland Council Parks and Biosecurity teams was reiterated. It was noted that we are role models who can not only uphold high levels of hygiene practice ourselves but also educate the public about hygiene and the rāhui.

This email provides an update, however, it is an evolving situation so things can change quickly.

You will be able to find information here http://www.tekawerau.iwi.nz/

As well as here: https://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/news/

Auckland Council’s Environment and Community Committee met on the 5th of December and heard presentations from a number of stakeholders. Information was considered and the committee decided on a response from the Council.

You can watch excerpts from the meeting on You Tube here https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=auckland+council+live

The Environment and Community Committee voted to close several high-risk and medium-risk tracks in the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park to limit the spread of kauri dieback disease. Since the meeting, the number of tracks closed by Council has significantly increased to 42. Ark in the Park (and other groups) will continue working with both iwi and Council to determine what operational changes there may be for the Ark in the Park regarding closed tracks and other measures designed to protect kauri.

Note that we have decided to cancel the bat walks planned for January (as a non essential activity) in response to the seriousness of the kauri dieback situation and out of respect for the rāhui.

Mayor Phil Goff provided the following comment:

“The option that we have chosen today closes high-risk areas within the park, puts our current resources into the maintenance of tracks and is a practical approach that will really make a difference on the ground.

"Aucklanders will also have an opportunity next year to consider what funding from the 10-year Budget they want to allocate to environmental protection including the management of kauri dieback,”

This consultation will take place in February or March. Current kauri dieback funding is around $550,000 per year and it is proposed to increase this to $114 million over 10 years.

Community hui

Laurence, Annalily, myself, and a number of Ark volunteers attended the community hui on the 11th of December, run by Te Kawerau a Maki.

This hui was focussed on providing information about the disease and also the rāhui.

A working group was formed and tasked with developing strategies and material to educate people, both local and visitors from further away, about the rāhui and the important considerations.

Last week we sent an email, available here, advising people to wear hi vis vests to identify ourselves as specially warranted people.

The vests are hot to wear in this weather but volunteers wearing the hi vis have reported positive stories about engaging with people through being recognisable.

We also spoke about the rāhui and the Ark at the end of year BBQ on Saturday.


Here is a copy of our signed warrant, note you are not required to carry it but may choose to do so.

The Standard Operating Procedures referred to in the warrant document can be found here.


3. Ark end of year party

Last Saturday, we held our end of year party at the ranger station.

First we had a trapper workshop where Ken Harrop gave useful tips about the handling of commonly used traps like the Doc200s and Timms, but also explained how to set and bait our new Steve Allan cat traps.

Then we moved toward the tables dressed with plenty of yummy food people had brought.

As usual it was a well attended event, where many people had the opportunity to catch up with fellow trappers, baiters, etc ...

At the end of the day, we could not part without the traditional group picture:

Thank you to all of you for coming and making this day a success and to Jacqui Geux for the pictures!

5. Ark session calendar

Thursday 14th December, volunteer session: seed collection with Southern Cross 9am

Saturday 16th December, volunteer session 8:30am: baiting

Thursday 21st December, volunteer session 8:30am: baiting - last session of 2017

22nd December - 8th January: Ark Christmas break

Tuesday 9th January 2018: Ark activities resume.

Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc. Ark in the Park Project Website. All rights reserved.