Volunteer News 6th March

Hi all,

This email contains:

1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

2. Seeking a new Ark volunteer representative

3. Have your say on Auckland's future

4. Ark session calendar

Happy reading!

Laurence

ARK IN THE PARK Volunteer Co-Ordinator

Physical address: Cascades Ranger Station

Falls Road, Waitākere

09 810 7014

1. Latest and forthcoming sessions

Last week, we spent both sessions in the Nihotupu block where we carried on some line maintenance and baiting. Most of these lines have long patches of dense cutty grass, ferns and New Zealand rushes which makes for tough going!

There are still lines to be done but we need good weather as we are working with GPS units and are labeling stations and triangles which is difficult in the rain.

There will be a Thursday session, on the 8th March and a Saturday session, on the 10th March, both starting at 8:30am at the ranger station. We will come and open the gate on Falls Road at 8:30am. Late arrivals will need to leave their cars in the golf club car park and walk down the road to the ranger station. The Saturday session will be followed by a sausage sizzle.

At this stage, the weather forecast is not good for Thursday, but might be better for Saturday. If the weather is too wet to do field work in the N block, we will do weeding in the stream nearby the ranger station. A section of this stream has already been weeded in the past years and re planted. But there are still weeds and the new plants need releasing. Also we can start weeding another section of the stream. However, if it is pouring rain, the session will be canceled.

Please note that these sessions are not suitable for new comer. Instead, we will welcome new volunteers when we resume our baiting round, likely early April.

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. Seeking a new Ark volunteer representative

As many of you know the Ark has three volunteer representatives, currently Chris Chadwick, Karen Colgan and Oliver Glampe.

These are people that you can contact if you have any questions or concerns, or anything that you would like to discuss with a fellow volunteer.

Also, these volunteer representatives are part of the Ark management committee. The management committee is comprised of Council staff, Forest and Bird representatives (and the Ark representatives) and meets every second month, usually on a Wednesday morning.


Lastly volunteer reps participate in field meetings to help make decisions about field related activities.

Chris has been a rep since he was elected by volunteers in 2013. He has been a regular at Thursday sessions and as well as helping with invertebrate monitoring. His wife Rosemary is one of the Saturday sausage cooks.

Sadly, Chris and Rosemary’s daughter is seriously ill meaning that Chris will be stepping down from his volunteer rep role. We would like to thank Chris for his support, dedication and insightful thoughts over the years. Chris still finds time to come out to the Ark so you may still see his friendly face around.

There is now a vacancy for the third representative position. If you are interested in the role or would like to find out more please let us know!

3. Have your say on Auckland's future

More so than ever before, Auckland residents have the opportunity to influence Council’s resourcing of biosecurity work.

Both the Long Term Plan (LTP), also known as the 10 year budget, and Proposed Regional Pest Management Plan (PRPMP) are being consulted on between the 28th of February and the 28th of March.

While both are important, the LTP is the most important as it determines the amount of funding that will be available for all areas of Council work, including the environment.

Within the Environment subset, considerable extra funding is proposed for the Regional Pest Management Plan, but only if the majority of rate payers opt in for this.

When the rates bills are sent out there will be several options to select from for increased biosecurity funding. The options will range from no increase in spending (Council will deliver the same amount of biosecurity work as it currently does) or increases of between $20 and $60 per household per year.

Different rates apply for businesses.

What if I’m a tenant rather than a home owner?

You can still make submissions on all of the proposed plans online.

Also, you can lobby your landlord to vote for increased funding, if that is what you would like to see.

Its complicated but it is an important opportunity to have your say, more information is available here:

https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/topics-you-can-have-your-say-on/ak-have-your-say/Pages/default.aspx

Also help is at hand by way of a facilitated information evening with speakers from Council available to explain the process and answer questions:

Wednesday 14th of March, 7pm at Arataki Visitors Center. See the flyer here.

4. Ark session calendar

Thursday 8th March, 8:30am, volunteer session either maintenance in N block or weeding

Saturday 10th March, 8:30am, volunteer session, activity to be confirmed

Thursday 15th March, 8:30am, volunteer session

Saturday 17th March, 8:30am, volunteer session - to be confirmed

Thursday 22nd March, 8:30am, volunteer session

Saturday 24th March, 8:30am, volunteer session - to be confirmed

Thursday 29th March, 8:30am, volunteer session

Saturday 31st March: Easter weekend, no volunteer session

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