News Archive - 2006

Conservation Projects' Dress-down Demo - 12 August 2006

8 people dressed in working gear and carrying their tools turned up to Forest and Bird’s presentation on the Conservation projects in the Wellington Region, including ours, at the Porirua City Council's Conservation Week exhibition at the Pataka on Saturday August 12th.

We all enjoyed the chance to learn what is happening elsewhere, and how we fit into the overall picture.

We gave our pamphlets to everyone we saw.

Neil looked really impressive carrying a backpack full of large tree seedlings from the nursery.

Brenda Johnston won a lovely bird kite that she has to learn to fly so she can bring it to Maara Roa some time.  We are looking for ward to seeing it fly.

Brenda also got interviewed by the Porirua City News, which gave us some welcome publicity.

An excellent week for Porirua City and other visitors.

Conservation award for Neil Bellingham - 9 August 2006

Our recommendation of Neil Bellingham to the Department of Conservation was well received and resulted in his being awarded a Merit Award for his work on our project from day one.

Neil was presented with his award by the Minister of Conservation, at Parliament on Wednesday 9th August.

Neil was a foundation member of the Friends of Maara Roa committee since 1999.

He was on the Valley Plan subcommittee which prepared our whole Restoration Plan, and with Juliet carried out the Species Survey.

Neil has the big job of organizing our whole planting programme every year since.

He set up the "Trees for Survival" nursery at Porirua College and he manages it.

This nursery produces between 2-3,000 trees annually for both us and other community groups.

We would be lost without his knowledge, care and investment in environmental education that is all just beginning to show fruit.

Congratulations Neil – and Juliet with you.

ANZ Corporate Challenge Volunteers - 26 July 2006

ANZ treeplanting volunteers - 26 July 2006

ANZ treeplanting volunteers - 26 July 2006

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On Monday 26th July, Ross Jackson with Rob Craven and two other Greater Wellington Regional council staff, and Des Drummond from Friends of Maara Roa took 14 people from two groups from ANZ Head Office to plant trees.

All worked very well, and Greater Wellington Regional Council kindly provided eats afterwards.

Thanks to all involved.

Plimmerton Presbyterian Youth Group - 22 July 2006

Who planted well in 2005 who came back for another go on Saturday afternoon 22nd July and did another wonderful job.

They were supported by the minister, Keith Nesbit, with wife Rose and their 3 children.

Keith told Sylvia that his presence had an element of irony as his father’s uncle Len was one of the saw millers who worked the Belmont Hills and Wellington generally.

Keith said: "Now I’m here doing my bit to put the trees back!!"

AGM - 19 July 2006

An encouraging and enjoyable AGM was held on 19th July with an attendance of 16 members plus a number of guests.

Keith Nicoll, our chairman, presented a full and visionary annual report, Brenda Stickley, as Treasurer, showed us that our finances although small, are sound and the committee was re-elected to serve us for another year.

Our speaker, Paddy Driver gave us a most enjoyable report of his work with DOC in South Westland, illustrated with excellent photos of the remote alpine huts and tracks under his management.  Thanks again Paddy.

Planting Plan for 2006

We will be planting some canopy trees in the bush this year and in early September, 1,500 Tree Lucerne will be planted for shelter.

Human Birds

Five or six families from Kiwi Conservation Club along with Brenda Stickley threw seed balls around the Tawa Finger.

Kids, you did do well in what is quite a rough area.

Grant from Mana Community Grants Foundation

Thanks to the Mana Community Grants Foundation for the grant of $1,700 to help pay for the rest of the weed spraying which John Hodges hopes to do on the firebreaks.

This is contract-paid work which John works very hard at, but instead of enriching himself he uses the funds to help young people in the Porirua Canoeing Club.

Great stuff, John, and thanks from us all.

Catchment Management submission presented to Porirua City Council

Our submission regarding the long term Catchment Management in Cannons Creek were presented at the Porirua City Council hearings by Sylvia Jenkin.

We were supported by Kapiti-Mana Forest and Bird, and by Neville Lapthorne, a local who helped improve the Lake Reserve in the late 1970’s to early 80’s.

Storage and Workroom at Glenview School

We have been given a great new facility in the form of a disused boiler room at Glenview School.

This has ample room for everything we store and space for working groups.

In December [2005] the Committee cleaned it out.

Thanks to both Corrections Department and Sylvia for the work done to get this storage facility up and running.

Thanks to Robin and Dorothy Mitchell who are building some work benches.

Bird Survey

Hugh and Richard Robertson have carried out another bird survey, updating the 2001 survey.

They confirmed the sighting of pigeons (kereru) and the nest sighted by Paul Guiniven.

We look forward to the survey report, as the increased bird life points to the success of our efforts in possum control.  Thanks to the possum team.

Human Birds - What are they? - 11 March 2006

'Human birds' seed collectors

'Human birds' seed collectors

The Kiwi Conservation Club is joining with us to collect seeds for both us and Pauatahanui Forest and Bird.

On Saturday, 11 March, Sylvia Jenkin, Jean Luke and Wanda Tate met them, to guide and help the children and their mothers collect quite a few seeds.

Those suitable for Maara Roa will be rolled into seed balls with potting mix, clay and fertilizer then later this year, these seed balls will be thrown around the perimeter of our bush.

This technique has been found to be as successful as growing and planting trees.

The children are doing what the birds are doing but don’t have to eat the seeds.

"Human Birds" is the name we have given this new programme.  This programme is also ideal for family groups.

The "Family picnic and fun" event - 28 January 2006

The "Family picnic and fun" event was held on Saturday January 28th under clear blue skies - an ideal day.

23 people turned up, including children, and were greeted by Dean, the park ranger from Battle Hill, who had brought along a shady kiosk, picnic chairs and a barbecue, and set them up in a clearing by the bush.

In due course Penelope, also from Greater Wellington, arrived with the makings for a sausage-sizzle.

Neil, Brenda, Adrienne and Sef took everyone on some fun activities after lunch – Tree spotting, Possum Scramble, Water Wade and a Scavenger Hunt.

A lolly scramble ended the event, and then everyone strolled back to their cars.

Though the numbers were small, it was a worthwhile and enjoyable event!