Chatham Island conservationists learn lessons from Tairawhiti

Visiting board members take tips for revegetating bush and revitalising native bird populations.

Visiting board members take tips for revegetating bush and revitalising native bird populations.

COLLECTIVE CONSERVATION: Visiting Chatham Islands Conservation Board (CICB) members met with East Coast Hawke's Bay Conservation Board (ECHBCB) members at Longbush Reserve in February. Here they stand on a bridge constructed by Eastern Institute of Technology carpentry students and sponsored by the Williams Trust and Eastland Community Trust. From left to right are Lucy Meagher (ECHBCB), Judy Kamo (CICB), Pauline Mackay (CICB), Di Gregory-Hunt (CICB), Amanda Seymour (CICB), Chris Visner (Department of Conservation), Jeremy Salmond (Longbush trustee), Jenny Rowan (Wellington Conservation Board chair), Marijke Warmenhoven (ECHBCB), Vicki Thorpe (ECHBCB), Jo Blakeley (ECHBCB), Penny Shaw (ECHBCB chair), Connie Norgate (DoC), Charles Barrie (DoC) and Jilleen Chandler-Murdoch (DoC). Picture supplied

THE Chatham Islands Conservation Board (CICB) has been taking tips from Tairawhiti for revegetating native bush and revitalising native bird populations.

They were in the region in February to meet up with and trade notes with the East Coast Hawke’s Bay Te Tairawhiti ki Te Matau-a-Maui Conservation Board (ECHBCB).

“It was the first trip to Gisborne/Tairawhiti for most of the Chatham Islanders and they were overwhelmed driving through our bush-clad hillsides,” ECHBCB chair Penny Shaw said.

“All board members gained valuable knowledge exchanging ideas, experience and future plans.”

The Chatham Islands have only five percent of their native vegetation remaining, yet they are home to a large variety (23 percent) of New Zealand’s endemic bird species.

“Their prime concern is the revitalisation of their bird population, so their work concentrates on biodiversity and biosecurity,” Ms Shaw said.

“Their experience along our East Coast will assist their plans of bush regeneration at home to encourage bird life back in sufficient numbers for their hapu to be able to return to harvesting sufficiently to accommodate traditional gathering.”

Both Boards, with New Zealand Conservation Authority’s board liaison Rauru Kirikiri and Department of Conservation (DoC) staff visited Longbush Ecosanctuary, one of Tairawhiti’s many projects which receive DoC community funding.

Longbush guardians Dame Anne and Jeremy Salmond took the group for a tour to learn the history of the ecosanctuary’s development, situated 10 minutes drive from Gisborne city centre along Riverside Road.

It is open to people from Gisborne and visitors to visit and experience typical bush cover from the pre-European era with the ever-present piwakawaka and kereru.

The Chatham Islanders also explored the 1769 garden with landscaper Philip Smith, and were informed of the educational opportunities offered at the Welcome Centre.

Grant Vincent, chair of Gisborne’s Forest and Bird branch, updated the group on pest control at Gray’s Bush.

“We are fortunate to have such a local passionate group who work so well with DoC and are doing wonderful work with their pest control at Gray’s Bush,” Ms Shaw said.

The ECHBCB is working on a draft conservation management strategy, which will be notified to the public around June this year.

THE Chatham Islands Conservation Board (CICB) has been taking tips from Tairawhiti for revegetating native bush and revitalising native bird populations.

They were in the region in February to meet up with and trade notes with the East Coast Hawke’s Bay Te Tairawhiti ki Te Matau-a-Maui Conservation Board (ECHBCB).

“It was the first trip to Gisborne/Tairawhiti for most of the Chatham Islanders and they were overwhelmed driving through our bush-clad hillsides,” ECHBCB chair Penny Shaw said.

“All board members gained valuable knowledge exchanging ideas, experience and future plans.”

The Chatham Islands have only five percent of their native vegetation remaining, yet they are home to a large variety (23 percent) of New Zealand’s endemic bird species.

“Their prime concern is the revitalisation of their bird population, so their work concentrates on biodiversity and biosecurity,” Ms Shaw said.

“Their experience along our East Coast will assist their plans of bush regeneration at home to encourage bird life back in sufficient numbers for their hapu to be able to return to harvesting sufficiently to accommodate traditional gathering.”

Both Boards, with New Zealand Conservation Authority’s board liaison Rauru Kirikiri and Department of Conservation (DoC) staff visited Longbush Ecosanctuary, one of Tairawhiti’s many projects which receive DoC community funding.

Longbush guardians Dame Anne and Jeremy Salmond took the group for a tour to learn the history of the ecosanctuary’s development, situated 10 minutes drive from Gisborne city centre along Riverside Road.

It is open to people from Gisborne and visitors to visit and experience typical bush cover from the pre-European era with the ever-present piwakawaka and kereru.

The Chatham Islanders also explored the 1769 garden with landscaper Philip Smith, and were informed of the educational opportunities offered at the Welcome Centre.

Grant Vincent, chair of Gisborne’s Forest and Bird branch, updated the group on pest control at Gray’s Bush.

“We are fortunate to have such a local passionate group who work so well with DoC and are doing wonderful work with their pest control at Gray’s Bush,” Ms Shaw said.

The ECHBCB is working on a draft conservation management strategy, which will be notified to the public around June this year.

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