Mayor's Column for September 2016

Monday, 05 September 2016

Welcome to this month’s column.

On Saturday, I attended a very special Department of Conservation celebration of the Kokako Recovery programme. This programme was started in the late 70’s, and early 80’s when it was recognised that the Kokako was in real danger of extinction, and action was needed if it was to survive.

Saturday’s event was an excellent occasion, as DOC, Forest Service, Ngati Rereahu and many volunteers shared many insights into this truly amazing journey, based at Pureora, and in the Rangitioto range. Using many innovative techniques to find out why the Kokako was disappearing, it was identified that possums and rats were decimating the young Kokako eggs and chick populations. It was the advent of major aerial and ground based pest control programmes that has allowed the Kokako to survive and thrive. This recovery programme has allowed for Kokako to be liberated into other areas such as Mt Pirongia, Maungatautari, and further afield.

This event was to celebrate the success of this program, and to celebrate the milestone of the Kokako now being at sustainable population numbers once again, with over 1000 breeding pairs, of which 450 are located in the Pureora Forest Park. It was a remarkable story, and showed how a great partnership between DOC, Forest Service and Ngati Rereahu has achieved something that is ground breaking for NZ. It was great to hear from the patron of the Kokako program, Dame Malvina Major, (the Kokako is known as a songbird, hence her connection!) who gave a very humorous account of her relationship with birdlife.

Te Kuiti Fire Brigade Award

On Saturday night Te Kuiti Fire Brigade presented John Grainger with a long service award. It is always special to see recognition like this for long service, and John is thoroughly deserving of this, as he contributes to our wider community in many ways, whether it is commentating at the many shearing events held in our district, or auctioneering at many fundraising events, all done on a voluntary basis. Well done, John.

King Country Rugby

Congratulations to the King Country Rams on a great start to the Heartland Championship with 2 very good wins. Hopefully they can continue this form, and we look forward to seeing them perform in Te Kuiti on the 17th of this month against Wanganui.