Top Image: Abberley Park Hall
The meetings have been postponed. We’ll notify everyone when the new dates and venue have been decided, probably late October or early November.
As there is ongoing uncertainty if we will be Level 1 or Level 2 next week, our next meeting (AGM and GM) on Friday 15 October, 2021 will be at a different venue:
Abberley Park Hall, 15 Abberley Crescent, St Albans, Christchurch 8014
This will begin with our AGM at 1.30pm, followed by a General Meeting at 2pm. I’ll send members agendas for both the AGM and GM early next week. Please note, we will not be providing printed copies on the day. The minutes of all previous meetings are available on the members’ page, as too are reports and audited accounts.
All paid members are entitled to nominate office bearers (including themselves) and to vote at these elections. As funding for the 6-year Partnership Programme is now coming to an end, ‘where to from here’ will be a topic for discussion. If you haven’t been to meetings for a while, this is definitely the meeting to add your input.
Following the August newsletter, comments and questions about gene editing flew into my inbox. The short answer to most of them, is that pest animals and plants are devastating braided river ecosystems. Managing these pests is costly and time consuming. Given the other pressures placed on braided rivers and other indigenous ecosystems, innovative biosecurity tools are being discussed. Check out this Radio NZ podcast, where panel of experts at the 2021 NZ International Science Festival discussed gene editing, mātauranga Māori and pest control . Two quotes from this grabbed my attention (emphasis mine):
“Some of the core principles of mātauranga Māori have a lot to do with using resources respectfully. Being aware of the whole environment within which a species exists, and ensuring that it is well taken care of. And with that, mātauranga is an advanced sense of risk management. Something that I really wish that decision-makers had applied before they imported all these species that are causing havoc.” – Aroha Mead
“Gene editing does feature in [Māori] narratives. What I’m wary of is people running off and weaponising that.” – Tame Malcolm.
Sonny Whitelaw firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming surveys. If you have never taken part in a survey before, these are a great way to see the birds and meet those who have been looking after them. A reasonable level of fitness and agility is required, as there is walking over rocks and across waterways. Please contact each organiser for more details.
- Ashburton Hakatere River, Sat. 6 & Sun. 7 November. Contact Edith Smith: email@example.com
- Opihi River, Tuesday 09 November. Contact Helen Greenep: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- INTEL Wetlands Conference is being held in Christchurch 10-15 October. There is some discussion about whether all or some of it may be held virtually, so please check if you are planning to attend
- Applications for Environment Canterbury’s Waitaha Action to Impact Fund close at 10.00am on Monday 11 October
- The NZ Rivers Group’s have three awards that are currently open for applications
- Advancing Shorebird Conservation with Data-driven Tools – eBird
- Blooming pest pops up on Tourism New Zealand website despite efforts to halt promotional pics of Russell Lupin – Stuff
- The frustrating story of “Persistent Rat” and a banded dotterel from the Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group
- Dr Helen Blackie of Boffa Miskell has developed long-life ceramic lures for rats, stoats and possums. Compared to current lures, which last days at most, these new lures can last for months even in extreme weather – all while attracting 3.5 times as many rats as current peanut butter lures. The product, named ‘Poa Uku’ will be commercially available after the Auckland lockdown is lifted.
- Just a reminder, that Rohe Kōreporepo – The Swamp, the Sacred Place 2021 – New Zealand International Film Festival 29 October – 14 November Christchurch. Wetlands provide the best natural defence against devastating floods. Film by Katherine Gallagher (Seven Rivers Walking)
explores the re-flooding, re-creation and restoration of our wetlands by 60 kaitiaki repo/swamp guardians from throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.
- The Environment Defence Society has published most (possibly all) of the individual presentations given at the August conference in Christchurch on their Vimeo page. These include the problems facing Canterbury’s braided rivers from land use change with implications for the braided river birds that form an essential part of these ecosystems. As individual videos can be a bit hard to find on the EDS page, I’ve embedded Philip Grove’s presentation video below. I would also recommend Susan Walker’s presentation on the future of the high country’s indigenous biodiversity and Mike Joy’s presentation on the real cost of and impacts of nitrogen loading on the ecosystems of our waterways. The panel discussions are also highly recommended. These are not chit-chat. They’re honest and very confronting.