News & Events

10 June 2014

It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Colin Shore as Honorary Ranger of Pigeon Bush Reserve. Colin is ex army, from the Wairarapa, and brings with him a great depth of skills and experience including planning, pest control, track maintenance and wetland restoration. He is Chairman of Forest & Bird, Wairarapa and a member of the Ornithological Society. His interests include tramping, hunting, kayaking and photography.

Colin is a self confessed bush basher who loves the outdoors and sees this project as a great challenge. We welcome Colin to the role and believe he is well and truly up to the challenge!

As many of you will know the position became vacant following the untimely passing of Neil Challands who died earlier this year at Wellington Hospital after a short illness, aged 55 years. Neil was highly respected and was an outstanding Honorary Ranger. Although Colin has big boots to fill we believe we have found someone capable of continuing and building on Neil’s hard work.

09 June 2014

TBfree New Zealand is working with us to stamp out pests in the Rangitoto Range to control bovine tuberculosis (TB) and bring the birds back.

The Hauhungaroa and Rangitoto ranges make up a part of New Zealand’s 10 million hectare TB risk area in which TB-infected wild animals have been found.

Rangitoto Station is one of our flagship reserves and home to kaka, tui, falcon and robins as well as giant totara, rimu and kahikatea all of which are in danger of pest browsing and predation.

NFRT Southern Reserve Manager Sharen Graham said the operation would follow up on previous aerial control in the area to protect native birds and bush.
“The trust actively supports the upcoming aerial 1080 operation because the method has previously proven to leave the ecosystem in a much richer state than when possums, rats and stoats are devouring native wildlife,” she said.

The objective of the national pest management plan is to eradicate the disease from at least 2.5 million hectares of the country’s total TB risk area by 2026. TBfree New Zealand aims to eradicate the disease from the Rangitoto Range as part of this plan.

09 May 2014

We are happy to see that no permits were granted this week for mining in Pureora which is very good news. It is hoped that continued public pressure will persuade governments not to destroy our precious places.

07 May 2014

In two days Simon Bridges, Minister of Energy and Resources, will announce the decisions on areas where the government will grant permits for mining exploration. One possible area is the Pureora Forest Park where conservationists fought hard in the late 70's to preserve this rare example of ancient North Island lowland forest. The success of this campaign inspired the foundation of the Native Forest Restoration Trust with the goal of protecting as much remaining forest as possible.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith insists that permits are only for preliminary exploration and will not necessarily result in mining activity taking place. However Pureora Forest is not protected under Schedule 4 and if significant mineral deposits were to be discovered it is likely that the government would consider trading off conservation values for economic development. The majority of the ancient totara trees in New Zealand are found in the Pureora Forest. It is also home to the endangered kokako.

On May 9, Simon Bridges will announce the permits he has granted. The Trust urges supporters to make their opinions known to both Simon Bridges and Nick Smith here. These ancient trees which have spent centuries growing should not be sacrificed for short term jobs and economic gains for a few.

17 April 2014

Testifying to the Trust's high reputation, the position of Manager attracted a strong field of applicants from whom the clear choice was Sandy Crichton. He began work in January and has quickly become part of the team, handling our affairs with the skill and diplomacy this key position requires. Sandy, who belongs to the NZ Ecological Society and to the Chartered Institute of Ecology & Environmental Management, comes with a proven record as a project manager, conservationist and protected species consultant. He has particular interests in the NZ falcon and this country's native bats, with expertise in survey methods for these species. 'Forest & Bird' magazine carried his illustrated article "On a wing and a prayer" in its May 2009 copy. Sandy's communication skills, and background operating in or with the voluntary sector have special relevance to his appointment with the Trust.

Sandy's professional qualifications and training are well suited to his work with us. His early experience in Britain included voluntary work on an archaeological and museum project where he designed and prepared educational resource material. He went on to complete a BSc Honours degree at the University of Sussex, which has a strong reputation in the sciences, before securing a Research Assistantship with the University of Cambridge on the field behaviour of meerkats. After several years of business experience in the UK, Sandy came to New Zealand in 2003 attracted by opportunities at Otago University where he gained a Postgraduate Diploma, awarded with Distinction, in the field of Natural History Filmmaking and Communication. The endangered NZ falcon became a particular focus while working alongside the Ornithological Society in efforts to promote awareness of the bird's need for protection, especially among landowners and forestry workers. At the same time, while acting as a voluntary consultant in Otago, Sandy set up a video company, Catskill Films, to make the documentary "Karearea, the pine falcon". This won awards at many film festivals worldwide, including top awards at Reel Earth Film Festival 2009. Three years in Britain first as a filmmaker, then as an ecologist concerned with ecological surveys, habitat management and protected species conservation, preceded Sandy's return to New Zealand. We are confident that Trust supporters will welcome our new manager's part in the effective working of the Native Forest Restoration Trust.

17 March 2014

This Friday 21st March is International Day of Forests 2014!

As a charitable group, the Trust relies heavily on the help and goodwill of the public. It is only because of people like you that we are able to continue restoring and protecting New Zealand's natural heritage. If you would like to help us make a difference please consider making a donation to celebrate International Day of Forests 2014. Thanks!

03 March 2014

Our official new Facebook page is now up and running. We plan to use facebook to provide more connectivity with our supporters, providing regular reserves updates, highlighting special events and providing a platform where we can share stories, videos and photographs from reserves. We will also have contributions from Trustees, Reserves Managers, Honorary Rangers and volunteers. To follow us on Facebook please click here

04 December 2013

The Trustees are very excited to announce the appointment of Sandy Crichton as Trust Manager. Sandy has a strong background in ecology and management and will be a great addition to the team. Sandy has worked as an ecologist in the UK including project management associated with large scale reptile translocations and large-scale bat surveys. He ran his own video production company for some years and spent over three years working with the NZ falcon both as a film-maker and a consultant. The focus of his position will be to assist the Trust in the implementation of its strategic plan which has been developed over the past year. More details will be given in the next edition of Canopy.  

04 November 2013

Over Labour weekend twelve members of the Nelson/Tasman branch of Forest and Bird joined the Friends of Mangarakau Swamp for an enjoyable working and relaxing weekend at Mangarakau.  Here is an except from Anne Harvey's trip report:
 Life can be full of disappointment . . .
. . . some people, disappointed by the weather forecast never left home. Some volunteers who ignored the forecast and went to Mangarakau were disappointed they put on weight despite daily hard physical work. (legendary shared meals) Several thousand alders were disappointed to be cut, sliced and wrenched from their near perfect habitat in the swamp. I was disappointed that the chocolate covered ginger supply that someone took for the weekend ran out prematurely.
But life is also full of delights . . .
. . . Saturday afternoon 7 of us were delighted to kayak up the enchanting Wairoa River with majestic rock bluffs, lime coloured nikaus sparkling out of the darker beech bush along the sweeping curves of the river. Navigating around and over logs and rocks on our way upstream became a mere glide downstream as the high tide reached its zenith and carried us toward home. It was a ‘grunt’ to say the least to paddle the last stretch into the westerly wind ripping up the valley but, . . . certainly a delight to have experienced the primordial grandeur of mature lush natural bush towering over the river.
Malcolm and Chrissie Smith (private landowners on the edge of the swamp) were delighted to have a bunch of bold volunteers armed to the teeth with pruners, loppers and chainsaws stride across their lawn and launch themselves into the area of swamp on their property. Volunteers were delighted that Malcolm carved an access track and that he and Chrissie joined the deforestation fracas. Deforestation is my term - Forest and Bird members merely call it "weeding"!
Robyn was delighted to see a Bittern flying and called for us to look and some were delighted to lift our heads from our work in time to see it circle overhead. I guess the Bittern was a bit disappointed to not see a mouse or frog in sight and that the rounded backsides he saw from that height were not within his food group.
A dance of disappointment and delight went on for most of the weekend as 10 volunteers wrestled ‘weeds’ (some of them four times their height) out of the native swamp. Other volunteers released new plantings around the swamp with the forecasters being quite wrong, - we needed sunscreen not raincoats. Five climbed to the bluffs to explore the cave above the swamp while bird monitoring was recorded everyday at dawn and bat spotting undertaken each night.
Perhaps the greatest delight of all this Labour weekend has been the experience of being part of a co-operative collaboration between private landowners, Forest and Bird volunteers, Friends of Mangarakau and the Native Forest Restoration Trust.
Robyn, Dave and Murray’s passion for this swamp has infected and influenced titled holder’s on the edge of it.
Landowners like Malcolm and Chrissie who choose to live in a remote area like Mangarakau Swamp presumably want peace and quiet and the escape from having to deal with groups of people. However, this Labour weekend they allowed a bunch of complete strangers access, - across their lawns, around and behind their sheds, scrambling down their banks to seek, disappoint and destroy self seeded alders. Even though their timber is prized in the northern hemisphere for making electric guitars they are a menace to our native NZ swamps.
A group of Kiwis with different backgrounds, beliefs and agendas led by the intrepid Ian Price from Nelson worked together as a team to eradicate and disappoint ‘weeds’ and were delighted to have supported the Mangarakau Swamp's intricate ecosystem once again.
Anne Harvey

14 June 2013

The Trust is finalising the purchases of two new reserves, one near Raglan and one in the Wekaweka Valley in Northland.   Details of the Raglan purchase are available in the latest copy of Canopy (here) and more information about the Northland property will be in the next issue.