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Newsletter: Spring Lockdown at Glenfern

Kia ora everyone, we hope you are all doing ok in this funny little world of ours. Here's a little light lockdown reading from Glenfern to keep you updated on what's been going on inside

the fence.

We have been very lucky to have this little piece of paradise to ourselves over the past few months. Our friend chicken the kaka still checks in with us most mornings. We are the only humans she has seen in months. Perhaps she prefers it that way, or maybe she checks in because she is worried our species is going extinct.

Although it feels like groundhog day for all of us, nothing has changed for the rats. During this time we have been very much heads down and focused on checking the 850 trap stations within the predator fence. Our last run of rat monitoring we completed in August showed we had a 1.6% rat population density inside the fence compared to 45% outside the fence where there is no pest control. However, spring brings warmer weather and more food so we can’t stop there.

Unfortunately because of covid we have missed out on a lot of activities. Our usual volunteer groups haven’t been able to visit. There has been no one walking the loop track and no tour groups to chat with. The spiders have moved in because there have been no guests to enjoy our accommodation, or all the spring birdlife that is currently waking us up at all hours of the morning. We also missed out on the Toi Ohomai polytech crew coming to visit which would have been a huge contribution towards some mahi on the peninsula and of course the company and learnings from those experiences are always lots of fun. We do however hope to see you soon and would like to give a shout out to the volunteer groups who are still continuing to chip away in the background at future projects for this place. Your work does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Also thanks to all the guests who are determined to visit the motu and keep rescheduling their bookings. One day the stars will align.

We were very happy to still be able to go ahead with stage two of our summit to sea riparian planting. There is a stream that runs from the Pateke pond down into Fitzroy Harbour. The goal has been to fence and plant natives alongside it to create a safe corridor for those Pateke to move safely down to the coastline and feed. This project hasn’t gone ahead without its complications and learnings. Because we are planting alongside an archaeological site which were once Maori terraced gardens, we were happy to bring iwi to the table to learn what was appropriate to carry out this project. The end goal was much the same. Have respect for the whenua and protect the stream. Without shade there cannot be water. Without water there cannot be life.

Thank you to Chris and Sarah who raised all those beautiful natives we have to put in the ground. We had a great team join our outdoor bubble to help us plant over a couple of days. Thank you to Rodney for your karakia, Alan Phelps for doing the fencing and the Hillary outdoors crew who joined us with spades and gummies to help us plant. Some of the local tamariki also gave up their Saturday arvo to help put plants in the ground. Thanks team, you should be proud to visit those trees in 6 years time and see how much they've grown.

Tony Bouzaid (1940-2011)

Lastly we would like to take a moment to remember why we do the work that we do. It has been 10 years this October since Tony Bouzaids passing. In 1990 when he and his wife Mal bought the property, Tony set out to create a safe haven for the native species that lived here. 10 years on and the legacy of Tony and many others who have put their hearts into this place continues. There are plenty of friends and family on and off island who were, and continue to be involved with Glenfern. Thank you for believing in his vision. We are very proud of the pathway this place is taking.

Glenfern’s whole ethos revolves around caring for the whenua which is the Kotuku peninsula and the taonga that call it home. Many others on this motu live by the same principals. However during these strange times it is just as important to take care of ourselves. For if we fall apart who will be left to look after this place.

Take care and we hope to see you sometime soon.

Nga mihi Brad, Bridget and the Glenfern Team.


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