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Welcoming Spring at Glenfern Sanctuary



Introducing Steve and Christine Clemow, new Sanctuary Managers


Christine and Steve's enthusiasm is inspiring and they are wonderful ambassadors. They have a long connection with Glenfern, beginning as volunteers in 1991. Christine was a founding Trustee of Glenfern Sanctuary and is well known to friends of Glenfern for her dedicated work.


She continues with administration for the Trust and managing funding for programmes. She is also a tourism host welcoming day visitors and managing Fitzroy House and Glenfern Cottage for staying guests.


Steve, a maintenance engineer, has spent the last 34 years working in and around the corrections facilities at Paremoremo. He says leaving Paremoremo after so long was a bit strange but it's not that different in that he still works inside a fence, trying to keep the good guys safe and the bad guys under control. The view is a bit better though! “It seems like we're still on holiday…We’re pinching ourselves we are able to live, work and contribute within an environment we love!” - Christine


Embracing the Wairua of Kotuku


Glenfern Kotuku has important cultural and historical significance for Ngati Rehua Ngatiwai ki Aotea. Trustees Rodney Ngawaka, Darren Cleave, and Sonya Palmer deputising for Darren, bring their perspectives to our mahi. Last weekend we were humbled to visit Kawa marae.


The Ngati Rehua Ngatiwai ki Aotea Trust Board holds rangatiratanga and manawhenua and has kaitiaki o Aotea which includes Glenfern Sanctuary and Kotuku Peninsula. Following our marae visit and exchange of ideas, we have begun to formalise our engagement with a M.O.U. between the two Trusts.


Glenfern Diary

New vegetation control experts



The new sheep are doing an awesome job clearing up the paddocks. And they brought extra baggage when they arrived in July so now we are welcoming lambs to add to our flock! Thanks to Rob who supplied the animals, Fraser transport across the Gulf, and massive effort from Alan Phelps in organising the whole initiative.


Our Pāteke family


After a couple of weeks of checking and only being greeted by Dad we got the lovely surprise one morning to have a whole family of Pāteke pop out to say hi….We were a bit worried that bad weather and a flooded pond may have affected this year’s clutch so we were very happy to see them all! Even more exciting was discovering another two Mums with 7 and 6 chicks respectively in different areas of the Sanctuary. It's looking like a really good season for these special creatures.


You never know what you might see at Glenfern


We get lots of cool visitors at Glenfern from birds, geckos, skinks and humans. Introducing the beautiful Puriri moth, New Zealand’s largest moth. Unbelievably this guy will have been in the sanctuary for 5 to 6 years as a grub in one of our amazing Puriri trees but once it transforms into this beautiful moth it sadly will only survive long enough to lay eggs (around 48 hours).


Trustees check out our planned Ford upgrade


After extreme damage of a winter storm, Aotea contractors cleared the debris, but a more permanent solution is required.


Reflections from Te Pukenga - Level 4 Toi Ohomai Conservation Operations visiting classes




In June collecting trapping data plus heaps of other activities were undertaken by Toi Ohomai students from Whakatane as part of their syllabus and in-the-field learning. A second group were busy the past week.


“It’s been a great visit with lots of learning and opportunities, and everyone has enjoyed their visit immensely,” says Joanne Spod, Regional Engagement Facilitator, Learning Support and Engagement.


“It's exciting for the students to see and hear about the work and programmes first-hand - from the Sanctuary team and various guest speakers from local conservation projects / companies (About - Envirokiwi & Vacancies | Tu Mai Taonga)"


Joanne says with the wide range of conservation employment opportunities available now and coming up in the future, hopefully many of the students will go on to fill vacancies and internships to start their career pathways in the field.


Some of the Sanctuary jobs they completed:

  • Checking & setting traps & monitoring tunnels / inkcards, Re-inking cards

  • Replenishing trap bait supplies/trap servicing

  • Loop Track clearing, brush clearing, cleaning/relocating signs

  • Removal of fallen logs/branches from track and Sanctuary fence line

  • Weeding/tidying gardens, Filling driveway potholes, Gathering firewood

  • Painting shed doors, Tidying boatshed & clearing up under the jetty

  • Lamb feeding!

What our visitors said:

“We're all feeling super grateful for the opportunity to come and see this beautiful part of New Zealand.”

"It's been so much fun being out in the bush, learning about native flora and fauna."

"We've been able to admire a wide variety of native birds that we just don't see on the mainland.”

"I was able to overcome the fear of heights [on the Kauri tree bridge].”

“There is a shared pride in our group, knowing we are working hard together to protect our super unique and important environment."

“Really enjoyed scrambling around the bush in the name of conservation."

"It's been a privilege for me to be able to join our students as van driver/ 'camp mother'/student support, and a highlight for me was the abundance of kaka and kereru flying around the grounds, and seeing the trapping data collected by the students via the new ArcGIS app after their rounds.”\




Accommodation bookings are filling up fast

Remember public transport to Aotea by plane or ferry is also booking up fast so don't be disappointed! Plan your summer holiday now!

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