April 2024 Newsletter

April 2024 Newsletter

During April  there were 4 volunteer trips planned to go to Motuihe with 3 going ahead and 1 cancelled due to weather. 102 volunteers were involved lead by 13 Trust Leaders. 441 trees were planted. ..

Upcoming volunteer trips
The kiwi call trips are run by Julie and are for volunteers previously trained as kiwi monitors. If you are interested in this work contact Fiona on info@motuihe.org.nz and I will pass your enquiry on to Julie. 
Friday 3 May Dreamweaver (contact Simon on volunteermotuihe@gmail.com)
Sat/Sun 11/12 May Kiwi call survey 
Sunday 19 May Red Boat volunteer trip (contact Fiona on info@motuihe.org.nz)
Sat/Sun 8/9 June Kiwi call survey and camera grid
Sunday 23 June Red Boat volunteer trip (contact Fiona on info@motuihe.org.nz)

May Weeding Blitz
We are arranging a weekly Thursday water taxi trip during May to collect as many moth plant pods as possible, the trips will be free to volunteers.  While Dreamweaver is being serviced, we hope to stay on top of the constant battle against invasive weeds.
If you can help, please contact Jill on operations@motuihe.org.nz.

Kiosk report for 2024
We struggled this year with Red Boat ferry service cancellations due in part to the weather but also due to low passenger numbers. However, we were open for 23 full days and 2 half days. A total of 24 operators volunteered to work in the kiosk. Total sales for the season were $21,610 which is a really good result. This total will be added to as the stock left over will steadily be sold to volunteer groups. A big thank you to everyone who helped out in the kiosk this season. In particular a huge thanks to Stuart and Denise Macintosh who purchase the ice creams and transport them to the island. Without them the kiosk would not operate. 
The kiosk is not only a fund raiser for the project from the sale of ice creams, but it is also an information hub for visitors where they can find out about the project and what is happening on the island in terms of restoration. 

Fiona Alexander

AUT Volunteering Expo
The students were keen to support the Motuihe Project. They were enthusiastic and would like to get involved in all aspects from weeding, track clearing, monitoring, planting and nursery work.
Lois Badham

Motuihe T Shirts for sale
We have a number of T-shirts available which were printed to celebrate the releases of our little spotted kiwi (black) and our kakariki (white), these are $20 each. We also have our regular Motuihe Project collared shirts in navy blue and white ($35 each) and uncollared in the same colours ($25 each).  Please email operations@motuihe.org.nz if you are interested in purchasing any of these shirts.


Friday 19th April Dreamweaver trip
Before dawn the heavens opened as they did just after dusk. In between 58 volunteers from BNZ and EY enjoyed a warm, dry, calm day: perfect timing.  Dave, Phil and Simon joined the teams on the Dreamweaver and met Lois (DoC boat with Phil S and Elizabeth) who brought down the tractor to transport gear and lunch chilly bins to the nursery.
Some excellent co-ordination meant the weeding gear was transported to the end of the spine track, while the trailer was loaded  c300 trees. The tractor then took half the group to Puriri paddock where Phil, Lois and Elizabeth oversaw 45 Karaka, 30 flax, 45 titoki 25 tawapo, 50 puriri and 10 whau successfully planted (along with the odd weed pulling).
Dave, Phil S and Simon headed south, picked up the weeding gear and led the volunteers down the Bald Knob track. As we went further around and down towards the beaches - it got worse.  Suffice to say claims are being made for a record pod haul. Sensible estimating put the total at over 1,000 for the day. Add in some cracking woolies, a rhamnus and, one for the purist: apple of sodom and you have a spectacular weeding effort.
The volunteers had a well earned BBQ and quite a few took advantage of the weather for a refreshing swim in a becalmed Ocean beach sea. Dave did his farewell beach clean as he heads off back to Blighty. We’ll miss you Dave and hope to see you soon (with cake next time please).
A rapid trip back, with all the volunteers and 8 bags of pods, saw the Dreamweaver bar utilised with a happy, dry (other than those sitting on the bow) and tired boat load return to pier Z safe and sound.
Simon Sheen

Who knew Wooly Nightshade got this big?

Simon's son Jaxon made a great contribution to the moth pod haul.

Penguin monitoring trip Saturday April 20
A dedicated team of 9 new penguin monitors spent a very wet day looking for potential penguin burrows on the island.  We became more familiar with using our NZPI data-recording app, and practiced looking for signs of penguin habitation.  In spite of the rain, we found recent signs of activity which indicate our penguins may be heading ashore already in preparation for the new breeding season.
Jill Soufflot

Penguin burrow showing recent activity (Photographer ...

Red Boat trip Sunday 21 April
Cancelled due to weather.

Dreamweaver trip Tuesday 30 April

Lois and Simon hold up two of the hundreds of moth plant pods that have been removed from the island this year.. 

Once again the weather was beautiful for the midweek Dreamweaver trip with teams from Suncorp and RDT. After a slight delay in setting off (Kirsty and Paul stuck in traffic) Jill B, Phil, Liz P and Simon joined 35 volunteers with Lois meeting us at the block with the tractor. Graeme brought Lois and John out on his boat.
Phil reported:
Assisted by Monica and Jill B. 265 plants were loaded onto the trailer. Owing to a late start, a reduced number of planters and a slightly less accessible site the number in the ground today was just 141. Nevertheless a splendid effort.
The kakariki were vociferous and many were to be seen ahead of the tractor's first run into puriri paddock.
Meanwhile Graeme and Simon set off down south with the rest of the team for another moth pod bonanza. Once past Bald Knob the team set off down hill towards the southern beach. Hundreds of pods were harvested along with a few big woolies chopped. In the warm weather it really was a splendid effort.  
The Gulf was flat calm on the way back with the odd splash of Kahawai breaking the surface for a feed. Again everyone had a lovely day, got through a heap of work and arrived back at pier Z safe and sound.

Simon Sheen and Phil Francis