October 2020 Newsletter

October 2020 Newsletter

No. 51

During October there were 3 volunteer trips to Motuihe involving 75 adult volunteers 26 of whom were part of our leadership team. 

The next volunteer days are: 
Sunday 15 November,  Sunday 29 November: Contact info@motuihe.org.nz
Wednesday 18 November:  Contact volunteermotuihe@gmail.com

20 years celebration dinner a great success

Friday 16 October was a calm, warm, sunny evening, perfect for celebrating the 20 years that the Motuihe Trust has been operating. 83 people came together at the Outboard Boating Club to reminisce, reconnect with old friends and enjoy an excellent dinner together. The three guest speakers all gave an interesting overview of what had been achieved. Roni Harrison, the founder of the Trust, spoke about the early days and how the Trust came about, John Laurence, our chairman, described the progress made and the personalities involved and Matt Baber, Trustee responsible for translocations, spoke about the fauna and the wonderful biodiversity that has been achieved. The rolling photo presentation showed the huge progress made over the last 20 years, a fantastic achievement by the thousands of volunteers who have transformed our little island into a wonderful destination for those who like to enjoy a real experience in a natural environment.

Roni Harrison speaking at the 20 year dinner. Without her vision and hard work the Trust would not exist.

John Laurence speaking at the 20 year dinner. Without his hard work over the last almost 20 years the incredible progress would not have been achieved. 

Matt Baber speaking at the 20 year dinner. Without his experience and knowledge in the ecology world we would not have achieved the many successful translocations. 

The dinner was an opportunity for old friends to reconnect. Pat Tunstall, Alison Laurence, Gill Muggleston. 

Lots of reminising at the 20 year dinner. We enjoyed the wonderful cake Lois produced.

John and Roni cut the 20 year celebration cake,

Lois Badham, Steve Nelson, Hazel Hodgkin

New Trustees
A big welcome to a group of 5 new Trustees who bring a wide range of skills and experience to help the Trust build on what has been achieved over the last 20 years. 

Jon Hind, Michele Corso, Matt Ewen, Max Smitheram. Mark Spooner also joined the Trust but was unable to be present at the 20 year dinner where this photo was taken. 

Archaeology identification training
A group of leaders met Brendan Kneebone on Tuesday 20 October on Mt Eden to learn about identifying archaeology in the field. He was assisted by two DoC officers, Dr Caleb Hamilton, Senior Ranger Heritage and Brooke Jamieson, Senior Heritage Advisor, Auckland. The key message was that when you are planting, if you come across anything that does not look natural, ie shells, flints of rock, a dip in the ground, a flat terrace, stop work, take a photo and send it to Caleb. He will be able to tell you fairly quickly whether it is okay to continue to work in that area or not. This training will enable us to restart our planting programme in 2021. 

The training team at the top of Mt Eden/Maungawhau.

Water Taxi Trip Sunday October 4
A perfect spring day. Light winds, warm and sunny. Wes led a team of weeders who worked very hard to fight back the woolly nightshade and a bit of moth plant. Fiona, Claire, Carolyn and Jill Soufflot made a good start on clearing a field drain that will help rain water retention on the island. Jackie checked 8 cameras. A basic lighting system was installed in the wool shed cubicles. You will still need a reading light, but there should be enough light to sort gear etc. Jobs were undertaken around the nursery including securing the gas bottle cage. A hard working day but delightful conditions. 

The field drain clearance team, Fiona, Jill and Claire. Photo by Caroline Scanlan.

Dreamweaver Trip Friday 9 October
Friday 9th saw 54 souls enjoy a 'bracing' NE'er on the Dreamweaver from pier Z.  The highlight being a lucky few spotting a leopard seal swimming off North Head!  Wharf bay was a mill pond for the tender transfer to the block.  Orion Health brought 20 colleagues on their annual volunteer day with 23 from Johnson & Johnson (another repeat customer).  It was good to see Mike Wragg who brought his lovely family of 5 to do hard graft.  Graham, David, Phil deK, Frances and Joce led 25 weeders covering the right hand side of the track (off the main spine track) dropping down to Taraire Bush.  Heading south of Taraire bush more woolies were dealt to just before the bottom track turns right and, as ever, the paperclip was again attacked on its northern flank.
Meanwhile in the nursery Liz took two separate guided walks while Jenny (welcome to a trooper) and Simon oversaw an impressive display of nursery weeding.  The central columns at the back of the nursery now look in good order.  Liz had time to fire up the BBQ for the returning outdoor crew.  After considering a surf off Ocean beach we all took the tender from the block again to knock 20 minutes off the outward trip time - was still a bit blustery.....all home safely after a productive fun day
Simon Sheen

Water Taxi Trip 25 October (Labour Weekend)
Eleven volunteers came out on the water taxi and were joined by Fiona who was already on the island. Phil and Rebecca sorted the irrigation systems. It now operates more efficiently. Phil de Klerk, David Shiress, Lois and Jill worked hard in the heat on cutting out woolly nightshade. Jackie Rutherford and Emma walked the island changing batteries and memory cards in cameras. Fiona, Jocelyn and Jacqui continued with the clearing of the rainwater drain for the pond. Everyone worked really hard and achieved good progress for the island. Big thank you to Liki and Rudi for providing transport.
Fiona Alexander

Jocelyn and Jacqui work on drain clearing

Volunteers' and contractors' shower 
As it seems that getting back into the house is unlikely to happen this year, we built a shower at the back of the house. Stuart has undertaken to do the plumbing and water supply. The building itself is almost complete.

Fiona's brother Andy on the left and Cameron, an American yachtie who got roped into shower building on the right.