Home' Northern Outlook : January 23rd 2013 Contents 27
NORTHERN OUTLOOK, JANUARY 23, 2013
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DOING WELL: Hurunui College student Anna Clarke checks the health of a great-spotted kiwi. It is now living in
the wild in the Nina Valley as part of an effort to boost numbers of the species in the area.
Kiwis make a welcome
return to the Nina Valley
A student initiative to rein-
troduce the great-spotted kiwi to
the Nina Valley in Lewis Pass
saw the Department of Conser-
vation releasing two more birds
into the area on Monday.
They were introduced into the
wild by members of the Nina
Valley Restoration Group and
DOC rangers, accompanied by
representatives from Ngai Tahu
rununga, Tuahuriri and Kai-
koura, who blessed the birds
before they were set free.
Winner of the 2012 national
Ministry for the Environment
Green Ribbon award for Edu-
cation and Communication, the
Nina Valley Restoration Group
is made up of students, parents
and teachers from Hurunui Col-
They have undertaken exten-
sive predator control work in the
area for the past five years to
create a safe environment for
the release of the kiwi.
Tim Kelly, the Hurunui Col-
lege teacher responsible for the
project, says their success has
been reliant on a combination of
hard work by the group.
''There's also been a lot of suc-
cessful fundraising efforts and a
big helping hand from DOC.''
The restoration group receives
ongoing support from Kids
Restore New Zealand, a pro-
gramme under the Air New Zea-
land Environment Trust. It has
also received help from the BNZ
Save the Kiwi Trust -- now
Kiwis for kiwi -- in raising chicks
through the BNZ Operation
Nest Egg programme. The
young kiwi were incubated and
hatched at the NZ Conservation
Trust's facility at Willowbank in
They were then transferred to
the Bois Gentil Kiwi Cre
Paparoa until they grew large
enough to fend off stoats, which
are their main predators. They
join seven other birds already
released in the valley under the
The great-spotted kiwi are the
largest of the five kiwi species
and are found in the wild only in
Lake Sumner Forest Park,
Arthur's Pass and Kahurangi
and Paparoa national parks in
the central South Island. They
are threatened with extinction
and classified as vulnerable.
By ANTHONY DE VILLIERS
''Variety is the spice of life'' William
Cowper said back in 1785 and few
would dispute our lives have become
more diverse and complex than ever.
Cowper might equally have quip-
ped, ''diversity is the spice of the
environment'', for who can imagine
anything more flavourless than end-
less plains of cultivated monoculture
at the expense of wild country?
Biodiversity is not a static concept.
Any established ecosystem is the
product of many decades -- even mil-
lennia -- of developing relationships
between species and the climatic and
geological features in which they
It is a living system, like our
bodies, which are made up of inter-
related organs. If one part begins to
malfunction or is destroyed, the
whole is affected.
We have learned to accept the
importance of sound energy flow for
the health of our personal systems
and how to cultivate sensible habits
that keep this in place. The empha-
sis is on variety -- Five + a Day, for
example -- making time for exercise,
hobbies, recreation, and especially
for the outdoors, where mountain,
stream, valley and plain further
enrich our lives.
And every time we invade one of
these habitats, allow a species to
become extinct or disregard the
diversity of our environment, we
make a poor choice.
We compromise the health of our
home planet and claim there's a dis-
tinction between ''that out there''
We are most fortunate in the
Hurunui, where diversity -- both bio
as well as geo -- is favourably repres-
ented. Compare a drive from Kaiapoi
to Timaru with one from Amberley to
Our fragmented plains and hilly
complexes, crossed by rivers and
gorges, hold our attention.
They give us habitats as widely
diverse as wetlands, river valleys,
limestone ridges, cold temperate
forests and alpine grasslands.
This all ensures the Hurunui's
biodiversity exceeds the rest of Can-
Let us continue to value it and pro-
tect it at all costs.
Better still, let us engage pro-
actively in restoring indigenous
flora, starting right at home in the
to the world
Yolanda and Darren are
thrilled to announce the
safe arrival of much longed-
for wee baby boy Ryka. He
was born on December 13,
2012, weighing 7lb 12oz,
and is a gorgeous and long-
awaited little brother for
Corbyn and Jayvia. Many
thanks to Mr Colin
Conaghan, Mr Greg
Philipson at Repromed,
and Chris Chapman.
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