North Canterbury April eNews


2 April 2017

April eNews

Public Talk: Stocker Scholarship Winners

7:30pm, Tuesday 11th April 2017
WEA, 59 Gloucester Street (op. Art Gallery)

Eimar Egan and Rebecca Dollery, the 2015 winners will speak on the research projects they carried out in 2016.

Eimear is researching one of our favourite delicacies, the whitebait. He’s determining the age of the fish by examining their growth rates, in order to work out how long they spend at sea. This is done by counting and measuring the distance between the rings in the ear bones of the fish by using a laser, a bit like ageing a tree through the rings on its trunk. “My research is important because it fills the gap in understanding the whitebait’s lifecycle at sea and my results will help DOC and other interested groups make decisions on how to better manage whitebait populations,” he explains. Eimear’s research sites are all on Banks Peninsula.

In contrast Rebecca Dollery is looking at the challenges involved in restoring kanuka shrubland communities in an irrigated dairy environment in Canterbury. She’s investigating effective restoration methods in design, implementation, and management of successfully restored kanuka shrubland. The methods she devises will then be used as a template for land owners and other groups wanting to restore dryland areas in Canterbury and elsewhere, in a cost effective manner.
All welcome. Supper and a chat afterwards.

Field Trip: Ohinetahi.

10am Saturday April 8th
Meet at the entrance to Ohinetahi on Bay Heights, off Ernest Adams drive, Governors Bay.

Ohinetahi Bush Reserve has been owned and managed by the Summit Rd Society since 1992. It is 150 hectares of grasslands and regenerating and mature bush, stretching from Governors Bay up to the Summit road. Volunteers work every Tuesday on tasks including track maintenance, weed control and predator eradication. Sadly, about half of the reserve was damaged in the recent Port Hills fires.

We are privileged to be able to visit the reserve and see the bush that has survived and to hear of the plans to restore the bush that was lost in the fires. Anne Kennedy who manages the reserve has suggested we visit again in a years time to see the progress made by nature (with a bit of human help).

The site is a steady climb, so wear sturdy footwear. Bring your lunch and a drink, wet weather gear in case the weather changes, sunhat etc.

We meet at 10 am at the entrance to the reserve. There is also a parking area on Ernest Adams drive. Allow 3-4 hours for the trip, guided by a volunteer from the Summit road Society.

Contact: Helen Hills 

Working Bees

For more details of our working bees, please go to our website here.

  • Wilding Pine Eradication Days 
    7:30am Sunday 9th April.  
    Meet at Yaldhurst Hotel.
    Contact: Joy Talbot: 03 9422917  
  • 'Sanctuary' braided-river project
    1pm-3pm: Saturday 29th April 
    Western end of Coutts Island Road

Wanted: Co-leader for Mahoe-nui Bush Restoration Project  

   Would you like to help out with the organising of the Mahoe-nui Bush Working bees?

We are looking for a keen, organised, computer-savvy person to help with the organisation and advertising of the Mahoe-nui Bush working bees. We would like someone who can make a long term commitment to the project (at least a year).

Some of the tasks are:

  • Liaise with other Project leaders and CCC Port Hills Rangers on the upcoming working bees;
  • Help advertise the events via email (Mailchimp), Facebook and other social media, flyers, community websites, newspapers etc.
  • Communicate with volunteers who are keen to attend;
  • Preferably attend the working bees to oversee and help volunteers where required;
  • Take photos and report back on working bees;
  • Other ad hoc duties.

This is a great project to be involved with and you would be working with a lovely bunch of people. It is very rewarding. If you are interested please contact Vanessa on 021 0255 6918 or

Clifton Hill Flax Removal Project - leader wanted  

 We are looking for an organised, motivated person to take on this small conservation project.


There is a great wee project in the gully between Clifton and Richmond Hills to remove the plastic cages from around the flax plants as they have outgrown their cages.

We are looking for someone to take over this project.
Tasks include:

  • Liaise with CCC Park Rangers
  • Organise and advertise working bees to remove the flax cages
  • Sort and bundle the cages and return to CCC.

There are approximately 12 working bees required. Must be confident communicating and working with people, and be able to take the initiative and organise working bees with no supervision or help. For further information please get in touch with Vanessa (contact details above).

7 Weeks, 7 Rivers Photos.

Photos: Helen Hills

Other Events

“Walk for the Planet” and ECO Canterbury invite you to join the
7 Rivers 7 Weeks, Waimakariri River

1:00pm start, Sunday 9th April 2017

Meeting at "The Sanctuary" (part of the Waimakariri Regional Park), we will be cycling from the Sanctuary to the Brooklands Lagoon (about 5 kms). If you would prefer, you can go on a short walk along the river.

We have a range of speakers who will discuss the ecological challenges the river faces and how we might work together and with the river to address them.

Speakers confirmed at this stage include Cynthia Roberts, Ecan councillor; Sara Templeton, CCC councillor; Greg Byrnes, manager Tuhaitara Coastal Park; Greg Bennett, Chair Coastal Restoration Trust. Steve Attwood, bird photographer, will speak about and display photos of the braided river birds. We await confirmation of further invited speakers but open mike sessions will be held so all attendees will be able to share their attachment, their stories and their ideas about the Waimakariri on the day.

To reach the Sanctuary you turn into Dickeys Rd which is the last road on the left before the start of Northern motorway at Belfast. Dickeys Rd turns into Coutts Island Rd which you follow to the end – about 3 kms - see map.

If the weather is lousy we will move from the Sanctuary to a warm dry indoor setting for the speeches, for the sharing and for the filming of this part of the 7 Rivers 7 Weeks 'journey'. Check the Facebook page or contact organiser (Colleen) on 03 981 8556 / 021 103 4295 for details.

March for Science on Earth Day

10:00am - 11:30am Saturday 22nd April 2017

It's time to stand up for science!

You are invited to march from outside the Canterbury Museum, down Worcester Street to Cathedral Square.

There will be a few speakers and then the group will disburse. The mission is to express to our community, our government and our world that we will protect Science and evidence-based research and facts.

We are also marching to support those who are being negatively effected by attacks on Science in the U.S and all over the world. We are marching to show that we support and value Science in our lives and that we will stand up to protect…

See more at Facebook

Summit Road Society seek volunteers to help restore Fire Damaged Ohinetahi Reserve

The Summit Road Society is seeking volunteers to help with native forest restoration at Ohinetahi Reserve. They have spent some time assessing the fire damage and it is clear that the society has a huge restoration task ahead of it. Whilst nature will take its own course, there is a need to give natural regeneration a head's start by planting this coming winter. The City Council is planning to plant 7,500 plants in their reserves on Marleys Hill, Mt Ada and Kennedys Bush. The scale of damage means that the society has a similar target.

Clearly this is impossible by using just normal volunteers and the society will be looking to other groups, organisations and individuals to help. Initial thoughts are to divide the plantings into manageable projects and to try to find volunteers for each. Planting, however, is only the start of the process, and we will need a commitment from volunteers to return over the next 3 years to maintain and to weed around the plants.

For more information, contact the society - email or phone: (03) 326 3035 or visit their website.

Get in touch!

If you have any questions, suggestions or just want to say hello then please drop us a line.

Chair - Colleen Phillip (Ph: 981 8556)
Secretary - Frances Wall
Treasurer & public talks Ainslie Talbot
KCC - situation vacant
Mahoe-nui BushVanessa Horwell
Website, eNews - Michael Godfrey
Boyle Base - Lesley Shand (Ph: 379 0316)
Calder Green Reserve - Mick Ingram (Ph: 03 384 8080 / 021 816633)

Membership - for changes to membership or donations.  (Ph: 0800 200 064)

Committee members - 
Valerie Campbell
Steve Attwood

Penny Wright
Helen Hills
Hugh Thorpe
George Moon
Elizabeth Guthrey
Shannon Gilmore

Facebook group.

Links of interest


OECD says farming, emissions and waste putting NZ's 'green' reputation at risk.

Mike Joy unravels government's new water strategy here.

Questions over Government's water forum, as fourth group leaves.

Why Forest and Bird left the Land and Water Forum.

Ex North Canterbury Forest and Bird Committee member Greg Byrnes challenges minister over water policy. Interview with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation here.

Climate Change:

World Meteorological Organisation says record-breaking climate change pushes world into ‘uncharted territory’.

Global warming is increasing rainfall rates.  

Arctic ice falls to record winter low after polar 'heatwaves'  

© Vanessa Green

Diary Dates

8 April 10:00am
Trip to Ohinetahi

9 April 7:30am
Wilding Pine Eradication Day

9 April 1:00pm
7 weeks, 7 rivers, Waimakariri

11 April 7:30pm
Public Talk

22 April 10:00-11:30am
March for Science

29 April 1:00-3:00pm
'Sanctuary' working bee

To see a summary of upcoming events, please visit our website.