North Canterbury eNews May 2017


30 April 2017

May eNews

Kia ora << Test Preferred Name >>,

Lance McCaskill Memorial Address and AGM.
Guest speaker: Kevin Hague, Chief Executive of Forest & Bird

7:30pm, Tuesday 9th May 2017
WEA, 59 Gloucester Street (op. Art Gallery)

"New Zealanders love nature and want to see it protected, so why do political parties mostly ignore conservation when it comes to General Elections?" In his talk Kevin will dispel some myths, lay out Forest & Bird’s election year priorities and ask the public to help make conservation something politicians can no longer afford to ignore.

The talk will be preceded by a short AGM. Supper afterwards. All welcome.

Field Trip: A Guided Walk through our own Botanic Gardens.

1.15 - 3.30pm, Sunday 7th May 2017.
Meet at the Old Information Centre near the Botanic Gardens bridge
Capacious carpark is accessed from Armagh Street.

Explore the plans for the new Gondwanaland section and be guided through the New Zealand section by experienced guides from the Friends of the Botanic Gardens. If you wish, we can conclude the session with afternoon tea at the new Botanic Gardens Cafe.
Cost: donation of $10.00 /person to the Friends of the Botanic Gardens fund. This fund is used to provide facilities and projects not covered in their normal funding.  

Please email: or phone Valerie on (03) 3805087 or cellphone 022 0646 199 to confirm attendance and numbers in your party so the Friends can provide a suitable number of guides.

Mother of all Cleanups

9:30am, Saturday 13th May
Estuary walk carpark off Ferrymead Park Drive (and other sites - see below)

Last year the Ōpāwaho Heathcote River Network, along with the Avon Heathcote Ihutai Trust and the Avon-Otakaro Network organised a city-wide clean-up of our waterways. There was great community support with over 1,300 volunteers joining in to collect around 20 tonnes of rubbish from our waterways and its banks. 

Forest and Bird are again coordinating the clean-up of the area both sides of the Ōpāwaho Heathcote River between the Ferry Road roundabout and the Ferrymead Bridge. Because this area is the largest, please be at the estuary walk carpark off Ferrymead Park Drive (signposted from Bridle Path Road - google maps) at 9:30 am so we can arrange groups. Usually we also clean up on the mud flats and Calder Green Reserve salt marsh but this year the tide will still be high restricting access to the edges and the higher parts of salt marsh.

There will also be clean-ups at other sites:  

  • 9.30 Fifield Terrace; meet at Wilson's Road.
  • 10.30 from Clarendon and Richardson Terrace; meet at the Radley Street Bridge.

A full list of starting times and sites along the river will be published on the Ōpāwaho-Heathcote River Network website 

The Clean Up will be finished by 1pm so the City Care crew can start collecting rubbish. A BBQ will be held at The Brewery (The Tannery) in Woolston from about 12:30 pm for those who would like to socialise with like-minded people.

What to bring: gloves, appropriate shoes or gumboots and clothing suitable for the weather and the job.

 There is no need to confirm if you plan to come and help but if you would like more information please contact Joy Talbot  phone:  03 9422 917

7 Weeks, 7 Rivers Photos


Working Bees

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

  • Mahoe-nui
    There will be no working bees over winter. Instead efforts will be directed to restoring bush destroyed in the recent fires. For details see here.  
  • 'Sanctuary' braided-river project
    1pm-3pm: Saturday 20th May
    Western end of Coutts Island Road

Volunteers wanted

Supper Helper(s)

If you are a regular attender of our monthly public talks, you could help the committee (who are generally tied up with other aspects of the meeting) by ducking out to the kitchen ten minutes before the end of the talk and setting up the supper. If you would like to help, please let us know or phone Mike: (03) 382 9912

Committee Members

For fun, fulfilling and important conservation work, please consider joining our North Canterbury branch committee. Nominations for the North Canterbury branch committee should be communicated to the Secretary soon although nominations are taken at the AGM. People take roles that interest them within the team and we encourage members to do only as much as they are comfortable with and to work in ways they enjoy. The current committee are discussing ways to make committee membership accessible to Forest & Bird members outside of Christchurch.

For more information contact the Chairperson,  phone 03 981 8556 or Frances the branch secretary through the branch email 

Facebook Administrator

Are you Facebook savvy and keen to help out Forest and Bird? We need someone to manage the North Canterbury Facebook connection with the Canterbury Forest & Bird Facebook group; this includes posting events, updating the members about meeting/event times, popping up the odd interesting article and replying to the odd comment (or passing the buck on to someone else to answer a question.)

This role would take about an hour a week (max) and we would ask that Facebook get's a quick look every few days. You would receive emails every now and then requesting content be posted.

If this sounds like something you could help us out with, email

Ohinetahi Field Trip.

Photos: Helen Hills

Environment Court backs protection of Mackenzie Basin.

Just before Easter the Environment Court came down with a very positive decision on the long running battle between farming interests and the Mackenzie District Council over what is known as Plan Change 13.

Rosalie Snoyink from Mackenzie Guardians, which has defended the ecological values of the Mackenzie Basin for over eight years through numerous hearings, says the decision by Judge Jackson is very good for this fragile environment under threat from irrigation and intensive dairying.

She says the purpose of PC13 is to protect the Mackenzie’s outstanding natural landscape from inappropriate subdivision, development and use. The robust rules confirmed by the court will now make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to carry out further conversion of high country land between Twizel and Burke’s Pass.

More information can be found here.

Hands Across the Sand

11.30am, Saturday 20 May
New Brighton Pier

Make a stand against deep sea oil drilling.

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 Ainslie Talbot
KCC - to be confirmed
Mahoe-nui Bush - Helen Hills
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
Rick Robinson
Shannon Gilmore

Facebook group.

Links of interest

Short 5min documentary on water quality

Stuff article on 'swimmability'

Guardian piece on bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef

Increasing development at Flock Hill station

25min video on the battle to remove rats from Breaksea Island