Takahe¯ Res­cue, with Mitre 10

For al­most eight years Mitre 10 has worked with DoC to en­sure the con­tin­u­ing sur­vival of the takahe.¯

Element - - Lifestyle - By Andy Ken­wor­thy

Since 2005 Mitre 10 has in­vested more than half a mil­lion dollars in the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion’s (DoC) Takahe¯ Re­cov­ery Pro­gramme. The com­pany last year signed a fresh agree­ment for an­other three years, which will see them dou­bling their an­nual fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion and tak­ing an even greater role in build­ing takahe¯ aware­ness and ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

Over the years sup­port from Mitre 10, via Mitre 10 Takahe¯ Res­cue, has al­lowed the Takahe¯ Re­cov­ery Pro­gramme to up­grade and build new breed­ing units and safe homes, en­hance mon­i­tor­ing and con­trol of takahe¯ preda­tors, trans­fer birds to off­shore is­lands and preda­tor-free sites and pur­chase much-needed health and main­te­nance ma­te­ri­als.

Mitre 10 staff even tramped into the snow­bound Murchi­son Moun­tains car­ry­ing traps to help sup­press the stoats that prey on th­ese pre­cious birds. Mitre 10 wa­ter pip­ing sup­pli­ers Hy­droflow has as­sisted with the wa­ter sup­ply sys­tem at the Bur­wood Takahe¯ Rear­ing Unit and ‘Mitre 10 Easy As’ front man Stan has helped build cul­verts to keep preda­tors out.

Mitre 10 staff are also reg­u­lar vol­un­teers at the re­leases of takahe¯. So far birds have been suc­cess­fully translo­cated to five preda­tor-free off­shore is­lands: Tir­i­tiri Matangi, Kapiti, Maud, Mana and Mo­tu­tapu, as well as to seven preda­tor free sites: Christchurch’s Wil­low­bank Wildlife Re­serve, , Dunedin’s Orokonui Eco­sanc­tu­ary, Welling­ton’s Zealan­dia cen­tre, the Te Anau and Mt Bruce wildlife cen­tres, the Maun­gatau­tari Eco­log­i­cal Is­land and the Cape Sanc­tu­ary at Cape Kid­nap­pers in the Hawkes Bay.

Martin Genet, Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion Takahe¯ pro­gramme su­per­vi­sor, said: “Mitre 10 has been our pri­mary part­ner for the last eight years. They have helped us with the con­struc­tion of pens and in­cu­ba­tors and as a re­sult we have raised a whole lot more birds.”

Mitre 10 Chair­man Martin Dip­pie has had the chance to get up close and per­sonal with the takahe¯ .

“Help­ing DoC with the translo­ca­tions and in es­tab­lish­ing new habi­tats for the birds has been fan­tas­tic,” he says. “I helped lay stoat traps with DoC in the snow, helped build pens and watched the re­leased birds in their new habi­tat. It was ex­cit­ing to help in es­tab­lish­ing a breed­ing ground for such a rare bird.

“Our lo­cal stores are also get­ting be­hind the re­cov­ery pro­gramme and vol­un­teer­ing which is great to see as it has built a great sense of lo­cal own­er­ship. Mitre 10 is a kiwi com­pany so this pro­ject to save a unique part of New Zealand is some­thing we are proud to ded­i­cate our time and en­ergy to.”

Two takahe¯ re­leased on Mo­tu­tapu Is­land by Mitre 10 vol­un­teers and Iwi rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Photo: sup­plied.

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