Sweet new friend­ship

A help­ing hand from Dole brings sun­shine after the rain for the lit­tle is­land of Mo­tu­tapu and its host of vol­un­teers

Nadia - - NADIA + DOLE -

Tucked away be­hind Auck­land land­mark Ran­gi­toto Is­land, Mo­tu­tapu is the site of one of New Zealand’s largest eco­log­i­cal restora­tion projects. Over the past two decades, Mo­tu­tapu Restora­tion Trust vol­un­teers have planted the is­land’s 100 hectares of na­tive for­est, help­ing to cre­ate an invit­ing home for some of the coun­try’s rarest species. Threat­ened na­tive birds now breed safely here a er the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion’s re­moval of stoats, rats and pos­sums.

Ear­lier in the year, storms brought tor­ren­tial rain. Slips carved great slices from the is­land’s hill­sides, block­ing roads, tracks and dam­ag­ing other in­fra­struc­ture. The storm dealt a sig­nif­i­cant blow to the MRT’S con­ser­va­tion work and DOC was forced to close Mo­tu­tapu to the pub­lic.

Hap­pily, global fruit provider Dole has come to the res­cue with a spe­cial spon­sor­ship. This help­ing hand from Dole means that the Trust’s vol­un­teers are fi­nally in the process of ge†ing the 2017 plant­ing programme un­der­way. Along with the sup­port of DOC, the MRT is now able to con­tinue de­vel­op­ing habi­tats to achieve its long-term goal of cre­at­ing sus­tain­able pop­u­la­tions of takahē, Coro­man­del brown kiwi, tieke (sad­dle­backs) and other threat­ened species.

Bre† But­land, chair of Mo­tu­tapu Restora­tion Trust, says the con­tri­bu­tion of spon­sor­ships such as Dole are cru­cial to the Trust’s op­er­a­tions. “The vol­un­teer army ef­fort must be sup­ported by hav­ing the right equip­ment, site prepa­ra­tion and trans­port,” he says. The nurs­ery, for ex­am­ple, is 6km from the plant­ing site, so ev­ery­thing must be trucked over in readi­ness for a plant­ing day.

“The Trust greatly ap­pre­ci­ates the spon­sor­ship of Dole

“e Trust greatly ap­pre­ci­ates the spon­sor­ship of Dole as it means we can spend funds on the is­sues of great­est im­por­tance for the restora­tion of the is­land.”

as it means we can spend funds on the is­sues of great­est im­por­tance for the restora­tion of the is­land.”

Dole’s sup­port and in­vest­ment in Mo­tu­tapu is part of the com­pany’s com­mit­ment to con­ser­va­tion and sus­tain­abil­ity in New Zealand – and around the world. In the words of Masahiro Oka­fuji, pres­i­dent and CEO of ITOCHU Cor­po­ra­tion (the com­pany that owns Dole), “Busi­nesses that sim­ply pur­sue their own re­turns and ig­nore re­turns for so­ci­ety will not last.”

Now that’s an ap­proach the Mo­tu­tapu Restora­tion Trust thou­sands of vol­un­teers can def­i­nitely appreciate.

A slice of Mo­tu­tapu life. Un­like the pūkeko, takahē are en­demic to New Zealand. Vol­un­teers Liz Brooks, Steve Bar­ton and Kamilla Camilo. The MRT plant nurs­ery.

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