Kiwi con­ser­va­tion con wor work awarded

Hawke's Bay Today - - FRONT PAGE -

For Dar­ren Peters, sav­ing kiwi isn’t just about help­ing them, it also tells us some­thing about our­selves.

“These things are in­di­ca­tions of our own health,’’ he says.

‘‘What does it tell us about our­selves if we can’t look af­ter these species that help the whole ecosys­tem work? ‘‘So we’ve got to look af­ter them.” Peters’ work with kiwi con­ser­va­tion earned him a Good Egg award at the in­au­gu­ral Kiwi Awards in Lyt­tel­ton last week.

Peters, a De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion tech­ni­cal ad­viser, has helped with projects na­tion­wide in­clud­ing North­land, Coro­man­del, Taranaki and in the Ruahines, which saw him recog­nised along with sev­eral oth­ers.

Peters said com­mu­nity groups had helped kiwi num­bers come back in force in the Ruahine area.

“They were on their last legs when we started up there and we were for­tu­nate to get onto them in time be­fore they dis­ap­peared al­to­gether.”

He said the Ruahine project, named Te Po­tae o Awarua, be­gan in 2005. There were now five groups mon­i­tor­ing 15,000 hectares for pest con­trol.

Cap­i­tal Kiwi project lead Paul Stan­ley-Ward said Peters’ help set­ting up his Welling­ton-based project was in­valu­able.

“Dar­ren has given us the con­fi­dence and the tools to get on and do that stuff,” he said.

“If we’ve got a tech­ni­cal ques­tion or trou­bles with bu­reau­cracy, Dar­ren has al­ways been there at the end of the phone.”

Stan­ley-Ward said it was the lit­tle things that set Peters apart from the rest.

“If you’re in the bush and you’ve for­got­ten your lunch, Dar­ren’s al­ways the one with the spare sand­wich,” he said. “Dar­ren’s got a favourite phrase which is ‘I hate to wait’ and that’s the kind of en­ergy com­mu­nity groups need to get off the ground and get rolling.”

The awards were cre­ated by char- ity “Ki­wis for kiwi” and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Michelle Im­pey said she was de­lighted to see peo­ple such as Peters recog­nised.

“These pas­sion­ate and ded­i­cated peo­ple are fun­da­men­tal to achiev­ing our goal of in­creas­ing the kiwi popu- la­tion . . . and we wanted to cel­e­brate the amaz­ing work be­ing done.

“The time, skills, money and en­thu­si­asm in­vested by in­di­vid­u­als, kiwi con­ser­va­tion projects and busi­nesses that sup­port kiwi con­ser­va­tion, is in­valu­able”

Photo / Sup­plied

Dar­ren Peters trap­ping in the wilder­ness of south Gero­gia, United States.

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