Waikato Landcare Networking Day 2019 Summary

Waikato Landcare Networking Day 2019 Summary

Tuesday, 19th November - Otaua Community Hall


Hosted by NZ Landcare Trust, Waikato Regional Council and Whakaupoko Landcare Group.

This event is organised on an annual basis in different parts of the Waikato, with a different landcare group hosting each year, to enable representatives from all the landcare and community groups in the Waikato to discuss current issues affecting their areas, share ideas and offer support, and to develop an understanding of each group’s programmes and strategies. The format is one of open discussion.

This year’s group host, the Whakaupoko Landcare Group, meant many people travelled to the boundary between Auckland and Waikato to the Otaua Community Hall, with a field trip to the Muir farm, on the banks of the Lower Waikato River after lunch and a BBQ at the Sinclair property between Patumahoe and Waiuku to conclude the day. The theme for the day was “Community partnerships in environmental management” – see the programme outline in the flyer below (1).

Waikato Landcare Networking Day 2019 Summary

We started with a karakia then the programme was presented by Bala Tikkisetty from Waikato Regional Council. We had two presentations with a water quality focus – the first by Dr Merrin Whatley, who highlighted the value community water quality monitoring can add to improving catchments. A PDF of her presentation is below (2).

The second was by Henry Stenning, Agrilink Consultant, who presented on the research he has been undertaking for the last four and a half years on how to reduce sediment from horticulture, specifically outside vegetable growing. A PDF of his presentation is below (3).

A networking session facilitated by Nardene Berry from the NZ Landcare Trust got people moving and talking with others they hadn’t met yet about a variety of things including special things you like about where you live, aspects that have changed over time and how you would like to see these improve. Given the time constraints, Nardene hopes the conversations that happened in this session were worthwhile.

Waikato Landcare Networking Day 2019 Summary

Then the Otaua School Rat Rangers came and presented to the group about the amazing work they have been undertaking.
You can see a video about their work here: https://vimeo.com/373261826

Andrew Sinclair from Whakaupoko Landcare Group, presented on landowners working together to enhance biodiversity through pest control and connecting people with biodiversity through simple monitoring. He highlighted the collaborative Hub day concept as an example of something that can be duplicated with good success and how it is in the initial stages of building community capability in the first instance. A PDF of his presentation is below (4).

The last presentation of the morning was from Andy Saunders from Predator Free Whiriwhiri who discussed how they have used technology to engage the local community and dramatically simplify the process of educating and enabling locals. Their experience has shown there is a common mindset in the community:
• They all hate rats.
• They want to do something about introduced predators.
• They assume the neighbour is doing nothing.
• They don't know how to start.
• They thinks it's an impossible task.
• They think of their property as a responsibility silo.
• They don't understand the scale of the damage done by these introduced predators.
• They fear technology.
• They all really hate rats.

He briefly explained the scope of the Whiriwhiri project and the results they’ve had.
He demonstrated the Trap.nz system and how it feeds into their public website which has over 1,000 predators trapped: https://predatorfreefranklin.nz/action-map/

He also touched on the Cacophony project which is using artificial intelligence combined with thermal imagery and audio systems to improve pest control catches.

He showed this short video which demonstrates the importance of scent trails and how we could better utilise them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JOe0wibl8M&feature=emb_logo

A PDF of Andy's presentation is below (5).

Waikato Landcare Networking Day 2019 Summary

For further reading, you can read an article on Predator Free NZ about Predator Free Whiriwhiri: https://predatorfreenz.org/predator-free-whiriwhiri/

More about scent trails and the Cacophony project here: https://cacophony.org.nz/importance-scent-trails

Morning tea and lunch was provided by the Waiuku Thrillseekers Netball Club who catered a delicious feast for everyone. Thank you.

After lunch, we heard briefly from Stu Muir who outlined the restoration work he has undertaken on his farm to improve habitat for whitebait, including removing willows, planting thousands of natives and undertaking pest control.

Further reading about Stu and Kim’s work can be found here: https://predatorfreenz.org/stu-muir-brings-life-dying-wetlands/

We then car pooled down to the Muir farm and walked along some of the newly-developed boardwalks which will allow further access for weed and pest control, as well as educational purposes.

Those that had to leave at that point did so, while those that were able to carry on to Andrew and Louise Sinclair’s property for a BBQ to round off a great day of networking. Many thanks to Andrew and Louise for hosting everyone and to all those that came to the day.

Bala Tikkisetty’s powerpoint presentation on Healthy Rivers updates for November can be downloaded below (6).

We would appreciate your feedback on the day, so please complete the Landcare networking day evaluation form here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=qC6ktXQavk2xV2wof8syDNY9zxKfw8tFgWRn0ifoXuZUOEtDTU9OME1WWkEyNzlLNFBYOVFGSUhOWC4u

And we look forward to seeing you at the next year’s event.

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