On a lighter note, I spent last Friday in Blenheim visiting the office and launching the Marlborough Environment Awards, which are sponsored by the Cawthron Institute. I was delighted to participate in a field trip to look at two projects in the Marlborough Sounds that are delivering fantastic conservation results in partnership with communities.
The first was the Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary. The project was started in 2008 with over $750,000 donated by the community for predator control next to the Picton port.
The second was the Mistletoe Bay Conservation Trust, which has raised $4 million since 2004 to develop a superb environmental education facility focussed on sustainability. The leadership for this project has come from Simon Heath, Principal at Renwick School – it is a really exciting project linking conservation and education that’s been driven from the grassroots but has pulled in a wide range of partners. The Trust has a vision to create another two facilities across New Zealand focussed on conservation education for low decile schools. They are working with Save the Children and Stephen Tindall of the Tindall Foundation is the Trust’s patron.