Free Interactive Science Workshops, Hamilton, May 8 & 12, hosted by The Fairfield Project and Science Learning Hub

Posted 3 years ago    0 comments

Kia ora koutou,

The Fairfield Project and Science Learning Hub are co-presenting two interactive science workshops on May 8th & 12th - they are designed for (but not restricted to) primary teachers, and will be focused on simple ecology activities for children.

Please see attached flyer for further details.


Myrtle rust update

Posted 3 years, 1 month ago    0 comments

Kia ora koutou,

An update from us at the Waikato District DOC office on the myrtle rust find on Karioi.

I have included a short update on the new national approach to myrtle rust announced today.


Local news

After myrtle rust was found on rata on Mount Karioi during seed collection by DOC staff as part of national response to myrtle rust, the decision was made just before Easter weekend, to close the tracks to the public and a media release and information to this effect went out to the i-Site.


A karakia was performed on Wednesday morning before surveillance work started.

Sandy Hounuku has requested a hui  to converse and answer questions about operations and surveillance.


Until now we have been  purely assessing the extent of the spread of myrtle rust on the mountain.

Two DOC myrtle rust specialists have arrived from Taranaki to help support our team in implementing our surveillance phase, Stephanie Tong and Keegan Bruckner.


Surveillance work on the Karioi track above the clearing/bush line heading towards the lookout, found ramarama growing up to 660m elevation. Everything on the seaward side from the Te Toto track to the summit appeared to be infected, up to 560m elevation.  Above  this altitude, the ramarama did not appear to be infected.


In the MPI surveyed section, below the bushline Ramarama and certain rata species were found to be infected (Metrosideros diffusa)


 The altitude is of significance as this will help us understand how high the rust can survive/spread and where we need to be investigating its effects in conservation lands. The current computer model had it at 500m altitude, so these findings will contribute significantly to understanding the reality of myrtle rust's likely spread.


On Thursday and Friday 5 & 6 April,  DOC had two teams working in Whaingaroa. Team One headed up the  Wairake track from Swan's farm to the Mt Karioi summit (756m), and Team Two surveyed Te Toto Gorge Scenic Reserve and coastal surrounds.  Neither team found any myrtle species that were infected in these areas.


National news:

The Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation say the fight against the plant disease myrtle rust is changing gear, given the prevalence of the disease across susceptible parts of New Zealand.


Ministry for Primary Industries’ Myrtle Rust Response Spokesperson Dr Catherine Duthie says the focus of efforts now had to be placed on a science programme designed to lift our understanding around the disease such as ways to treat myrtle rust, resistance and susceptibility, and to improve seed banking collection.


“A second key focus has to be on working with communities across New Zealand to support regional efforts to combat myrtle rust. As we transition to long term management, MPI and the Department of Conservation (DOC) will be engaging with iwi and hapu, territorial authorities, the plant and nursery industries, and communities to support the development of regional programmes. This could include regional surveillance programmes, identification and protection strategies for taonga plants and special locations, advice to landowners, seed banking, and broad community engagement.”


As part of involving and informing communities at the grassroots, MPI and DOC will hold hui with iwi and councils in affected regions over the coming months.


More than 540 properties are known to have been infected by the fungal disease since it was first detected on mainland New Zealand in mid-May 2017. Since then, more than 5000 myrtle plants have been securely removed and destroyed, and more than 95,000 myrtle plants inspected.


Members of the public are encouraged to continue to report any possible cases to the Biosecurity Hotline – 0800 80 99 66.


DOC will continue to focus on seed collection to secure the long-term future of native myrtle plants and monitoring biodiversity impacts to inform science and management actions. It will also continue efforts to protect sites of high ecological and cultural significance.


Media releases:


Further information about myrtle rust:


Ngaa mihi,

A big thank you to Jan Simmons - founding Forum member

Posted 3 years, 1 month ago    0 comments

Hi Everyone

Jan has retired after 31 years working in conservation.   Jan has been a member of the Waikato Biodiversity Forum since its beginnings in 2002. She was very supportive of the Forum as the concept was developed and she put her ideas and energy into making the Forum happen alongside other members of Councils, DOC,  Iwi, the University of Waikato, Research agencies, NGOs Federated Farmers and interested individuals.  She became a member of the Forum’s Focus group and over the years acted as a mentor and advisor to me in my role as coordinator.   When DOC offered to support my role by providing me with office space,  I shared an office with Jan which was a valuable daily connection for me as I negotiated my way through Forum projects.

Jan has been a constant  advocate for the Forum and  worked tirelessly for conservation throughout the Waikato Region. Her vision and dedication has driven a number of conservation efforts that have made a difference on the ground such as,  the Waikato Weedbusters Mobile Squad and the Community Nursery now based at mystery Creek .   Alongside being a DOC employee she already gives endless hours to volunteering and she intends to increase her involvement.  So it sounds like “retirement”   isn’t in Jan’s vocabulary.  The attached photo is a great example of Jan getting her hand dirty pulling weeds at Waingaro Reserve with the Waikato Mobile Weedbusters Squad.

In her words  “ After 31 years it is quite a wrench to be leaving as I have absolutely enjoyed the work – doing something I am passionate about and getting paid for it!  And Jan certainly has passion for conservation”.   She went on the say in her retirement email that    “ It is the people both inside and outside of DOC that have kept me here for so long. It is the people that have made conservation work interesting, stimulating, challenging and enjoyable. Thank you so much for being part of my working life. I look forward to continuing our association in a personal capacity as a member of the conservation community.”     So you may see Jan pop up somewhere in the future around the Waikato if you haven’t already had an association with her on various project. 

Once again I’d like to thank Jan for her passion, enthusiasm, commitment and dedication to conservation.   I am the richer for working alongside her and our species and habitats are in better shape from the work she has done and is still committed to undertaking.     Go well Jan.    All the very best.

Cheers, Moira

Jan pulling weeds at Waingaro Reserve
Jan pulling weeds at Waingaro Reserve

May 18th Biodiversity Forum Event in Whaingaroa

Posted 3 years, 1 month ago    0 comments

Kia ora koutou,

I am happy to announce that we have set a date for the next Biodiversity event, which will take place on the 18th of May, in Whaingaroa (Raglan). So please reserve this date.

The day will run between 9:30 and 3:00. Part of the day will involve a field trip to a coastal site to view and discuss several projects. Lunch will be provided.

An agenda and formal invite will be sent out shortly.


Happy Easter, kia pai to raa whakataa!


GPS workshops & Work Opporuntiy with Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust

Posted 3 years, 2 months ago    0 comments

GPS training workshops are available throughout the country to upskill conservation field teams and volunteers. click on the link below to learn about holding a workshop in your region.

Find Out More


We are searching for an amazing person to join us at Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust

Operations Manager – Full time


This role involves leading culturally significant environmental projects while working with great teams on a range of ecosystem restorations, catchment management areas, plant pest control programmes as well as training the employees within our iwi and communit

Location:  Morrinsville & various site locations

The successful applicant will have

·        A strong working knowledge of Health and Safety management

·        Five years’ experience in managing wetland and riparian restorations;

·        Experience as technical leader/project manager

·        Experience in the management and execution of pest control operations and qualifications in environmental sciences/conservation management  

·        Skilled at coaching, training and supporting staff

·        Knowledge and proficiency in Te Reo me ona tikanga Maori or a willingness to learn 


All staff must adhere to a pre-employment and regular Alcohol & Drug testing. 


A Copy of the full Position Description and Job application can be obtained by emailing

Or dropping in at the office 39 Anzac Ave, Morrinsville Mon- Fri 8.30am-4pm


Application for Operations Manager with a covering letter and C.V should be received no later than 5pm on Friday 30th March  2018   



Keri Thompson

Keri Thompson | General Manager a. 39 Anzac Ave P.O. Box 347 Morrinsville 3340|p. 07 889 3985 | m. 027 522 8158

e.| FB:




March Newsletter & Workshop Reminder

Posted 3 years, 2 months ago    0 comments

Kia ora koutou,

Attached is the March biodiversity newsletter. Enjoy.

Biodiv newsletter March 2018.pdf



Attached also is a reminder about the pest management workshop taking place next Tuesday 13th of March, 5:30- 7:30 at Go Eco, Hamilton. There are still places!

Pest Management Workshop Go Eco.pdf



Pest Management Workshop, 13th March 5:30-7:30, Go Eco, Hamilton

Posted 3 years, 2 months ago    0 comments

Kia ora koutou,

Pest Management Workshop Go Eco.pdf

The Biodiversity Forum will be hosting a pest management workshop on Tuesday the 13th of March, 5:30 - 7:30pm at Go Eco, Hamilton, as part of the Eco Fest.

The workshop will be a follow up from last September's Predator Free Hamilton workshop, which focused on trap types and function. On this occasion we will be looking at some wider aspects of pest management projects, including funding, monitoring and support networks.

Dave Byers of the Waikato Regional Council will be presenting alongside staff from Arocha's Karioi Project and DOC. 

A question and answer session on any aspect of pest management will be offered at the workshops conclusion.

Places are limited. Please RSVP to before the 9th of March, or until full.

Pest Management Workshop Go Eco.pdf

2 Funding Streams & Eco Fest

Posted 3 years, 2 months ago    0 comments

Eco Fest 2018 - March 10th-25th

Go Eco are excited to announce the inaugural EcoFest Waikato. We're organising a calendar of working bees, tours, workshops and a market focusing on sustainability and the environment. 

If your organisation or group wants to be involved please get in touch, or Ph. 8394452.




 Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust

The Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust is now seeking applications for its 2018 funding round for ecological enhancement projects in the Lake Taupo and Waikato River catchments.  Applications close on 31 March 2018.  Funding will go towards assisting organisations, agencies and individuals with projects that foster and enhance the sustainable management of ecological resources in the Lake Taupo and Waikato River catchments.

To obtain an application form or further information about the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust email: or visit


For further information contact either:

Dr Gwyneth Verkerk

Mobile 021 131 8234



Larnie Chrystall

Phone 07 858 8501



Small Scale Initiatives Fund

Are you a volunteer or community group undertaking animal or plant pest control? You may be eligible for a grant from the Small Scale Community Initiatives Fund. More info at


Open/close dates

Applications open: 28 February 2018, 9:00 am
Applications close: 28 March 2018, 5:00 pm