Reviving the kokako

The kokako, sometimes called the blue-wattled crow, is one of New Zealand’s many unique species. It is about the size of a magpie, with strong legs for hopping and climbing trees. Its beautiful blue-grey wings are rounded and only good for gliding,...... Read More

What’s science got to do with it?

Gardening, like everything else in nature, is based on cycles that are all interdependent. If you want to get on top of insects in your garden you have to know why these pests get out of control; in short, know something about the dynamics of balance. Perhaps...... Read More

Pet or pest?

Some say a weed is just a plant in the wrong place. Context makes the difference between a plant and a weed, or a pest and a pet. If perspective is everything, then when we are dealing with animals, we need to take special care. Sweet little blue forget-me-nots...... Read More

Planting exposé

Every year, TOSSI in partnership with Auckland Council host public planting days at Tawharanui on the first Sunday in June, July and August. Each day, 5000 trees are planted. But what happens behind the scenes to make this all possible, and what happens...... Read More

Networking for the environment

For several years now, conservation groups in the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board area have met periodically for informal discussions on how to work together better, to share information on what they are doing and to hear from experts on methods and techniques...... Read More

Fighting over the beaches

“Will sand become our new battleground?” asked a headline in the Nelson Mail a couple of weeks ago. The article went on to highlight the value of sand as a global commodity and an essential element of modern infrastructure and society. In...... Read More

Saddleback spotting

With the recent translocation of 40 birds from Tiritiri Matangi, Shakespear Open Sanctuary now has saddlebacks (tieke).   These are noisy, friendly and attractive birds, which are often fossicking on or near the ground, so over time they will become...... Read More

Imagining a better world

A recent food symposium run by Auckland University warned of a hungry future for humanity because of our unsustainable local and global food production methods.  The comfort we live with in the western world comes at the expense, or with the benefit...... Read More

Sustainable living

Last year the Hauturu ranger’s 14-year-old daughter, Mahina Walle, did a case study on living sustainably on the island for correspondence school. I was so impressed with this essay that I wanted to share some of it. Mahina’s family have been...... Read More

Humans and hens

My garden is home to two brown shaver hens, Speckle and Shy. They are fine company in the garden, always keen on my weeding, chatting away and cute looking, and they lay eggs for me. Chooks have lots of character. They are wilful, destructive and messy,...... Read More