Hui draws conservation leaders to Kaipara Flats

The conservation of habitats and native species will be the focus of a Forest Bridge Trust public hui at the Ranfurly Hall in Kaipara Flats on September 8 and 9.

The trust’s vision is to create a connected landscape of healthy forest and flourishing indigenous wildlife from the Kaipara Harbour in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. This is being done by supporting individuals and groups in the area with the tools and expertise to reach their conservation goals.

The hui is designed to bring together those working in conservation and members of the public to share knowledge and experience for greater conservation outcomes in the area.

The trust’s community liaison team lead Tris Bondsfield says there is already a huge groundswell of individuals joining in the effort to make conservation gains, from beach rubbish collection and planting days to restoration and predator control efforts. This is happening on both private and public land.

“This hui presents a unique opportunity for members of the public to hear respected speakers in conservation such as Cam Speedy, Dr Helen Blackie and Dr Dean Meason,” she says.

Speedy is a freelance wildlife biologist based in the central North Island with more than 30 years’ experience working on a range of both native and introduced wildlife.

Blackie is an associate partner of Boffa Miskell, and has had more than 20 years’ experience in conservation and pest management, with a focus on predator ecology. She is currently leading multiple research projects in New Zealand and overseas focussed on innovations in pest control and surveillance, as well as the development of novel technologies to improve conservation management practices.

Meason is a tree ecophysiologist who has worked with a number of different temperate and tropical forest species to provide a mechanistic understanding of forest management. His expertise with eucalypts and coast redwood is well recognised nationally and internationally.

Bondsfield says that with two unfenced kiwi populations now in the rohe, predator control and plant regeneration to save this species is having a welcome impact on other native taonga and locals are already starting to see a change in the native biodiversity of the area.

Species such as kākā, korimako, kakariki, Hochstetters frogs, matuku hūrepo (bittern) and flocks of kererū are being sighted more regularly.

“The theme for the hui is Building a Legacy and the hope that the 10 keynote speakers will inspire and inform our community on how together we can achieve this goal,” she says.

“This is a chance to hear from our local iwi on the work their own kaitiaki are undertaking, learn about our local kiwi colonies and how we can help them to thrive, wetland restoration and its importance to biodiversity, and new advances in predator control and monitoring.

“There are now less than 10,000 days left for Aotearoa to achieve its landmark Predator Free 2050 goals.

“If anyone would like to know more about this movement to restore our native biodiversity and how they can be a part of it, then they are very welcome to join us for this exciting two-day event.”

To register for the hui, or to know more about the work of the trust does, visit or email