Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 

Introduction

Southlanders of all ages are encouraged to take a look in their backyard this Conservation Week to see how they can help protect and nurture our unique wildlife.

Date:  13 October 2017

Conservation Week runs from 14-22 October and this year the DOC is trying to get people to convert their love of nature into action. 

“It’s no surprise New Zealanders love our nature – a 2016 survey* found 85% of us rate conservation as important to them personally, yet still only about one in ten have actively helped on a conservation project,” DOC Community Ranger Jennifer Sycamore says. 

“In the south, we’re lucky to have some of the greatest living spaces New Zealand has to offer, with some of the most precious wildlife. 

“We want to encourage more people to get involved - conservation can be done in your own backyard, gardens, parks and marine areas. Little actions can make big differences.” 

“Our predator-free vision of ridding the country of rats, stoats and possums by 2050 starts in your own backyard. It’s great to see momentum gathering as more communities band together to make their own areas predator free.” 

In the southern South Island we have plenty of activities to show people how easy it is to get involved. 

“Getting out and taking care of our nature also has the added benefit of improving health and wellbeing, so it’s win-win,” Jennifer says. 

“It’s great to see DOC’s partners also getting involved in Conservation Week. This includes Genesis, who are encouraging kids to take part in a national competition with its Whio Boot Camp online game. As well as being fun, the game teaches players how a whio lives in the wild, eating, running rapids and hopefully avoiding predators. 

“Toyota New Zealand are also getting involved. Our Toyota Kiwi Guardians programme connects kids with nature and rewards them with medals. Conservation Week marks the launch of our new waterways clean-up medal, Toa Tiaki Wai.” 

Check out www.conservationweek.org.nz for ideas.

Events

Conservation Week activities across Southern South Island include: 

  • Mt Bee Hut and Track Maintenance Volunteer Project 16 - 20 October
  • Catlins Coast yellow eyed penguin/hoiho nest search 16 - 20 October
  • NZ Mountain Film Festival viewing: Fiordland College Outdoor Education fundraiser raising money for their Outdoor Education Programme.
  • Planting Day at Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary 14 October 10.30 am to 12.30 pm. Participants will be able to help plant bee-friendly plants
  • Fiordland Biodiversity book launch
  • Evening celebration to thank local community groups/individuals and businesses involved in conservation (Queenstown 16 October, Alexandra 17 October, Wanaka 18 October)
  • Halfmoon Bay school writing competition 16 – 20 October
  • Conservation Week quiz, South Seas Hotel 22 October.

Background information 

  • DOC’s partners also get involved in Conservation Week. This includes Genesis, who are encouraging kids to take part in a national competition with its Whio Boot Camp online game. As well as being fun, the game teaches players how a whio lives in the wild, eating, running rapids and hopefully avoiding predators.
  • Toyota New Zealand are also getting involved. Our Toyota Kiwi Guardians programme connects kids with nature and rewards them with medals. Conservation Week marks the launch of our new waterways clean-up medal, Toa Tiaki Wai.

Contact

For media enquiries contact:

Email: media@doc.govt.nz

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