School children with kiwi
The responsibility of controlling pests and measuring the response in native biodiversity is that of permanent department staff dedicated to this programme and based at St Arnaud. Each summer this work force is supplemented by temporary staff employed for the season.
DOC currently have 4.5 full time staff employed on the project (approx. 9,500 hours p.a.), with a combined operating budget (excluding salaries) of NZ$60,000 p.a. Technical and scientific advice is provided by a Technical Advisory Group and a Scientific Advisory Group, with the latter including external scientists in addition to DOC staff.
A community group, The Friends of Rotoiti, was formed in 2001; this dedicated group controls wasps, rats and mustelids and undertakes lizard monitoring in adjacent areas, and they use donations to extend their work. The Maori community is also consulted and kept abreast of development and in general are very supportive of the project.
The project’s great spotted kiwi work is supported by the Bank of New Zealand Kiwi Recovery Trust. The trust is responsible for public awareness and education, fund-raising, sponsorship and grant allocations for kiwi recovery work nationally.
Resident student courses learn from studies within the site. This includes a local polytechnic ranger trainee diploma course providing an opportunity for participants to have hands-on experience with the project on a regular basis. Opportunities are also available for New Zealanders or overseas students to undertake on-site research work and/or volunteer work on the project.