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Swap a weed for a native for Conservation Week

3 August 2006

Swap a weed for a native in celebration of Conservation Week

Wellington and Hutt Valley residents are being encouraged to swap a garden weed for a native plant at Conservation Week events highlighting the role we all have in protecting our great ‘kiwi’ lifestyle.

Activities for this year’s Conservation Week, from August 7 to 13, revolve around the theme Conservation is everybody’s business – Kia ngākau nui te katoa ki te whakarato, emphasising that everybody has a stake and plays an important role in the ongoing protection of our land and its people.

Wellington events include weed swaps outside Te Papa on August 12 and in Lower Hutt’s Civic gardens the following week, on August 19. The events run from 10 am to 3pm and are being organised by DOC, the Wellington and Hutt City Councils and Te Papa, with support from Weedbusters and Greater Wellington Regional Council. More than 1000 native plants have been donated by Hutt City Council, Wellington City Council, Kiwi Plants Ltd, and Twigland Garden Centre. California Home and Garden has donated spot prizes. The multi-agency booklet Plant me instead will be on sale, offering gardeners environmentally-friendly alternatives to invasive plants in the lower north island.

The Wellington City weed swap coincides with the launch of the Kererū Discovery Project, a joint initiative between Te Papa, the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, Wellington Zoo, Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre (DOC), and Victoria University of Wellington, aimed at returning our native pigeon to the city.

DOC community relations programme manager Jo Greenman said weeds posed a major threat to New Zealand’s biodiversity and its economy.

“More than 70 percent of all New Zealand weeds originated from gardens and there are now more introduced plants than natives growing in the wild.

“They have the potential to replace native species in the wild and, in some cases, entire native plant communities. The best way to prevent your garden from being a source of weeds is to grow plants that won’t become pests.”

Ms Greenman said New Zealand’s world-renowned environment of pristine coastline, vast mountains and old forest required constant protection from harmful development and introduced pests to ensure we could continue our great ‘kiwi’ lifestyle.

“Together with a range of community organisations and key partners, DOC both provides and protects some of the best recreational opportunities in the country. Our national parks, coasts, forests, rivers and lakes have inspired generations of artists, and will inspire generations more if we protect them.”

Other Conservation Week events in Wellington include: Planting and Environmental Education Days in the Rimutaka Forest Park; lunchtime talks and displays at Wellington Cathedral; displays, colouring competitions and story times at Wellington libraries; Our Big Backyard – activities and exhibitions at Pataka Museum, Porirua; and an open day at Pukaha Mount Bruce in the Wairararapa.

Conservation Week supporters in Wellington include Hutt and Wellington City Councils, Te Papa, Wellington Cathedral, Wellington City Council, Kiwi Plants Ltd, Greater Wellington Council, Meridian Energy, Porirua City Council, Twigland Garden Centre, and California Home and Garden. Conservation Week will have something for everyone.

“Everybody has the opportunity to get involved in conservation this year with such a wide range of events on offer,” Jo Greenman said.

To find out more about conservation week activities around the country check out the DOC website: www.doc.govt.nz, look in your local newspaper, or call your local DOC office.


Conservation Week events in the Wellington region

Wellington City weed swap
Date: 12 August 2006
Time: 10am - 3pm
Venue/meeting place: Te Papa Plaza, Cable Street, Wellington
Details: Bring along a weed from your garden and we will give you a native NZ plant free. In association with Te Papa Kereru Discovery Project launch.
Contact: Jo Greenman, Matt Barnett 04 4725821

Hutt Valley weed swap
Date: 19 August 2006
Time: 10am - 3pm
Venue/meeting place: Civic Gardens, Myrtle Street, Lower Hutt
Details: Bring along a weed from your garden and we will give you a native NZ plant free.
Contact: Jo Greenman, Matt Barnett 04 4725821

Public planting day
Date: 13 August 2006
Time: 10am - 2pm
Venue/meeting place: Catchpool Valley, Rimutaka Forest Park
Details: Native plant planting sessions and sausage sizzle. Bookings essential.
Contact: Jo Greenman, Matt Barnett 04 4725821

School planting and environmental education days
Date: 7 August - 3 November 2006
Time: 10am -2pm
Venue/meeting place: Catchpool Valley, Rimutaka Forest Park
Details: Planting sessions, Environmental Education activity sessions and guided walks for school parties. Fully booked.
Contact: Jo Greenman, Matt Barnett 04 4725821

Displays, colouring competitions and some story times
Date: 7 August - 13 August 2006
Venue/meeting place: Hutt City Libraries, Wellington City Library, Wadestown Library, Karori Library, Cummings Park Library, Tawa Library, Kilbirnie Library, Miramar Library, Johnsonville Library, Khandallah Library.
Details: Displays, children’s activities.
Contact: Contact your local library for more information.

Kererū Discovery Project launch
Date: Saturday 12 August 2006
Time: 10am - 4pm
Venue/meeting place: Te Papa Wellington Foyer and Soundings Theatre, Level 2. Free entry.
Details: What is the Kererū Discovery Project? Come to Te Papa for a day and find the answer. There will be displays, talks, games, and prizes. You will find out what makes the kererū so unique and how you can help ensure its survival into the future.
The Kererū Discovery Project is proudly brought to you by Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, Wellington Zoo, Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre (DOC), Victoria University of Wellington, and Te Papa.
The kererū, or native New Zealand wood pigeon, is one of the icons of the New Zealand forest. It is New Zealand’s only native pigeon and the only species capable of eating and dispersing the large fruits of tree species such as karaka, tawa, and taraire. As a result, kererū are incredibly important to maintaining the forest ecosystem.
Kererū were once common throughout New Zealand. But in the last hundred years, habitat destruction, hunting, and introduced predators have reduced their numbers and they are now in gradual decline. Unlike many of New Zealand’s native bird species, however, the kererū is one that can live among people, if conditions are right.
This means that what people plant in their gardens and public spaces can be very important to their survival. Kererū are known to like both native and exotic fruits, to nest high up in large trees, and sometimes to travel considerable distances in search of resources. But there is always more to learn, especially about what they need when they live in association with humans and there is lots more to do. That is where the Kererū Discovery Project comes in.
Contact: Te Papa Enquiries 04 381 7000 or check out our website, www.tepapa.govt.nz.

Conservation Week at Wellington Cathedral (talks and displays)
Date: 7 - 20 August 2006
Times: Displays are open to the public daily from August 7 to 20, from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday; 10am to 3pm Saturday, and 12 noon to 5pm Sunday.
Talks: Week days during Conservation Week from 12.05pm - 1pm.
Conservation Week Church services, August 6 and 13.
Details: The Wellington Cathedral of St. Paul (cnr. Molesworth & Hill St.) is again hosting displays and talks during Conservation Week. The displays are from a wide variety of groups with a concern for the natural world or the human environment. Because of their quality they will remain in place for an extra week.

The lunchtime talks are as follows:
Monday 7 August: The extraterrestrial connection Richard Hall, astronomer and manager of Stonehenge Aotearoa - Look at our world from space and make a sobering discovery....it's a beautiful world, it's a unique world, and it's finite.
Tuesday 8 August: Everybody's environment is everybody's business, Anthony Dancer, Anglican Commissioner for Social Justice
Wednesday 9 August: Art, creation and conservation in New Zealand, Jonathan Mane-Wheoki: director of Art and Collection Services at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa; is presenting the 2006 Macmillan Brown Lectures during August.
Thursday 10 August: A debate: Everybody's money: There is is far too much for roading; far too little for public transport, A Green Party team led by Jeanette Fitzsimons versus the Victoria University Debating Society team .
Friday 11 August: Have native plants a future in the New Zealand landscape? John Sawyer, Department of Conservation botanist and secretary of the NZ Plant Conservation Network.
On August 6 and 13, at 5pm, there will be special services to which all are invited. Contact: Elizabeth Viggers 04 475 9525, email: viggers.e@xtra.co.nz or Ted Abraham 06 358 6027, email: t-j.abraham@xtra.co.nz

Our Big Back Yard - Conservation Week at Pataka
Date: 7 - 13 August 2006
Time: All week
Venue/meeting place: Pataka Museum of Arts and Culture, Cnr Norrie and Parumoana Streets, Porirua
Details: Our Big Back Yard highlights that the world's problems are not an ocean away but in our own back yard. This major Conservation Week event will offer many FREE activities for the public to participate in. The public programmes are based around the choices that people can make today, initiatives that are in progress and plans for the future. There will be activities for children of all ages, industry exhibitors, a art competition, an art exhibition of major works on 'Birds', and an exciting programme of forums in the evenings and weekends -What are your options today when buying a car or choosing a fuel? What will be the impact of Avian Influenza on our environment and our culture? Meridian Energy Sustainable Energy Forum, Eco Friendly Building and Design, Albatross Conservation, and much more, all FREE of charge. See www.pataka.org.nz for a comprehensive programme, register online or ring 04 237 5089. Sponsored by Meridian Energy and Porirua City Council.
Contact: Pataka Reception 04 2371511 or Event Co-ordinator: Tonya Jones, 04 2374527

Levin McDonald's planting
Date: Wednesday 9 August 2006
Time: 9am onwards
Venue/meeting place: Te Kowhai Park, Levin
Details: Special planting day for local schools and interested public (contact Wayne Boness to register and for details)
Contact: Wayne Boness, DOC Kapiti Area Office 04 296-1112

Open day, Pukaha Mount Bruce
Date: Sunday 6 August 2006
Time: 9am - 4.30pm
Venue/meeting place: Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre, State Highway 2 (30km north of Masterton)
Details: A free open day offering a guided walk with a DOC ranger at 10.30am for visitors interested in learning about New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna. Another guided walk scheduled for 11.30am will demonstrate how wildlife is tracked in the forest. At 1.30pm, visitors can stay for the eel feed and learn about eels’ fascinating life-cycle and at 3pm, delight in the antics of the kaka as they swoop into their feed station for their afternoon feed. Visitors can also absorb the interpretation displays and enjoy mouth watering food and espresso coffee at Café Takahe.
Contact: Sandra Burles, interpretation ranger, Pukaha Mount Bruce 06 375 8004

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