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Native Kiwis ‘join the herd’ at a staff member’s farm

Native Kiwis ‘join the herd’ at a staff member’s farm

Further Kiwi has been released onto the Kaipara farm co-owned by Federated Farmers’ Richard Gardner. As part of the Mataia Restoration Project, the latest event was attended by the Prime Minister, Department of Conservation, Auckland Council, local Iwi, school children and fellow farmers.

“As a family, we are thrilled to host the second release of Kiwi in South Kaipara,” says Richard Gardner, Federated Farmers Senior Policy Advisor.

“The first release last year actually helped to return Kiwi to this area after an absence of 50 years.

“Having the Prime Minister at the latest event was great but what stood out to us was the way the community turned out. It was a genuine community day and a celebration of how farming and conservation are flipsides of the same coin.

“In 2005, my sister Gill and her husband Kevin Adshead oversaw the retirement and the commencement of restoration of 400 hectares as part of what we called the Mataia Restoration Project, including 25 hectares protected under a QEII National Trust covenant.

“Our farm has been in the family since the 1860s and today, reflects farming in New Zealand. It is a mixed sheep and beef and dairying operation but also has forestry, sand mining and tourism arms as well.

“As farmers, we’ve been able to actively invest in pest management and that has helped to create an environment fit for our national symbol and other rare birds.

“The Mataia Restoration Project is made up of coastal native forest margin and salt marsh wetland. It boasts rare populations of Fernbird and Banded Rail and is host to a large number of other native bird species.

“The Saltmarsh area at Mataia is a significant roosting ground for arctic waders including Godwits and Lesser knots as well as local migrants including Pied Oystercatchers, Pied Stilts, Banded Dotterel and Caspian Terns.

“I know some people have a fixed view of farming but the reality is that we are not exceptions. There is inspirational work you get to see as a Federated Farmers policy advisor.

“Some feature in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards, sometimes they air on television but there are countless small farm projects that never get the gaze of publicity. We believe we are successfully melding together real conservation values with productive farming values,” Mr Gardner concluded.

TV One Country Calendar will be featuring the Gardner/Adshead farm on Saturday, 14 June.


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