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Bringing back bugs at Restoration Day 2014

Bringing back bugs at Restoration Day 2014

Over 200 people attended Wellington Restoration Day 2014, held in Pauatahanui on Saturday. Restoration Day is a free conference for community groups to share information, network, and gain tools and knowledge to carry out successful restoration projects. This year’s theme was “Connecting with Nature” with a focus on invertebrates.

“This annual event aims to recognise and support the phenomenal contribution of local community groups running ecological restoration projects in the Wellington Region” said Lou Sanson, Director General of the Department of Conservation.

Restoration Day kicked off with several inspiring speakers, including Ruud Kleinpaste (TV’s Bug Man), Lou Sanson (DOC), Dr. George Gibbs (Victoria University), and Hohepa Potini (Ngāti Toa).

"Lou Sanson's down to earth overview of DOC's evolving role helped us to better
understand the road ahead for conservation and to identify our place along it,” said Forest & Bird’s Places for Penguins volunteer Gerald Rawson.

Some of the day’s activities included field trips to Pauatahanui Inlet and Battle Hill. The participants were able to learn about the history of these token ecological sites. The workshops covered a diverse range of topics, such as: health and safety of volunteers, visitor experience, involving schools and landowners in projects, restoring special places (e.g. dunes, estuaries, wetlands), creating habitats for native species and fish passages.

“Attending Restoration day is an annual event for the students running the Society for Conservation Biology from Victoria University. This year's highlights were the keynote speaker Ruud Kleinpaste, who emphasized the importance of protecting our biodiversity, and visiting the Pauatahanui Inlet, which is the largest estuarine wetland remaining in the lower North Island,” said Society for Conservation Biology VUW Chapter President Amanda Taylor. “We look forward to next year's Restoration Day and further improving our own ecological restoration project.”

Restoration Day is a collaborative effort put together by: Department of Conservation, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Hutt City Council, WWF New Zealand, Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, Zealandia and Nature Space.

“It’s great to see the excitement and enthusiasm amongst the participants. You can see the dedication for restoring our native habitats in every one of the community group members,” said Restoration Day Organiser, Amy Brasch from the Department of Conservation. “Restoration Day is the perfect platform for acknowledging their all their effort for making New Zealand such an incredible and unique place to live.”


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