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Pride of NZ Regional Winner

Pride of NZ Regional Winner

NZ Landcare Trust's Landcare Ambassador Todd Hamilton from Whangarei Heads is one of the regional winners of the Pride of New Zealand 2014 Awards. Todd won the Upper North Island 'Environmental Award' for his tireless work helping to protect and regenerate kiwi populations in the Whangarei Heads region of Northland over the last 15 years.

Todd's family accepted his award on his behalf at an Auckland based event held on August 4. Son Jack Hamilton said the family was incredibly proud of his father's work, which he had grown up to know about since he was a boy.

In addition Todd is now in the running for the Peoples Choice Awards - offers an opportunity for the public to vote for their TSB Bank People Choice winner. Voting has already started and the results will be revealed at a National Award Ceremony in September.

Todd is the project manager of the Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum and is a trained kiwi handler. He liaises with members of the local community to carry out feral cat and stoat control. That work has helped to ensure a dramatic increase in kiwi chick survival.

It was this dedicated community conservation work carried out by both Todd and his partner Helen Moodie that resulted in their NZ Landcare Trust Landcare Ambassador Award in 2012. They were involved in founding the Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum over a decade ago, bringing together nine landcare groups to work together to protect a unique environment and the more than 50 species of threatened plants and animals found there. In 2001, there were just 80 North Island Brown Kiwi remaining in the Whangarei Heads, and each year that number dropped further. Now it is estimated that there are around 500 kiwi in the area.

This work is now part of a larger scale initiative called Kiwi Coast which aims to further extend the range of kiwi in Northland.

More information about all the regional winners including Todd Hamilton can be found on the Pride of New Zealand 2014 Awards website: http://prideofnzawards.co.nz/peopleschoice. The site also gives you the opportunity to vote in the Peoples Choice Award.

ENDS

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