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Bushy Park video means working together worldwide

2 May 2013

Bushy Park video means working together worldwide

Two students from the Whanganui School of Design have created a video for a Colorado environmental group, showing the release of native stitchbirds (hihi) into Bushy Park Sanctuary.

The video shows the release of 60 rare hihi into the flourishing eco sanctuary, translocated there by the Bushy Park Trust so that visitors will be able to see and hear the park’s forest as it once was.

Whanganui UCOL Associate Dean of Creative Programmes Katrina Langdon says the video was created after a group of young people representing Colorado’s Naropa University of Boulder and Wildlands Restoration Volunteers (WRV) approached the Bushy Park Trust. “The group is working to build relationships with other restoration groups and projects around the globe by exchanging videos.

“They want to connect to network, inspire, and work together for what they find important. We were more than happy to collaborate with Bushy Park to offer design students the chance to direct a professional video for a worthy cause.”

Bushy Park Sanctuary covers 90 hectares on the outskirts of Whanganui City. Its rainforest is home to trees over 1000 years old, as well as native tui, bellbird, falcon, North Island robin, orchids, snails and lizards.

Bushy Park Trust Chairperson Elizabeth Tennet says she is thrilled with the video and its message. “These birds are at high risk of extinction, but Bushy Park Sanctuary’s success at re-establishing native birds hopefully means this translocation will also be successful.

“With over 300 North Island robin and 350 saddlebacks now calling Bushy Park Sanctuary their home and a band of dedicated volunteers to monitor the hihi there is reason for optimism.”

Whanganui UCOL School of Design student Hawick Qian says he is grateful to Bushy Park’s leadership and UCOL for the opportunity to showcase New Zealand’s scenery as part of his Graduate Diploma in Animation Level 7. “As an international student I deeply appreciate the love and protection of this country’s natural environment.”

The video of the recent hihi release, which has now gone to the Naropa University of Boulder, and Wildlands Restoration Volunteers (WRV), can be viewed here.

The hihi were caught and screened for disease on Tiritiri Matangi Island during March, after the 2012/13 breeding session on the island. Following a short quarantine period and health checks the birds were transferred to the mainland and flown to Bushy Park Sanctuary for immediate release. The released birds will be monitored closely to establish the early patterns of dispersal and settlement. Hihi used to be all over the North Island but had disappeared by 1885. The sole surviving population by then was found on Hauturu/Little Barrier Island.

The Bushy Park Trust is currently in the process of developing an education centre and upgrading the historic stables to display the historic memorabilia. For more information about Bushy Park please visit

For more information on Wildlands Restoration Volunteers (WRV), please visit


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