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Project Director Appointed for Waiheke Predator-Free Project

Project Director Appointed for Waiheke Predator-Free Project

The Te Korowai o Waiheke Trust has selected Mary Frankham, who is well-known on the island, to take the helm of Te Korowai o Waiheke: Towards Predator Free Waiheke.

From February, Mary will lead and set overall delivery, strategy and direction for a bold, multi-year programme to eradicate predators on Waiheke Island. Mary was a key instigator of the Te Korowai o Waiheke project and spoke at the launch at Piritahi Marae in September last year, where nearly $11 million in funding for the initiative was announced.

Applications for the role closed in December and Board Chair Grant Leach said Mary’s credentials made her a very tough candidate to beat.

“Not only does Mary have the skills and experience to lead the Te Korowai o Waiheke project, she is passionate about restoring native ecologies and, crucially, has a long history with Waiheke Island.”

Mary says her close ties with the Waiheke community and understanding the relationship locals have with the natural environment will be essential for her new role.

“Days Bay at the eastern end of Waiheke has been a part of my family’s life for more than 100 years. We, the Waiheke community, love our environment - it’s intrinsic to who we are, it’s our history and tāonga, and it’s why many of us choose to be here. This love for our environment is something that unites us and I can’t wait to get started on achieving this community driven vision for the island,” she says.

Mary has been a trustee of the Hauraki Gulf Conservation Trust and one of the key activators of the the Waiheke Collective – a community-led network committed to working together for the benefit of Waiheke’s wildlife, landscape and community

For the past three years Mary has been Project Manager for the North-West Wildlink Partnership where she headed group project co-ordination, relationship development, communication and facilitation across eight organisations plus community groups and other stakeholders.

Prior to that she’s worked for the Auckland Council, the Institute of International Research and the Gecko NZ Trust. Mary is also a co-owner, with her husband James, of Kowhai Media which publishes New Zealand Geographic magazine.

-ends-

About Te Korowai O Waiheke

Te Korowai o Waiheke: Towards Predator-Free Waiheke brings together community groups, local and central government and has secured substantial funding under the umbrella Trust organisation that aims to rid the island of mustelids and rats, to enhance the natural environment of Waiheke, and support the archipelago of pest-free islands.

The $10.9 million budget allocated to the organisation will cover a five to seven year programme on Waiheke, which will start eradicating stoats in 2019 and have rats in its sights across 25% of the island during 2020. After that, the aim is to expand the programme island-wide. Waiheke is already possum-free.

Major funding has been provided by Auckland Council (including $2.85 million from the natural environment targeted fund), Predator Free 2050 Limited ($2.6 million) and Foundation North ($875,000). Other funds, current services and in-kind support is coming from community groups, existing DOC and Auckland Council programmes, and Waiheke landowners.

https://www.predatorfreewaiheke.org.nz/

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