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Two More join Waiheke Predator-Free Project team

17th April 2019
News Release

(Left to right: Mary Frankham, Jo Ritchie, Jenny Holmes.)

The Te Korowai o Waiheke Trust has employed two additional team members to help drive the bold, multi-year programme to eradicate predators on Waiheke Island.

Jenny Holmes has been appointed Engagement Manager, while Jo Ritchie is the Operations Manager. They join Mary Frankham, who was appointed Project Director for Te Korowai o Waiheke in February.

Jenny has lived on Waiheke since 2002 and is passionate about sustainability. As Engagement Manager she will design and manage a stakeholder and community engagement programme that builds support and commitment for the eradication of mustelids and rats from the Island.

“I’m so enthusiastic about the Te Korowai o Waiheke initiative as I am very passionate about this island, and the vision of a predator-free Waiheke Island,” says Jenny, who has a background in marketing and innovation.

“This role excites me. Since moving to Waiheke Island I’ve worked extensively with the community in my roles with the Waiheke Winegrowers Association, the Waiheke Island Tourism Forum and as co-founder of Waiheke Island Weddings. I have a strong understanding of the Waiheke Island community and look forward to working with all the people involved with this initiative,” she says.

As Operations Manager, Jo Ritchie has been tasked with managing the technical aspect of the rat and mustelid eradication over Waiheke’s diverse landscape, including biosecurity and monitoring requirements. An avid sailor, Jo has spent the past 30 years working and sailing in the Hauraki Gulf. She learnt ‘rangering’ in the field in the early days of the Tiritiri Matangi restoration project when she worked for the Department of Conservation and has also been involved in a number of island eradications, ecological and operations management work.

“The Hauraki Gulf islands are my second home. I love where I live and work – great people and unique places are a huge part of this. Overcoming the challenges of the threats to our natural environments and working with communities to do this is my core motivation – the future of conservation in New Zealand is in the hands of the community. The work the Waiheke community has done to date is a great example of just how effective this can be,” says Jo.

Mary says building the Te Korowai o Waiheke team with the appointment of Jenny and Jo is a real coup for the project.

“I am thrilled to have Jo and Jenny on board. We each represent three of the key Waiheke ‘communities' this project reaches; Jenny having lived here for 17 years, Jo as a sailor and regular visitor and myself as a part-timer,” says Mary.


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.


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