Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Taranaki pests beware, Tama’s been on the tools


Mt Taranaki’s pests be warned – Tama Blackburn has been busy.


Tama Blackburn with traps: Credit, Department of Conservation

Mr Blackburn is a Department of Conservation (DOC) Ranger in Taranaki, and like all of DOC’s staff, he’s currently working from home during the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown. Although he’s normally out on the mountain, he’s turned his hands to constructing more than 110 traps to target stoats and ferrets living there.

In the days before the lockdown, Mr Blackburn collaborated with Taranaki Mounga Project Manager Sean Zieltjes and DOC Supervisor Jared Coombes to stockpile timber and other materials to produce the traps – including the familiar DOC200s. Mr Blackburn covered off all relevant health and safety processes to work from home before he started.

Mr Blackburn refined his trap construction method to make the build process faster every time.
“I didn't really focus on speed when building the traps - I was focussing on quality and safety. I’d get the odd piece of wood that didn’t play along, but other than that it was quite easy to sit down and get stuck into it,” he says.
“As a field ranger, our main tasks involve traversing hills carrying monitoring equipment and traps, setting them up, trouble-shooting problems on the spot, and removing the equipment when not needed. So when you do that four or five times a week, and averaging about 10kms per day, you appreciate a well-made device, whatever that may be.”
The finished traps will go live when the hundreds of local volunteers can return to servicing the traplines on the mountain.

“It’s really satisfying to be able to give these traps to our volunteer groups. This has been a good chance to get ahead of their needs. The traps will be placed around some new tracks on the Pouakai Range, where we’ve got some mustelid control underway.”

The traps Tama has built will add to the 4700 traps already within Egmont National Park, contributing to ongoing protection of species including western brown kiwi, North Island robin/ toutouwai and blue duck/whio.

"Tama likes to keep busy and jumped at the chance to make trap boxes which will all be set on our mounga," says Mr Zieltjes. "Restoring Koro Taranaki is important to Tama and his whānau, and these traps will make a massive impact to help achieve this goal."

"Our rangers are keeping themselves busy; from collating the data from recent toutouwai monitoring, checking for possums on our sensor cameras, building traps and working with Wild for Taranaki, to delivering virtual classes Taranaki kids."

DOC’s Taranaki Operations Manager Gareth Hopkins says the rapid transition to working from home has been unusual for his staff, but they have responded well.

“Tama and the rest of the Taranaki team have been able to stay productive and diligent in a completely different working environment in unique circumstances, and that’s a testament to the positivity and flexibility of our team,” Mr Hopkins says.

Taranaki Mounga Project is a partnership between the Taranaki Iwi Chairs Forum, Department of Conservation (DOC) and philanthropic investor NEXT Foundation, supported by founding sponsors TSB Community Trust, Shell New Zealand, Jasmine Social Investments and Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The George Floyd Protests

Poverty, discrimination and repeated acts of police brutality all help to explain the rage being expressed on the streets of American cities right now after the death of George Floyd but there is a more immediate cause as well: Decades of research on police shootings and brutality reveal that officers with a history of shooting civilians, for example, are much more likely to do so in the future compared to other officers... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles

Whatever the failings of our own politicians, spare a kind thought for the majority of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump. Sure, it was depressing this week to watch Todd Muller clinging for dear life to his talking points on Q&A, ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Statement On The Death Of George Floyd

“Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama ... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>

ALSO:

National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>

ALSO:

Lockdown Rules: Government Must Explain Why We’re Still At Level 2

The Government needs to explain to New Zealanders why it won’t consider a move to Alert Level 1 for another week, Leader of the Opposition Todd Muller says.
“Kiwis have made enormous sacrifices to flatten the curve, but if their efforts still aren’t enough to move to Level 1 then the Government must explain why.... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>

ALSO:


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>

ALSO:

Government: Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020

The New Zealand Order of Merit The Queen has been pleased, on the occasion of the celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday, to make the following appointments to The New Zealand Order of Merit: DNZM To be Dames Companion of the said Order: Distinguished ... More>>

Government: Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery

A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>

ALSO:

The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>

ALSO:

Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>

ALSO:


Govt: Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong.... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels