Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

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


Volunteers Hit The “baddies” So The Good Guys Can Survive

It’s Conservation Week this week, and all over the Western Bay of Plenty volunteers are out in all weather laying traps and ensuring native birds and flora can survive.

Conservation volunteer John Rowlandson spends hours each week trapping “the baddies” - stoats, possums, rats, feral cats - to protect his favourite place, The Blade at the end of Whakamārama Road, 24km northwest of Tauranga.

He’s a member of Friends of the Blade, a volunteer group formed to develop a pest-free zone around the Pā Kererū walking track and the rest area. The area is named after a massive bulldozer blade that was left behind from one of the rimu mills from early last century.

More than 40 volunteers visit all the trap lines about every fortnight to record dead pests, re-bait and reset the traps.

John got involved when he met people in the community who were already involved, so he went along to see what was about. That was about six years ago. He loves being outdoors, and hitting predators to give the native wildlife a fighting chance.

“If we can get rid of the baddies then we can get the good guys to thrive,” he says. It’s working too.

“There’s no question the birdlife is vastly improved - so many more kereru, tūī, bellbirds, robins and fantails than there were five or six years ago.

“It’s satisfying to see results and that we’re making a difference. If we weren’t seeing the results, catching the baddies wouldn’t be as motivating, but we can see we’re making a difference.”

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

He previously worked in IT, but always loved the bush and fresh air so he says he’d be up there every couple of weeks anyway. By volunteering he can enjoy the outdoors and do something that provides a bonus by making a difference.

“Some of these areas we’re trapping are off the beaten track so you feel like you’re looking after your own space where no one ever goes. Some of our volunteers are very proud of their traplines.

“It’s also good to run into people on the tracks who appreciate what we’re doing and can see the difference we’re making.”

Anyone interested in volunteering with Friends of the Blade can go to or on the Friends’ website

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Newshub/Smokefree Twin Fiascos

Here’s a tale of two sunset industries. One has a track record of quality investigative reporting, and sound reportage of the 24/7 news cycle. The other sunset industry peddles a deadly substance that kills and injures tens of thousands of New Zealanders every year, while imposing significant annual costs on the public health system.

Which industry is this government rushing to assist..?


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More

Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.