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Conservation honours recipients congratulated

Conservation honours recipients congratulated

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has congratulated the outstanding New Zealand conservationists who have been recognised in the 2018 New Year’s Honours.

“The seven people honoured today have received fitting recognition for their diverse range of service to the cause of conservation – often over the course of decades,” Ms Sage says.

“The dedication and hard work of those honoured has, and is helping to protect and preserve our native wildlife and plants and the places they live – having their service recognised reflects its huge importance to New Zealand.”

Four Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit, one Honorary MNZM and two Queen’s Service Medals have been awarded to conservationists.

Associate Professor Michael Hilton receives an MNZM, a recognition of his world-leading research and expertise in New Zealand’s dune ecosystems.

“As well as publishing more than 50 pieces of research and articles, Professor Hilton has worked for more than 20 years to preserve and protect the unique dune system at Doughboy Bay on Stewart Island.”

Also receiving MNZMs are the renowned bird of prey specialist Noel Hyde, author and conservation advocate Neville Peat and Nick Chapman, principal of Nuhaka Primary School in Hawkes Bay.

“Noel Hyde was central to the creation of the Wingspan National Bird of Prey Trust in Rotorua. As a professional taxidermist he has contributed to specimen collections across the country, helping to enhance knowledge and understanding of native birdlife and korowai.”

“Over a 30-year writing career Neville Peat has forged a reputation as one of New Zealand’s finest nature writers,” Ms Sage says.

His books include Tasman – The Biography of an Ocean for which he was awarded the Creative New Zealand Michael King Writers’ Fellowship, and he has been an influential figure in Otago conservation, including chairing the board which set up the Orokonui Ecosanctuary and writing the Government nomination of the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands as a UNESCO World Heritage Area, listed in 1998.

“Nick Chapman has been instrumental in the development of outdoor education in the Wairoa area and has passed on a love of nature to children by creating native garden on land adjacent to his school, the establishment and planting of the Mokotahi Reserve at Mahia Beach, and community clean-ups of the Mahia Peninsula,” Ms Sage says.

Dutch “Bug-Man” Ruud Kleinpaste has become an Honorary MNZM for his services to entomology, conservation and entertainment.

“Mr Kleinpaste has been a fixture on our television screens for decades, spreading his infectious love of insects, biology and New Zealand’s wildlife to many. Among other groups, he is a Trustee of Project Crimson, Kiwis for Kiwi and the Air New Zealand Environment Trust.”

Two Queen’s Service Medals have also been awarded for services to conservation, to Ian Hector of Palmerston North and Dan Lyders of the Farm Forestry Association.

“Ian Hector has worked as a volunteer for more than 20 years to create tramping and cycling trails in the Manawatu, leading volunteers, prisoners from Linton Prison and at times soldiers from Linton Military Camp to provide trails for New Zealanders to enjoy, while also enhancing and ensuring the survival of flora and fauna which might otherwise have become scarce and inaccessible.”

As well as a long association with the forestry industry, Daniel Lyders was the inaugural chairman of Fish & Game Otago and a leading voice for the preservation of wetlands around Lake Waihola. He was a founding member of the Waihola Waipori Wetlands Society in 2007 and maintains a wetland on his own land adjacent to Waihola-Waipori.

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