You make our environment special
When I was little I didn’t realise I was lucky to have seen a kiwi up close (and been able to touch it), to have helped catch and band young North Island robins, to spend a lot of my time in the regional parks around Auckland. My dad was involved in projects and I grew up surrounded by native plants and birds.
My gran volunteers on Tiritiri Matangi Island. I love the tranquillity and thoughtfulness I can get out of a day on the island, being able to disconnect and contribute myself. I have only just started to appreciate being able to do this is a privilege and that the contribution my family has made to New Zealand’s environment has made this possible. Tiritiri Island is a good example of a restoration project that achieved huge results in a relatively short space of time. This began in the mid-1980s and, in the ten years between 1984 and 1994, thousands of volunteers planted 280,000 trees on the island.
On the Whangaparaoa Peninsula a similar project has been undertaken with regular plantings and progress has been made to restore the population of birds. The Shakespear Regional Park predator free fence was built in 2011 and this meant the park could become fully pest-free and a wildlife haven in the future. I was lucky to be able to be a part of that process when I was younger, and to now be able to see the results.
New Zealand has unique biodiversity and that makes it very important. But, to me, what makes our environment special is the people that are helping to save it. Everyone who contributes to any conservation or environmental project is making the outcome so much more incredible.
A member of Kiwi Conservation Club, Helen Chambers is passionate about the environment of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.