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CEO Report June 2021 - Phil Lyons

10 June 2021

Kia ora Koutou,
 
On Sunday 30th May, we held our annual volunteer appreciation day.  This was a celebration of our volunteers and their wonderful contribution to the maunga.  Our stories ranged from 1998 to the present day, acknowledging the dedication of those present, those who have gone before and, sadly, those no longer with us.
 
We also provided an update of the quantifiable contribution our volunteers have made in recent years.  These figures never cease to amaze me.  In the last seven years our volunteers have generously dedicated 130,000 people hours to the maunga.  Or, assuming the living wage of $22.10 per hour, at total of $2,873,000!  Today this work continues and is vitally important to the success of Sanctuary Mountain.
 
We now have over 25 volunteer teams whose work includes visitor hosts & guides, takahē & hihi feeding, planting & weeding, line monitoring, track- cutting and the list goes on.  Our volunteers also bring an abundance of passion, dedication, and skills.  From accountants to builders, designers to gardeners, and everything in between.  You are all Inspired Kaitiaki, and on behalf of Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, I would like to say a big thank you!
 
Continuing this theme of the importance of our communities and their contribution to the maunga and beyond, I had the pleasure of recently meeting with Peter Russell and Karen Barlow, from Predator Free Cambridge.  Predator Free Cambridge (PFC) wants to engage with northern Maungatautari landowners over the next few months on a new project to better connect Maungatautari’s unique bird life with the pest control efforts of PFC members. 
 
The Bush to Burbs project is essentially about encouraging more native birds to visit, feed and breed in the wider Cambridge area by ensuring there is effective pest control.  The concept revolves around the bird 'spill-over’ effects from the Maunga occurring now and creating ‘safe corridors’ for further expansion into Cambridge.  Birds such as tui, kaka and bellbird visit bush remnants scattered across the private farmland between the Maunga and Leamington.  The PFC team are excited by the possibilities of this project and the connections to be made with other pest control work, including the regional council’s highly successful Halo project and of course having a massive predator free forested area (the Maunga) as the southern boundary.  For further information about the Bush to Burbs project contact Karen Barlow karen@goeco.org.nz
 
Ngā mihi, Phil.