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History of Project Mohua
Project De-Vine and Project Mohua Newsletter #13 - Jan 2016
“Clearing the pest vines out of Golden Bay and around Abel Tasman National Park”
Hello neighbours and supporters!
This newsletter is primarily for all the landowners involved with Project De-Vine who are mainly on the eastern side of Golden Bay and over the hill from Riwaka to Marahau. It is you as landowners and pest plant controllers that have made Project De-Vine possible. The newsletter is also for the various team members, DOC and TDC staff, sponsors and supporters near and far. If you have a neighbour in the funded groups without e-mail please pass this information along to him or her. Apologies if you have more than one copy e-mailed as many people are in several groups. With some 370 landowners in our control areas, properties change hands – if you have sold please contact us so we can update the address list and look for contact details of the new owners. Feel free to skim the contents if the details are not your cup of tea!
It has been a very busy year, with many exciting new projects and contacts being made. At the same time the on-going projects are still happening & receive regular attention to keep the pest vines from re-establishing. As a non-profit group under the umbrella of Forest and Bird, we have benefitted massively from their local support, insurance cover, financial administration and more recently logistics support from their head office.
Project De-Vine started as a small local weed busting project, to help landowners, who were overwhelmed by invasive vines (Banana passion vine (BPV) and Old man’s beard (OMB)). This has grown into a project with Golden Bay wide, and recently around Abel Tasman National Park ambitions. It is achieving landscape scale pest vine control primarily in eastern Golden Bay; some 367 private landowners (4760ha) are included in the project from Wainui Bay to Rameka Creek. 2015 saw Project De-Vine partner with Project Janszoon and Fonterra to assess and offer pest vine control on properties along the boundary of Abel Tasman National Park (about 60 with control of other pest plants that might threaten the Park) and the Fonterra supply farms (102) respectively in Golden Bay. This is aided by a grant from Lotteries New Zealand over one year. Control work is starting now on 40 of those properties.
Other grants have been received in 2015 from:
• DOC Community Fund and Tasman District Council to partially cover the costs of a Project Manager and office for 3 years.
Sponsorship of our working bees has been generously provided by:
• Cut’n’Paste, who supply gel bottles for us to use and give out to landowners who attend working bees
• Nelson Building Society
• Motueka Community Board – to assist with the costs of running working bees in Riwaka valley
To date about 170,000 pest vines have been killed manually with many more sprayed. One third of these are in this last year alone. The vast majority are Banana passion vines (145,000) with just under 15,000 Old man’s beard vines and the balance in various others. We plan to kill many thousands more to stop the spread of these rampant, forest destroying vines.
Vine weeds in New Zealand (especially BPV and OMB) are a major threat to regenerating native forest, riparian re-vegetation projects, lowland forest on karst and the margins of National Parks and Reserves in Golden Bay. These vines are capable of smothering low canopy forest, killing the canopy trees and preventing regeneration of native species. Existing strategies for controlling these weeds have not been able to prevent their continued spread and increasing intensity of infestation.
Project De-Vine works extensively with Department of Conservation, Tasman District Council and local businesses.
Project De-Vine has grown very fast and we hope that the continuing support from TDC, DOC, our funding partners, Project Janszoon and Fonterra and various sponsors will continue. The result is a great partnership producing effective and cost efficient pest vine control on a large scale. Thank you so much to all the volunteers who help to keep the project moving along with technical support and at working bees. If you have any skills you can help us with, then do contact us. We can put you on our list for helping with pest vine control or planting and other activities. Our website has details of immediate needs. The media has been helpful by running articles in the various local newspapers. The Golden Bay Weekly is publishing our pest vine and trapping numbers alongside the rainfall figures on a monthly basis.
Our Project Manager, Pete Russell & team e: [email protected]
Or see our website www.projectmohua.org.nz for the latest updates, volunteering and other links and data. Our facebook page has been restarted with some postings recently: project de vine golden bay
• Project Mohua was started by our volunteer staff in 2014. Mohua is the Maori word for Golden Bay and also the Yellowhead bird, which was once common here until about 60 years ago. It is a coming together of the 4 different eco-volunteer groups working in Golden Bay to create a “mainland island”, between ATNP & Kahurangi National Park (being investigated for World Heritage Status): Weedbusting (Project De-Vine), Riparian planting (StreamCare), Trapping groups & Bird monitoring & habitat enhancement groups. The website www.projectmohua.org.nz , is still being developed and covers the work of all groups. This will be expanded a lot in the next 6 months with recent funding.
• Project Mohua federation projects have had a big boost these last five months with the internship of a University student from Germany. Steffi has been helping with trapping, bird monitoring and planting. She was given the tasks of producing GPS maps of Riparian plantings and trapping locations, as well as doing write ups of the various groups to place on the website. Links to these will be available on our website: www.projectmohua.org.nz . Mangarakau Swamp volunteers appreciated Steffi’s help to record data. She was very pleased to assist with the bird programme there, monitoring Bitterns, Fernbirds and Spotless Crakes. We are hoping that other students can continue the work on an annual basis. She is also posting on facebook: project mohua.
We send out a newsletter yearly to all involved. Updates during the year will be available on the Project Mohua federation website www.projectmohua.org.nz