New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..

2017 Photo Competition

Date posted: 22-Mar-2017

It is that time of year again when we are looking for entries for our photo competition (and phot..

The 2017 concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2017

This year's concert promises to be another wonderful and unique experience. Click here (/concert-..

Shorebird Film Festival at Devonport

Date posted: 26-Oct-2016

Click here (/miscellaneous documents/DevWaderFilms.jpg) for details of a forthcoming film festival c..

Extra Dawn Chorus Trip

Date posted: 20-Oct-2016

Stop Press: Extra Dawn Chorus trip now scheduled for Thursday 27th October 2016. ..

2016 AGM

Date posted: 06-Sep-2016

The 2016 AGM was held at the Kohia Centre at 7:30 pm on Monday 19th September. Click here (/..

The 2016 Annual General Meeting

This year's AGM  took place at the Kohia Education Centre, 78 Epsom Avenue, Auckland at 7:30 pm on Monday 19th September.

 

You can download the agenda, last year's minutes and the financial summary report by clicking on the links.

Results of the elections:

Chairperson: Brian Chandler

Secretary: Gloria Nash

Treasurer: Kevin Vaughan

Ordinary members: Helen Bucksey, Hester Cooper, Simon Fordham, Barry Fraser, Chris Hannent, Carl Hayson, Peter Lee, Kay Milton and Ray Walter.

The following report of the meeting has been prepared by Jim Eagles.

 

An account of the Chairperson’s Report and other business items from the Annual General Meeting

 

Jim Eagles

 

SoTM annual report from chair Brian Chandler

 

Some progress is being made on SoTM’s three key building projects – the giant flagstaff, the maritime museum and the accommodation and field centre – chair Brian Chandler was able to tell the annual meeting.

Talks had been held with three iwi groups, Te Kawerau a Maki, Maruhahu collective and Ngati Manuhiri, at which there seemed to be a reasonable level of agreement, he said. All other iwi with an interest in the Island have now been invited to a meeting at the end of October for further discussions.

In the meantime, geotech testing has been carried out on the sites with favourable results,  preparatory work for construction of the flagstaff has been completed and the museum design has been revised to provide more space for displays.

An initial design has also been done for the accommodation and field centre but, Brian said, ‘we won’t be spending any more money on that until we have finalised an agreement with DOC.’

Brian noted that there had been a lot of significant developments during the year but those he singled out by for special mention were:

  • As part of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process for the Auckland region several islands, including Tiritiri, were transferred to Maori ownership at the end of August 2015 and gifted to the Crown a month later.
  • After a 16-year battle, led by DOC entomologist Chris Green, Argentine ants were finally eradicated from the Island.
  • An excellent breeding season was highlighted by the arrival of one takahe chick, 20 kokako fledglings, 130 hihi (probably taking the population back to a level where translocations could resume) and the first New Zealand dotterel in living memory was successfully fledged on Hobbs Beach, thanks to a terrific efforts by a group of volunteers who successfully protected the nest frrom high tides and storms.
  • DOC, SoTM and iwi worked together to negotiate the renewel of the Tiritiri Wharf Licence, with 360 Discovery again winning the right to run the ferry service and committing to a larger boat for the peak season.
  • The Auckland Unitary Plan was finally adopted and included a provision greatly extending the historic precinct on the island (it now includes the implement shed and the proposed site of the new accommodation and museum). Brian said the significance of the change was not yet clear ‘but it will certainly be a  complication’.

On the biodiversity front there were several successful translocations during the year: 100 more wetapunga arrived from Auckland Zoo, and the success of the zoo’s programme to raise wetapunga meant  more were likely to follow; 60 moko skinks were transferred to Rotoroa Island; 100 whiteheads went to Ark in the Park and 80 to Project Island Song in the Bay of Islands; 20 robins were translocated across to Shakespear Regional Park and a further 20 went north to Bream Head; eight saddleback were taken to Auckland Zoo and four of them are now in the  big aviary.

Six surveys were conducted on the Island covering Raukawa gecko and freshwater invertebrates (both through summer studentships), ruru calls, breeding coastal seabirds, black-backed gull pellets, and a transect bird survey.

The transect survey – though having a high margin of error – indicated that the Island now holds something like 2011 whitehead, 1155 saddleback, 1717 bellbird, 1388 tui, 335 kakariki, 189 kereru, 34 grey warbler and 141 robin.

Brian said next year’s biodiversity projects would include an attempt to attract Cook’s petrels to breed on the Island, the translocation of 10 kiwi in and 10 out to improve genetic stock, the infill planting programme and the arrival (with the help of Roger Wallace of the Herpetological Society) of some elegant (or Auckland green) geckos.

Over the year a lot of work was done on Island infrastructure including a start to repairs on Ridge Rd, further improvements to Wattle Track, the successful sealing of the two remaining leaky dams (which was carried out free of charge by Hick Brothers), plus a huge amount of work on tracks, culverts, etc, during the working weekends.

In addition the island acquired a new six-seat quad nick-named Erik the Viking and a new compressor was found for the diaphonic foghorn to replace the one which self-destructed dramatically earlier in the year.

The main problem on the infrastructure front, Brian said, was the failure of an attempt to land more metal on the island which had resulted in some muddy tracks. However, planning was underway to make two metal deliveries on successive days as soon as conditions were right.

Several interesting developments were reported in the area of visitor experience including development of a new third guiding route, making use of existing tracks and culminating in the East Coast Track. Brian said he had walked the route and ‘it offers a very different experience, especially on the East Coast Track, but there were still plenty of birds’.

Planning has also commenced to alter the start of the Kawerau Track on Hobbs Beach, including building a bridge, in order to improve access for aquatic species into the stream.  New interpretative signs are being prepared starting with one on little blue penguins.

There has been a strong emphasis on guide training, particularly on guiding school groups, with new ideas for the guides’ days out and walks with experts.

Both the mainstream education programme and Growing Minds continue to thrive, he reported,with school visitors rising by 26 percent to 7062, and excellent feedback from schools.

During the year Liz Maire was appointed as assistant educator, allowing Barbara Huges to reduce her hours, and she had settled in very well. In addition, an education advisory group had been formed to provide feedback and advice.

Visitor numbers were up – by 4 percent to 31,369 – despite multiple ferry cancellations, guided walk numbers had remained the same despite the doubling of the fee  ‘which suggests we must have been giving it away previously’ and shop profits have increased.

The Island remains the No.1 Auckland visitor attraction on TripAdvisor and now is also No.1 on another website Exerience Oz and NZ.

In conclusion, Brian said, all this progress was made possible by the generosity of SoTM’s sponsors, the continued efforts of our employees and contractors and the hard work of a huge number of volunteers. During June alone, 4171 hours of volunteer work were recorded which, even at the minimum wage level, equated to  $63,607.75 for the month or $763,293 a year. ‘That’s an amazing effort for which I give my thanks.’

 

David Meldrum, the SoTM bookkeeper, was made a life member after  more than a decade of keeping the accounts under strict control. David joins a distinguished list of life members which consists of  Jim Battersby (appointed in 2003), Ray and Barbara Walter (2003), Mel Galbraith (2005), Carl Hayson (2007), Nan Rothwell (2012), Isabel Still (2012), Sally Hally (2012) and Simon Fordham (2013).

 

Barry Fraser is the only newcomer on the SoTM Committee following an election at the annual general meeting.

Chair Brian Chandler, secretary Gloria Nash and treasurer Kevin Vaughan were re-elected unopposed. There were 11 candidates for the nine positions on the Committee and a secret ballot saw sitting members Helen Bucksey, Hester Cooper, Simon Fordham, Chris Hannent, Carl Hayson, Peter Lee, Kay Milton and Ray Walter elected along with Barry.

Until he retired and became a guide on the Island, Barry ran a successful orchid exporting business in northern Coromandel Peninsula, where he had close associations with local iwi.

Brian paid tribute to the work of longstanding Committee member Roger Bray who stood down.

 

Ranger Dave Jenkins received acknowledgement  for his many years of service on the island when Biodiversity Sub-committee chair Kay Milton presented him with a cuddly replica of Jenkins, the Takahe who was named after him. ‘You can tell it is Jenkins,’ she said, ‘because it’s got the right bands . . . and we all know the bands never lie.’ Dave also received a more useable gift presented by Brian on behalf of SoTM.