Today, the 30th April 2011, was a day of great triumph and celebration for many people in the Kapiti Coast community, with the official opening of 440 hectare Whareroa Farm Reserve, between Paraparaumu and Paekakari [click here to view location]. It is certainly not every day that a new recreational and nature reserve is opened to the public, and Whareroa Farm has only become such a reserve as a result of persistent lobbying by the local community and the ongoing work of one community-based organisation, the Whareroa Guardians Trust. (more…)

What does the Department of Conservation, a golf club, and a hapu (sub-tribe) have in common?

They are all partners in caring for the Hamurana Springs Reserve, on the northern shores of Lake Rotorua [click here to view location]. The hapu, Ngati Rangiwewehi, a sub-tribe of Te Arawa, has an association with the spring and the river which flows from it dating back to the 1300. (more…)

This dilapidated shed, on Wallaceville Road, south of Upper Hutt [click here to view location], has now come to serve a purpose beyond its original one of a wool shed – a protest banner against 1080. (more…)

This landscape was taken from Mangaone South Road, Reikorangi [click here to view map]. Mangaone South Road largely follows the Waikanae River as it makes its way from the western foothills of the Tararua Ranges out to sea. In this shot, pasture-covered hills can be seen in the foreground, while regenerating bush-clad hills can be seen in the background. (more…)

Downtown Wellington is hosting a photography exhibition by a “wildly talented” (in more ways than one) Sam O’Leary this month. Sam’s photographs of New Zealand’s wildlife and wild places will be on show from the 23 April (opening night) through to May 14 at Conservation House (Department of Conservation), Manners Street, Wellington. (Exhibition open Monday through to Friday.)

Sam’s photographs can be viewed at Sam O’Leary’s website.

Photographs (A2 size and framed in black with white matt border) will also be available for sale at the exhibition for $400 each.

As well as being a talented photographer, Sam works for the Department of Conservation, and runs their Conservation Blog.

[Photo: Green gecko in friend's garden (Wellington), by Sam O'Leary]

Last year, Lindsay Gow retired from his position as Deputy Secretary of the Ministry for the Environment after more than two decades leading environmental policy work in New Zealand. envirohistory NZ asked Lindsay to share his thoughts on how New Zealanders’ attitudes towards the environment and environmental issues have changed over this period:

The first change has been in public and political opinion.

20 years and more ago environmental policy was very much the junior partner in the both government and public eyes.  Although the establishment of the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Conservation came out of a reaction to the rapacious “think big” developments, it was not easy to get policy issues and ideas launched.  We found that the onus of proof was against, not in favour of environmental protection. (more…)

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