Waitomo News : 30 October 2014
WAITOMO NEWS Thursday, October 30, 2014 9 This could be the best first step to an exciting career. This one-year, full-time programme includes five weeks experience with local employers. It means you’ll graduate with more than a certification; you’ll also have real-world skills and connections to employers. Call 0800 OTO TRADE (686 87233) now to book a time for an interview with one of our tutors. Programme taught at Otorohanga Trade Training Centre 10 Lawrence Street, Otorohanga Certificate in Engineering and Automotive Trades 100% of our grads get apprenticeships or work. www.wintec.ac .nz create your world @* * @*# @** @** @*! @*!@*! @ @ @ @ ####* * * *!! !! @ @ @ @ # ## # # # #** * ** * * ! ! ! ! ! ! @ @@@# # ##* * * ** ! ! !! @ # # * ! ! ! @ # # #* * @###* * @ ###* *! # # !@@ @ ####* ** * !! # * ! #*# IF YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT SOMEONE TALK TO THEM... IT COULD MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz WE’RE HERE TO HELP; Waitomo Waipa Women’s Refuge 0800 733 843 Ngati Maniapoto Marae PACT Trust 07 878 0028 Otorohanga Support House 07 873 8156 • Police – Emergencies 111 BY TODD WARD DAD’S Army are back defend- ing the defenceless against foreign invaders. But this time it is a group of retired Te Kuiti farmers trapping rats, stoats and weasels to help grow the dwin- dling whio (blue duck) population. These rodents eat whio eggs and kill the young chicks. Dubbed ‘Dad’s Army’, the four vol- unteers take turns in pairs tracking deep into the Pureora Forest twice a month to bait 240 traps. They are: Tom Brough, Mike Boul- ton, Bruce Strahan and Stu Donald- son with back-up from Leanne Miln, Derek Kloeten and Wayne Addy. The Department of Conservation (DOC) provided Raid bait and their “highly successful” dried possum and rabbit meat. Supported by Maniapoto DOC staff, most missions take 10 hours to re-bait one of the group’s two trap lines (12km long and 120 traps each) which were first installed 18 months ago. CONSERVATION WEEK With Conservation Week begin- ning on Saturday (November 1-9), Mr Brough says he and the rest of the volunteers are proud to be doing their part for the environment. Conservation Week is run by DOC every year to raise awareness of the benefits of conservation and encour- age people to get involved. “We gather at the Piropiro Flats at 7am and then ride quad bikes into the bush where we the trap line begins,” says the 73-year-old retired Aria farmer. “From there we record how many pests we catch and re-bait each sta- tion that needs it. The reason why we do it is because we love the blue ducks and because we have the time. “We’re all retired and everyone has to do some- thing, so I couldn’t think of anything better than helping protect the blue duck population.” Whio are a protected endemic species. They are classified as nationally endangered and the total population was estimated at 2500 in 2004. Mr Brough says the group’s trapping efforts also help protect other native bird species in Pureora such as wood pigeon and tui. “Blue Duck Lodge owner Dan Steele (of Ow- hango) has told us that blue ducks are really on the comeback which is great because it makes us feel like we are making a difference. “And every time we go trapping we see blue ducks, sometimes six or seven or sometimes 12 or 14, and we want that to continue. “So if anyone wants to tag along or help out, they are more than welcome to join us. “I think it is well worthwhile.” Those wishing to join or help Dad’s Army are welcome to contact Mr Brough. Army’s proud to be doing their part WHIO FIGHTERS: A group of retired Te Kuiti farmers including Tom Brough (left) and Mike Boulton, track deep into the Pureora Forest twice a month to bait more than 200 traps to help grow the endangered blue duck (whoi) population.
23 October 2014