Chatham Island Conservation Board at Te One School

CI Conservation Board Meeting – 28th Sept 2020

The Chatham Island Conservation Board met for their September 2020 meeting in Room One, Te One School. Attending the meeting were Board members Judy Kamo (Chair), Susan Thorpe, Mana Cracknell, Di Gregory-Hunt, Trescia Lawson and Peter de Lange. Representing the Department of Conservation was Tryphena Cracknell Operations Manager, now six months into her appointment on the Chatham Islands. Also, in attendance was Jilleen Chandler, Conservation Board Support Officer and Michelle Anderson.  Apologies were received for Amanda Seymour who was unable to attend the meeting.

Chatham Islands Conservation Board at Te One School
Chatham Islands Conservation Board at Te One School

The board meeting included a detailed report on the actions of the Department of Conservation over the last few months, and detailed discussion on aspects of Predator Free 2050, de-sexing of domestic cats, feral cat ecology, island water quality and research needs for Te Whanga. The plight of the endemic scurvy grass Lepidium rekohuense still teetering on the brink of extinction was reviewed, and updates provided for tōrea / Chatham Island oystercatcher (Haematopus chathamensis), ranguru / Chatham Island petrel (Pterodroma axillaris) amongst other species.

As lunch was being prepared board members marvelled at the beautiful ngutu kākā (Clianthus puniceus) growing in the school grounds – a seriously threatened New Zealand endemic that thrives in Chatham Island gardens. They also were introduced into the delight of eating the unripe fruits – very tasty, with a pleasant green bean flavour. This repast was then supplemented by much heartier fare than ngutu kākā, provided by Weka Walk parents who are fundraising for the intermediate school students annual trip to parts of New Zealand.

The next meeting is scheduled for November 11 at Kopinga Marae, starting at 9.30 am. There will be a session open to the public (Public Forum) between 11.00 and 11.30 am, for people to raise issues and ask questions. All Board minutes are available on the Department of Conservation website at: https://www.doc.govt.nz/about-us/statutory-and-advisory-bodies/conservation-boards/chatham-islands/

ngutu kākā (Clianthus puniceus)
Ngutu kākā (Clianthus puniceus) flowering in the school grounds

Associate Professor (Botany, Ecology, Plant Conservation, Biosystematics) at Unitec in Auckland and a former Department of Conservation scientist. Peter has been visiting the Chatham Islands since 1996 and is a current member of the Chatham Islands Conservation Board.