TFBT Team News and Achievements – July 2021

In this section you will find all our latest progress updates

  • Fencing
  • Predator Control
  • Ecological monitoring and analysis


Our fencing programme has continued to grow, thanks largely to a contract with the Kaipara Moana Remediation group. This means we are now better resourced to help people fence waterways.

This is supplemented by one off grants and partnerships with others like the Rodney Local Board, Auckland Council, Whitebait Connection and Pauanesia.

Together we supported landowners to complete over 16 km of fencing in 2020. So far we have completed 7 km in 2021 with a large number of projects waiting to be started once the weather improves.

Managing so many fencing projects has meant a few changes to our team. Late last year Tim Brandenburg and Katie Forno came on board to help. Tim and Katie are now leading all of our fencing projects. However, you will be pleased to know that Kevin and John are still providing advice and input from the side lines.

One of the new initiatives for 2021 was to lead a Hoteo catchment-based agency liaison group. This group involves the main funders and agencies that support fencing in the Hoteo. The group meets monthly and means we can now connect landowners with the full range of subsidised services, eliminate duplication of effort and mixed messages, and the over visiting on busy landowners.

Predator Control

In the last 6 months we have farewelled Marguerite and Ginnie from the team. Marguerite will be well known to many of you as she led a number of our hubs projects and has been part of the TFBT family for some time. Although it was sad to say goodbye to both Marguerite and Ginnie they both continue to be involved in projects and activities related to the Trust which is great news for both us and the communities we support.

We have however welcomed some new faces to the team. Michelle Worth is on board in the Community Liaison role and is now supporting many of the hubs projects. Shannon Frost has recently started and will be providing much needed support to Cam.

Cam and Michelle have been super busy over the past few months. Particularly supporting Tamahunga Trappers to get ready for the upcoming kiwi translocation to the maunga. This is a super exciting project to be involved in and we are really proud to be supporting the Trappers to bring this precious taonga species back to the maunga.

Cam has serviced all the traps on the Tamahunga maunga and has bolstered these with further traps and new lines for the Trappers to continue maintaining. Our wider have also been busy working on building the buffer zone of protection around Tamahunga, which will help keep the kiwi safe. This is going to involve working alongside many landowners and communities in the Tamahunga area.

Support has also been provided for predator control on a number of larger properties in our rohe. This involves creating predator control plans, installing traps and training landowners on how to maintain the lines.

The team have also continued to support the many existing hub projects that continue to do amazing work to protect the high value biodiversity areas in their communities. Lines have been audited in many of these hubs, extra volunteers recruited where needed and in some cases extra trap lines added.

We have also developed a relationship with Puhoi Valley Cheese to provide financial support for the Dunn’s Bush hub in Puhoi. This is a great example of a local business getting behind the amazing work that locals are doing to protect their special places from predators.

At the end of 2020 we decided to review our schools programme to ensure the effort from families is sustained beyond the classroom– and that it adds to the pest control protection in their area. As a result, the programme has a new name – the ‘Forest Bridge Defenders’.

This year we will also pilot a new part to the programme where families will adopt traplines in the local school community. We have received approval from Auckland Transport to run the first of these family lines on paper roads in the Tamahunga buffer zone. Families from Matakana Primary school will be looking after these lines.

Other things of Interest

Virginia has been working to identify and map potential kiwi habitat within the Central Bridge. This will help us prioritise our work and also ensure we are focusing our efforts on areas that we hope kiwi will one day make their home.

She has also been busy analysing data from bird counts and other monitoring programmes across some of the sites we support. She has also been working with volunteers to do monitoring in some of the new hubs and sites we are supporting. This means we have baseline data for what is living in the area, and we can show change and the benefits of everyone’s heard work, over time.

Kotaro has been working on upgrading our website and some of our internal systems and databases. Although much of this work can’t be seen by you, it does mean the team are much better able to do their work.

Charlie and others in the team have been working hard to review the systems we use for recording trap catches. There will be more news on this coming soon.

Much work has also been happening behind the scenes to manage the large new funding agreements we have and also putting in place the systems to support our growing team. We have been busy upgrading our IT, finance, HR and H&S systems. We have also been working to secure a good supply of traps – something that is proving challenging with Covid related supply issues and the increase in demand from other environmental organisations.

Hoping the winter is treating you well, TFBT Team.