The People behind KMR
Tim Brandenburg – The Forest Bridge Trust Fencing and Planting Coordinator and KMR Field Advisor
Conservation is in Tim Brandenburg’s blood.
In fact, he has dedicated most of his professional career, not to mention a good deal of his personal life, to conservation.
So becoming a Fencing and Planting Coordinator for The Forest Bridge Trust and working with Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme feels like another stage in his journey to making a positive difference in the environment.
However, it is what Tim has done in the background that has helped in many ways – alongside many others with similar passion and goals – bring the role to life.
Tim represented the Department of Conservation at the inception of the Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group around 2005 and has continued to be part of that network ever since.
He was also part of The Forest Bridge Trust team that provided advice to KMR during the establishment of the fencing and planting programme.
KMR was established to offer a range of opportunities for grants and funding available through Programmes including the Landowners Grants Scheme and the Whenua Whānui Fund.
Tim inspecting a newly finished fence
Tim was subsequently employed by TFBT in Oct 2020 to run its fencing programme.
“The latest funding agreement with KMR has brought the opportunity to contribute funding to landowners who want to do planting as well,” says Tim.
“Katie Forno and I share the role to deliver the KPIs in the funding agreement. Principally, that means finding and encouraging landowners within the rohe of TFBT to fence to exclude stock and plant their riparian margins to reduce sediment getting into the Kaipara Harbour, while improving ecosystem resilience and biodiversity.”
Tim says it makes sense to use the funding to support grassroots, ground up community lead groups to take control of their catchments. And he enjoys his time on the land working with farmers to improve the environment, especially those enthusiastic landowners already on the journey to doing better.
“This is a substantial investment by a bunch of people who have decided to row the Waka in the same direction. The more we can get people talking to each other about the benefits of KMR the better.”
Having faith and building trust in communities is critical to leading this mahi, he adds.
“KMR is focused on providing guidance, the science to prioritise action, and funds to pay facilitators and coordinators whose job it is to make it easy for communities to do the work. It provides an opportunity to gain financial support to help people realise that with some help and respectful advice you can make a difference.
“Hopefully future generations will see that we made a start to mitigate the impacts of land change on the myriad waterways of the Kaipara over the past 150 or so years. The task will take many generations and how it is delivered will change over that time.”
Away from his role with The Forest Bridge Trust, Tim still finds time to volunteer for the Tamahunga Trappers and has many friends involved in local conservation organisations.
Forest Bridge Trust helps connect farmers and landowners with funding (often sourced from multiple funding sources) to fence off significant ecological sites such as native bush and wetlands.
And if interested and if your waterways flow into the Kaipara Harbour, get in touch with Tim – email him at email@example.com and catch up for a chat! For more information on the grants available visit kmr.org.nz/grants-funding
The vision of The Forest Bridge Trust is to create a connected landscape of healthy forest and flourishing indigenous wildlife from the Kaipara Harbour in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. For more information: Strategic Direction October 2022
Interview by Steve Macmillan – Director / The Communication Suite