December 2021 Update

Education Update: Hilary Hurst

After a quiet winter – things have ramped up at the centre – with James Street School booking a total of seven days and also visits from Rotokawa School from Rotorua and the year 8’s from Tarawera High School. Term 1 is almost fully booked for next year.

Currently the most popular activities are:

“Making stuff” especially rat trap boxes – You can expect to see these trap boxes around James Street School and the adjacent Awatapu lagoon.

“Weedbusting” Spring has meant an absolute overtaking of the bush area by the very invasive Montbretia – and the students are super enthusiastic about getting rid of this

Scavenger hunts – incorporating strategy, map-reading and negotiation

Looking at feathers, leaves and bugs through the microscopes and looking at the taxidermied birds and animals on loan from DOC

All of these activities provide opportunities for kids to show leadership, resilience, teamwork, and curiosity – excellent skills and strengths for these uncertain times

Of course programmes don’t run without the huge support in the background from our trustees – giving advice, tidying up and just being there. Peter Murnane and his wife did a huge job of clearing the gardens so that Lisa Eve could run sustainable gardening sessions for one of our schools – and thank you so much to Maurice and Lisa for coming along on one of our biggest days, and to Helen, Fran, Hannah, Pete Fergusson for being available in the background to answer my many questions

How you can help:

  • Donations of quality fence palings (1.8 x 2.5 x 15), even better if they are already cut to length (4 x 45cm per trap box)
  • 60 mm galvanised flat head nails
  • 4 x hammers
  • Seedlings of kawakawa

Predator Control Update: Peter Fergusson

MET is excited to be developing a relationship with Te Ohomai who run a 19-week, level 3 course on pest control for local students. We have had their tutors and a group of their students running a possum trapping programme and also rat monitoring in one of the Manawahe bush blocks. They did over 130 trap nights and caught 5 possums and one very agile wallaby. The rat monitor result was zero. We were very happy with the results for possums and the rat result was a surprise as this block had not been treated with toxin this year. We plan to work more closely with Te Ohomai next year as it is a win-win situation; we get useful work done and they get valuable experience.

We have nearly finished our wallaby control trial in the Cell Tower block and the results showed that prefeeding specific sites prior to using toxin produced a higher kill rate than a once only distribution of toxic bait. The prefeeding of course is more labour intensive and uses more consumables but we can do this in our small bush areas. We have also been helping out a landowner on Braemar road who has wallaby raiding her gardens every night. The results of this small trial are not yet in but we are hoping to provide her with some respite from the nocturnal raiders.

Good news from the Manawahe Kokako Trust on the Kokako front as the monitoring team have found 3 nests and at two of the nests it looks like chicks are being fed. The other nest seems to have failed for an unknown reason. Of the 6 birds recently translocated from Rotoehu, 4 have been located and one pair has moved closer to the Cell Tower block. It is hoped that the translocations from Rotoehu and Kaharoa over the last two years will give the Manawahe birds a genetic boost and produce an expanding population.


Community Centre Update: Hannah Flatman

We are very excited to have recently been donated a defibrillator from Trust Horizon. This is currently stored inside the school building, while we make a plan on how to make it more readily accessible for Manawahe residents if it is needed during a time when no one is at the Manawahe Eco Trust Centre.

We have also recently received a generous donation from Jones and Cole Electrical. We have put this donation towards a new security camera setup that will help us keep our centre secure during times when no one is on site.


Outdoor First Aid Course

We are planning on hosting a First Aid course in early 2022 and we are keen to know of any local Manawahe residents that may be keen to attend for either one or two days over a weekend. This is a great opportunity for us to be safe, informed, learn how to use the defibrillator and to come together at the Manawahe Eco Trust Community Centre. The course will be run by Peak Safety.

For this to go ahead we would need 10-20 people aged 14+. A one day course would cost $165 +GST (and assumes recent first aid knowledge). A two day course would be $250 +GST and would include some great scenario based learning opportunities to expand your first aid knowledge.

The course will provide you with an Outdoor First Aid Certificate and for an extra $25 Unit Standards 6401, 6402, 6400 can be assessed

How do we make this happen?

  1. Register your interest by emailing Hilary at by the end of January 2022
  2. Let us know if you have specific First Aid situations you would like to look at eg kitchen fire, quad bike incident, stroke, heart attack, etc.