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Rimutaka Forest Park Trust 25th Birthday Celebrations

12th October, 2013

Time to celebrate!

Join the Rimutaka Forest Park Trust for dinner on the 12th of October 2013 celebrating 25 years of conservation success.

With tickets available for just $65, guests will be entertained by Ruud Kleinpaste aka the ‘Bugman’ and be treated to a delicious meal at Hoopers Café & Bar on the Esplanade, Petone.

Parliamentary Private Secretary for Conservation, Nicky Wagner, MP will also be speaking on behalf of the Minister of Conservation.

From small beginnings the Trust has achieved a number of significant milestones in the Rimutaka Forest Park, including re-introducing brown kiwi to the Park, running a significant pest control programme, improving public facilities and planting thousands of native plants with the help of corporate volunteers.

“The Trust is going from strength to strength with over 85 volunteers and a growing membership”, said Trust spokesperson Janet Lawson.

“Things changed dramatically for us in 2003 when it was suggested that we put kiwi back in to the Park. A bunch of people with grand ideas - and no bosses to add any realism! – went on to do just that with over 80 kiwi now calling the Rimutaka Forest Park home. We think this deserves a great celebration”.

Tickets can be ordered at https://rfpt25dinner.eventbrite.co.nz.


In addition to the anniversary dinner, the Trust will also be holding an art sale to celebrate their silver jubilee. Five pieces of art from locally and internationally acclaimed artists will be offered for sale, with proceeds helping to continue the work of the Trust.

The artists donating their work include local artist Janet Andrews and Phil Waddington. Phil is a close friend of the Trust who is creating two pieces specifically for the sale. A private donor is also donating an original painting by famed New Zealand artist Jeanette Blackburn.

Rimutaka Forest Park Trust Charity Art Sale

The Rimutaka Forest Park Charitable Trust is celebrating its 25th anniversary in style this year, thanks to generous donations from two local artists and a private donor.

Artists Phil Waddington and Janet Andrews are showing their support for conservation and our community group by each donating original art works to the Trust for sale.

Anyone wishing to view these paintings should visit the foyer of the Department of Conservation, National Office (Conservation House - 18-32 Manners Street, Wellington. They will be on display there until at least the end of October. To discuss purchase details, or make a purchase offer, please contact Trust Vice President, Rosemary Thompson on (04) 569 4764, or email the Trust at info@rimutakatrust.org.nz.  Note that the prices cited here are value estimates only and all sales will be via private negotiations.

We are extremely grateful for all these donations.

Janet Andrews

"Tea in the bush" by Janet Andrews

'Tea in the Bush' - An original watercolour and ink painting. Valued at ~$2,250. Part of the 'Wild things' exhibition, a celebration of the "wild things" we live alongside in New Zealand - the famous, the endangered, the taken-for-granted, and the merely common.

This painting shows a Manuka branch alongside a watercolour of manuka bushland, something commonly found throughout the Rimutaka Forest Park. (50% of the proceeds of this sale will go to the RFPT.)

Janet Andrews is a Wellington-based watercolour artist. After early training as a geologist and zoologist, and post graduate work in Antarctica, she worked as a graphic artist and cartoonist in Canada for 20 years, before returning to Wellington to a studio on the shore at Days Bay.

Her work has been exhibited extensively in Wellington and overseas in Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, Japan, and China.

Janet recently has had her work accepted in both the London Olympics Fine Arts Exhibition and the 5th Beijing Biennale (2012). She was President of the Watercolour New Zealand (The National Society) for 10 years and is at present Chair of the Wellington Artists' Gallery Trust.

Janet works out of Southlight Studio in Days Bay.

Phil Waddington

'Haunting Huias' by Phil Waddington
'Haunting Huias' - A one-off print with pastel re-working. Valued at ~$950.

The extinct Huia were last recorded in Gollan’s Valley 90 years ago.

Phillip's unique DOC 200 kill traps are now employed throughout the valley in an attempt to ensure that such an extinction never happens again.

Phillip is a full-time artist who has been connected to the Rimutaka Forest Park for approximately 40 years, initially taking his inspiration from the Orongorongo Valley scenery. His passion for both art and conservation began as a youngster, catching possums with his hand-built cages. By age 10, he was selling pictures to school friends and later went on to sell his art though the Hutt Art Society and NZ Academy of Fine Arts.

He brings these interests together to draw attention to the plight of native species and has enhanced their survival rate through his work. His concern for the dwindling population of kiwi and other native species motivated his creative mind to develop a unique and revolutionary predator trap. The trap is now widely used throughout New Zealand and internationally.

The trap, gifted to New Zealand by Phil has made significant contributions towards saving native wildlife and brought together community groups, working tirelessly to restore native flora and fauna. This trap has revolutionised conservation throughout New Zealand, helping to create island reserves and allowing the recovery of the critically endangered Mohua (Yellowhead) in Eglington Valley and removing stoats from Resolution island, 100 years after famed conservationist Richard Henry left.

Wellingtonians may remember a Life-size Whale's tail that appeared in Wellington Harbour. This floating sculpture caused a stir in the community and showed Phillip's concern for the endangered humpback whale being added to the Japanese catch list. Phillip has worked doggedly to preserve an area of Stokes Valley bushland, placing a QEII Trust Covenant on it, creating the Horoeka Street Reserve and ensuring it can remain a unique wetland area.

Phillip firmly believes that New Zealand is changing and the community groups are taking over. He believes that he would have seen extinctions happening in our lifetime, without the work of community groups and people like himself, and that the work we do now is critical to turning the tide and saving our endangered wildlife. Phillip uses his own trap logo alongside his signature on his wildilfe paintings.

'The Great Lorenzo' - by Phil Waddington - An original pastel. Valued at ~$3,500.

Through Phillip’s work with the predator control traps, he was invited to carry one of the first released kiwi into the Rimutaka Forest Park. His idea of donating pictures to the Trust has finally come to fruition with a portrait of 'Lorenzo,' the heavy bundle he helped carry in.

Lorenzo is a male brown kiwi still thriving in the forest park and has produced several beautiful chicks since his release.

'Snack on the wing' by Phil Waddington
'Snack on the wing' - A one-off print with pastel re-working. Valued at ~$800.

This picture highlights the artist’s concern for our native wildlife, with his typical whimsical style. Look closely!

Jeanette Blackburn

"The Tuis" - an original painting by Jeanette Blackburn

"NZ Tui in Rata" - by Jeanette Blackburn

An original acrylic and oil painting. Gifted to the Rimutaka Forest Park Trust by a local donor, it comes framed with its original receipt.

Renowned wildlife and landscape artist Jeanette Blackburn is one of identical twins. She has painted since childhood, and has been a professional artist for over 30 years. She paints mainly in acrylics because the minute detail she strives for (such as the fluffiness of birds’ feathers) is best captured in this medium. She then adds oils as a finishing touch to give the 3D effect often seen in her wildlife and landscapes.

“Wildlife painting,” she says “must be accurate”. Following this philosophy, she captures realism in all her works of art.

They remind us of our natural heritage and the beauty of nature in all its glory. Through her art she tries to promote the appreciation of wildlife and conservation of all New Zealand’s natural resources.

Jeanette’s paintings are held in private collections, not only in New Zealand but throughout the world. Her commission list runs into several months at a time, and she rarely has an exhibition as her art sells so quickly.

Jeanette is the recipient of many awards and has judged the Telecom Art Awards. The highlight of her career was the great honour of having her painting “The New Zealand Huia” presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate her Golden Jubilee visit to New Zealand in February 2002.