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2008 Stoat Trappers' Ball Photos

Follow this link to see what a great time was had by all who attended this FUN-draiser (sic) for the Rimutaka Forest Park Charitable Trust.

Canine Kiwi Avoidance Training - 22nd and 23rd November

After the success of the previous training weekend, the Trust intends to run another such weekend at the Education Centre at the Catchpool entrance to the Rimutaka Forest Park on the 22nd and 23rd November, 2008

Anyone interested in having their dog(s) trained to avoid kiwi should contact Melody McLaughlin:
by email to Melody
or Tel. (04) 564 6213
or Txt. 027 452 4982)

For more information, click this link:

RFPT is 20 years old this October

The RFPT was 20 years old in October! So what are we planning to achieve over the next 20 years? We are currently considering a number of proposals and working on a strategic plan encompassing the next 20 to 200 years. Once we've agreed on the priorities - and the plan for the next 20 years - in the next few weeks, we will publish it here for all to see.

The AGM for the Rimutaka Forest Park Charitable Trust was held during the evening of  Wednesday 8th October, in Wainuiomata.

BNZ call centre staff volunteered their time and labour to help us out in the Park. Thank you!

Corporate volunteers

Bank of New Zealand staff from the Wellington Customer Contact Centre came to the Park for the day on Tuesday 10th June and planted miniature toetoe in the top car park and around the Education Centre and weeded some existing plants in the Catchpool Valley.

"We had a BBQ to sustain us all around lunchtime, then a few of the guys came and cleared some possum traps with me in the afternoon," said Trust secretary, Melody McLaughlin, "while the others continued planting and weeding".

A great time was had by all and they are all looking forward to doing it again utilising the 2 volunteer days BNZ allows annually for its employees to do so. (There was even talk of camping over in the adjacent camp grounds and doing the two days back to back!)

DoC Ranger, Becs Wolfe, was a great support in the exercise by helping with and organising the supply of plants and equipment. A Big "Thank You" to her and to the entire BNZ crew; See you all next year, we hope! (Photo Credit: Melody McLaughlin)

RFPT farewells one of its founders

Bill Milne, 1926 - 2008May 2008: - We are really going to miss this wonderful, hard-working fellow!
Robert William (Bill) Milne died peacefully in his sleep on May 14th 2008, at age 82. A huge crowd turned up at his funeral at St James Anglican Church in Lower Hutt, on Saturday 17th May, to support Elaine Milne and family and to say a fond farewell to Bill.

Bill Milne was a founding member of the Rimutaka Forest Park Trust, 20 years ago. About eight years ago, he and John Rush also initiated our hugely successful "Restore the Dawn Chorus" project in the Catchpool Valley.

Robert William (Bill) Milne - 3rd March 1926 - 14th May 2008

Bill Milne - one of the founders of the RFPT 20 years ago - is seen here at the release of one of our kiwi in April 2008

May, 2008:- Rimutaka Forest Park Trust Vice President, and "Restore the Dawn Chorus" veteran, Bill Milne, passed away at his home in Maungaraki , on the 14th May, 2008.

During the Second World War, Bill saw active service in the Royal New Zealand Navy on corvettes, minesweepers and other warships in the Pacific arena. In later civilian roles, he worked as a Wool Classer.

For decades, he was an active member of the Lower Hutt Branch of Forest & Bird Society of NZ and many other local conservation groups. Bill played a big part in the restoration of "original habitat" vegetation on Wellington Harbour's beautiful Matiu-Somes Island.

We will sincerely miss seeing Bill at our future  Trust Committee and Kiwi Project meetings!

Matamua's Release

Matamua - our firstborn chick - is proudly displayed to the children and kiwi supporters at the Wainuiomata Marae where he was welcomed and blessed just prior to his release

Our Firstborn, Matamua, was returned to the Rimutaka Forest Park on April 12th. He was placed into a burrow close to where his egg was originally retrieved under the auspices of the BNZ "Save The Kiwi - Operation Nest Egg" programme last year.

To see his photo gallery, please click here...

April, 2008:- Fourteen months after he was hatched from his egg at Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Reserve, Matamua is home at last!

He was returned to the Rimutaka Forest Park area where he was conceived by his North Island Brown Kiwi parents, Waikiwianui (father) and Manaia (mother).

Matamua is another success story for the BNZ Kiwi Recovery, "Operation Nest Egg" programme, and our first offspring from the  kiwis released in May 2006, at the Rimutaka Forest Park, as part of the Trust's Kiwi Project.

Darren Page with kiwi in the box, chats to Anania Randall at the entrance to the marae

It was a warm, glittering autumn afternoon when Matamua arrived at the Wainuiomata Marae following his journey over the Rimutaka Hill from Mt Bruce in the Northern Wairarapa.

Darren Page, who has cared for Matamua since he was hatched in the Mt Bruce incubator, brought him to the marae in a specially ventilated crate.

There, Matamua was welcomed onto the marae by the local iwi and blessed in an informal, but moving ceremony spoken in both Maori and English.

A large crowd of supporters, volunteers and children were there to see the honoured guest, Matamua, before he was taken back to the Turere Valley from whence his egg was taken.

A look of delight on their faces as these children see our kiwi once he was removed from his carrying crate

For some of these children and accompanying adults, it was the first time they had had a chance to see a live kiwi outside of a zoo, wildlife park, or on television.

For more photos and information about Matamua, check out his Photo Gallery here...

New Kiwi Offspring for Rimutaka Forest Park

Sleepy new arrival for the RFPT, chick number 3 is shown off to the camera

January, 2008:- Rimutaka Forest Park kiwi have produced a second and third chick, following the hatching of Matamua in February 2007. Both the recently laid eggs were incubated at Department of Conservation's facilities at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre. They hatched on 6 December and 5 January respectively. Both chicks did well at first, but the older chick, produced by Manaia and Tahunahuna, died at the New Zealand Wildlife Health Centre at Massey University in Palmerston North while a health problem was being investigated.

The other chick, fathered by Waikiwianui and from an egg thought to be laid by Potiki, is feeding itself and appears to be thriving. It will soon be transferred to Bushy Park, a predator free crèche facility for kiwi chicks near Wanganui, to be cared for in the wild while it grows to 1200g, large enough to fight off any stoat attack in the forest park.

Meanwhile Matamua, the first chick to be produced from the park last year, has grown to adult size, and will be released back into the park around March. Trust members are hopeful that more adult birds will be released this year to add to the eight kiwi now in the care of the trust.

Project co-ordinator Bill McCabe says the project has a bright future. “With the successful breeding of three pairings, and possible additions to the adult population, we can expect the kiwi population in the park to flourish.”

For further information contact volunteer Annette Harvey, phone 04 801 2794 x 6777 (w) or 04 389 4521(h), Melody McLaughlin, phone 04 564 6213, or Bill McCabe, phone 04 564 5029.

(Prepared on behalf on Rimutaka Forest Park Trust by Margaret Willard, phone 04 973 1378.)