Superb speakers for Symposium

Kevin HagueWe are delighted and excited to have a fantastic line up of speakers for the Community Conservation Symposium on 14th June at Shantytown and would like to introduce the first three.

Chief Executive of Forest & Bird since October 2016, Kevin Hague will be known to many on the Coast having served as a Green Member of Parliament for eight years and was previously Chief Executive of the West Coast District Health Board.  He still lives here on the Coast, in Greymouth.  In addition, and as a previous member of the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board, Kevin has been involved in conservation advocacy and campaigning, as well as practical conservation work of planting and pest control.

We have invited Kevin to speak on the topic of fundraising for conservation.  His talk is entitled “Fundraising: It’s everybody’s business and busting the myths about fundraising”.  He has personally been responsible for making the fundraising ask and for supporting the professional fundraisers he works with at Forest & Bird.  As a Chief Executive Kevin understands and champions the importance of fundraising and has worked to encourage a culture where everyone within the charity places donors, supporters and members at the heart of everything they do. 

Dr Colin MeurkDr Colin Meurk is a vastly experienced Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research) research associate based at Lincoln.  He has practised Ecological Restoration since the 1970s in the Dunedin Town Belt, with Ngai Tuahuriri at Kaiapoi Pa in the late 80s, and participated in projects from Orakei (Auckland) to Campbell Island (Subantarctic).  He develops theory around cultural landscape legibility, spatial dynamics and optimal reserve configuration, and serves on committees for Travis Wetland, Quail Island, Selwyn District (TAK), and many other Canterbury projects. 

Colin has developed tools and booklets for indigenous restoration and landscaping across Aotearoa and heads NatureWatch.org.nz, a citizen bio-science platform for both anecdotal natural history records and structured monitoring.  The West Coast Penguin Trust has been using Nature Watch for the annual blue penguin count.  Colin’s contribution to the Symposium will include his presentation on “Planning a restoration programme”, often the foundation for community conservation projects.  

Mark Davies, DOC Operations DirectorWe’re very pleased not only to have fantastic support and sponsorship from the Department of Conservation, but also to have DOC’s Mark Davies, Regional Director Operations for Western South Island, speaking at the symposium.  He’ll be explaining how he is working towards a predator free New Zealand and the new approach to landscape level predator control in our region. 

The focus of Mark’s role is to lead conservation management across the West Coast and ensure that we have a clear picture of “what we want to achieve” at both the West Coast and national scale and “how we are going to achieve that working closely together and with others”.  His work is all about “our people”, DOC staff as well as agencies and communities across the West Coast.  He explains “We cannot manage these special places in isolation. We can only achieve the future of a Predator Free West Coast by working together and knowing and agreeing on what each of us are doing and how that contributes to the greater goal of Predator Free New Zealand over time.  I am excited by the symposium and the bringing together of our communities to have this conversation and to build greater understanding of the future.”

We’ll introduce more speakers soon!

In the meantime, please book now!!  Here are the links to the registration page, and our symposium webpage plus the programme.

This is a fantastic opportunity for the Coast and we hope to see you at Shantytown on 14th June!

And a huge thank you to our sponsors and partners:

supporter logos