Previous posts

Browse our collection of previous posts.

First Tawaki Results
October 24th, 2014

Fiordland crested penguins, Jan 2006, Open Bay Island Inger (low res)Following a quick scan of the images from WCPT cameras within the Fiordland crested penguin (tawaki) nesting area at Jackson Head, it seems that there are plenty of possums and rats about.

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New Fiordland crested penguin project funded and underway
September 17th, 2014

Fiordland-crested-penguin - KJWThe West Coast Penguin Trust has just embarked on an exciting new project to establish the predators that are contributing to the decline of the threatened Fiordland crested penguins.

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Annual Blue Penguin Census, 11-15 Sept
September 7th, 2014

footprint photoThe blue penguin census is a great opportunity to get out onto your local beach and get to know it a little better! 

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Trust celebrates fence closing
August 26th, 2014

Mayor Garry Howard closes the fenceThe West Coast Penguin Trust celebrated the symbolic closing of its 2.6km penguin protection fence on Friday with great pride.

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Bugman supports local conservation groups
August 19th, 2014

Ruud Kleinpaste (DOC photo)Bugman, Ruud Kleinpaste will be guest speaker as the West Coast Penguin Trust joins other community conservation groups at two events to showcase their projects on 30th and 31st August.

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Everyone’s invited to the fence closing ceremony
August 7th, 2014

West Coast and Coast RoadThe long awaited 2.6km penguin protection fence will be formally ‘closed’ in a ceremony on 22nd August and everyone’s invited.

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Healthpost contribute to the health of the Trust
July 30th, 2014

HealthPost LogoHealthPost selected the West Coast Penguin Trust as May’s charity and we were overwhelmed with the generous donation of over $8500 towards the penguin fence.  Read more

Penguin fence progressing
June 26th, 2014

Graham Clement and Matt Charteris 26 JUne 2014This morning, Trust Chair, Kerry-Jayne Wilson, called by to inspect the Pahuatane penguin fence and was pleased at the progress being made and impressed by the professional job being done. Read more

Penguin proof fence construction begins
May 18th, 2014

Penguin proof fence - Maccaferri plastic netting (reduced)After years of planning and talks, construction of a fence which will cover 2.3km of the Coast Road started last week on a corner that has claimed the lives of dozens of blue penguins. Read more

Penguin habitat improved
April 5th, 2014

Ursina Perry (pippin) and Rhiannon Cutter (guide) help re-plant penguin habitat - squareThe West Coast Blue Penguin Trust’s restoration project, on the north edge of Hokitika, received a boost this morning as an enthusiastic group planted around 250 native plants to create penguin habitat and shelter. 

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Penguin proof fence is about to become a reality
March 31st, 2014

Checking the Pahautane site before work starts - Reuben, Dermot (Opus) and John (fencer) 31 March 2014  cropped for webThe Trust has been working towards the installation of a fence along sections of State Highway 6 where penguin mortality has been disastrous in recent years and, with great support from Holcim NZ, Maccaferri NZ, Resene and many donations from supporters, work is finally set to commence next week.

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Arki loves “Pegwigns”
March 9th, 2014

Penguin pictureTrust Education project leader, Zoe Watson, recently presented a class session at Kokatahi School and received wonderful thank you letters from some of the children.

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Come and connect with penguin projects
February 19th, 2014

penguin sign coast roadLRThe Trust’s quarterly meeting for Supporters is taking a fresh approach this Sunday afternoon in presenting an update on all current projects and inviting input.  The agenda is more focussed on the work of the Trust rather than its business and we’d love you to join us in Ngakawau Hall at 2pm to and stay for afternoon tea. Read more

Penguins galore in Ngakawau
February 11th, 2014

Ngakawau HallThe Trust will be visiting Ngakawau, 30km north of Westport, on Sunday 23rd February and you’re invited.  All those with an interest in penguins and coastal wildlife will be in for a treat.

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Return from Antarctica to face the press
January 25th, 2014

Kerry-Jayne Wilson has returned to Hobart from her epic research adventure to Antarctica.  Questions have been asked about the cost of the rescue from the ice and Kerry-Jayne was among those meeting the press when they reached dry land after two months at sea.  Read her update here: Seventh report – back in Hobart

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Penguinville draws to a close
January 25th, 2014

DSCF2395 Georgia penguin paintingHeaps of children have been down to Hokitika beach over the past week to be creative and learn about penguins.  The event continues today (Saturday 25th) and wraps up on Sunday with prizegiving at 2pm. Read more

Exciting new programme for Penguinville 2014
January 14th, 2014

Penguinville brought in donationsPenguinville gets underway from 1pm Monday 20th to noon Sunday 26th  January for the creation of fun penguin houses on Hokitika beach.  This year, exciting new art and craft activities from Clare and games from Zoe will also be available Wednesday to Friday for children.

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Productive research trip draws to a close
January 13th, 2014

220px-Aurora_Australis_and_penguinsKerryJayne Wilson reports that the ship, the Aurora Australis (photo from, will set sail for Hobart soon, leaving Antarctica behind. “This is one of the most productive research expeditions I have had the privilege to take part in” she writes.

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Helicopter and crane rescue from the ice
January 5th, 2014

Rescue Helicopter - AntarcticaTrust Chair, Kerry-Jayne Wilson, along with other scientists and passengers, have been rescued from their research ship after 10 days trapped by ice in Antarctica.  Read her update from the Australian ship, the Aurora Australis, here: 5 Jan 2014 rescue update

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Trust Chair and other scientists trapped in ice
December 26th, 2013

Akademik Shokalskiy stuck in iceKerry-Jayne Wilson is among the team of scientists, other passengers and crew aboard the ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy trapped in ice in Antarctica.  The Captain issued a distress call yesterday and icebreakers are on their way to rescue the ship.  Kerry-Jayne sent her latest news on Christmas Eve.   (updated 30 Dec) Read more

Penguin Art Installation at Hokitika’s Driftwood & Sand
December 19th, 2013

Abby on beach

The West Coast Blue Penguin Trust is planning for a bigger and better Penguinville experience during the Driftwood and Sand Festival 20-26th of January 2014.  Come along towards the end of the Summer holidays and check out all the fun penguin activities we will have on offer. Read more

Finding the balance – have your say on the RPS
December 15th, 2013

WCRC have your say graphicThe West Coast Blue Penguin Trust was created in 2006 by West Coasters concerned at the level of seemingly unfettered coastal development.  Now, there is more understanding of the coastal environment and seabird habitat by local authorities, developers and the general public.  However, concern is being expressed by environmentalists as the West Coast Regional Council is proposing more use and development of the Coast’s natural resources in its Regional Policy Statement Review discussion document.  Read more

Report from the Sub-Antarctic
December 7th, 2013

Sub antarctic route mapKerry-Jayne Wilson has just sent her report on Leg 1 of the Spirit of Mawson expedition.  She has been flat out doing bird counts with no time for blogging but you can read her report here: First Leg – A return to the Sub Antarctics.

National Radio – Insight Programme
November 25th, 2013

Radion NZ's Philippa TolleyDuring the Conservation Inc community conservation conference in Dunedin last month, Trust Chair, Kerry-Jayne Wilson was one of those interviewed for yesterday’s Radio New Zealand  Insight programme, presented by Philippa Tolley.  The subject was “Changes at DOC” and you can listen here:

Blue Penguin Trust and DOC to Partner Tawaki Conservation
November 6th, 2013

Tawaki or fiordland-crested-penguin

We have always wanted to expand our work to include other West Coast seabirds in particular Tawaki (Fiordland crested penguin), and that looks likely to happen next year. We are currently working with DOC to develop a multi-party partnership focused on Tawaki conservation.

Census Results Suggest Blue Penguin Numbers are Declining
November 6th, 2013
Caelan Nichol at Siberia Bay Cape Foulwind Census 13

Caelan Nichol checking penguin prints at Siberia Bay, Cape Foulwind, Census 13

Blue penguin numbers seem to be declining on the West Coast according to the results of the eighth annual survey.  Where the same stretches of beach have been surveyed in both 2012 and 2013, penguin tracks counted were down from 397 to 338 this year. Weeks of stormy weather led to a worse than average season for penguins in 2011, and a lower penguin count in that year.


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Conservation Inc. Conference
October 31st, 2013

WCBPT Trustees attended the “Conservation Inc.”  Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust Conference in Dunedin on 17-18 October. This 25th anniversary conference asked the question “What’s ahead for community-based conservation in New Zealand? 


Trustees at the Conservation Inc. Conference in Dunedin: Back row Tim Shaw (advisory Trustee) Helen Chambers (instrumental in setting up the trust) and Paul Elwell-Sutton (Trustee). Front Row, Reuben Lane (ranger), Kerry-Jayne Wilson (Chairperson) and Leon Dalziel (Trustee).















DunedinConference2 2013

Kerry-Jane delivering her talk at the conference.


Satellite Tracking for West Coast Penguins
October 31st, 2013
Satellite Tracing for West Coast Penguins

A longer than average swim for a blue penguin; 90 k’s in just one day.

In a first for the West Coast, the West Coast Blue Penguin Trust has undertaken a pilot programme to see where little blue penguins go to find food.

The study will use Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) tracking technology to monitor the penguins as they head out into the Tasman Sea to find food for their chicks. Eight tiny GPS units were attached to blue penguins at Charleston in October and their foraging journeys can now be mapped.

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Nest Checking at Charleston
September 19th, 2013

Update on breeding season by Blue Penguin Trust Media Liaison Anna Hollings

Friday the thirteenth seemed like a very auspicious day to go out with Reuben on his nest checking rounds at Charleston, and we were certainly lucky with the weather. It was a beautiful sunny day and I even managed to get some good photos of adult penguins sitting on their nests that weren’t too dark and blurry.

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Blue Penguin highway death toll rising
September 4th, 2013
penguin sign coast roadLR

Look out for the penguin signs like this on the coast road.

A heart breaking sight greeted Blue Penguin Trust supporter and Fox River resident, Fiona McDonald last Sunday, yet another blue penguin road death.  To make matters worse, this penguin was one of just six counted in the area as part of the 2013 Blue Penguin census. Fiona picked up no less than three penguins killed on this stretch of the coast road last month, adding to the sad statistics for penguin road deaths.

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Kaniere School raises awareness
August 28th, 2013

Kaniere leaflet image for webKaniere School students have been studying penguins and decided everyone else should know about them too.

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Miracle penguin
August 24th, 2013

Injured penguin found on Revell Street, nursed back to health by Sonya Hughes and released 21 Aug 13Despite being feisty at the top, a little blue penguin that was found in Hokitika on Monday had a damaged bottom half and looked unlikely to survive the night.

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Trust volunteers recognised
August 13th, 2013

Trustpower Community Awards LogoThe volunteers who have created, developed, driven and supported the West Coast Blue Penguin Trust were acknowledged this evening when they won the Heritage and Environment Award at the Grey District Trustpower Community Awards.

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It’s nearly census time
August 8th, 2013

Fern Collings Davis September 2011 105 for web smallThe annual West Coast blue penguin census will take place between 22 and 26 August and we’d like you to be part of it!  (Photo: Fern Collings Davis of Hokitika Scouts points out penguin tracks)

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Coastal erosion threatens West Coast penguin habitat
July 19th, 2013

dune erosion and penguin footprints July 2013 HokitikaMassive coastal erosion up and down the West Coast is dramatically reducing the habitat of little blue penguins and obstructing the rare birds’ access to their burrows.

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Trust looks beyond penguins to seabirds
July 3rd, 2013

 Fiordland Crested PenguinThe Trust recently produced a smart new leaflet about West Coast Seabirds, introducing visitors and locals alike to the seabirds they might get a glimpse of on or close to our coast.  (Photo by Kerry-Jayne Wilson)

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Soggy dogs’ breakfast
June 26th, 2013

Cruise the dog at the Dogs BreakfastMost dog owners in Hokitika received the message about keeping dogs under control in order to share the beach with penguins but they missed out on a fabulous breakfast!

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Off to the lands of the penguins
June 15th, 2013

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, one of the expedition leadersTrust Chair, Kerry-Jayne Wilson has been selected to sail off to the lands of penguins this summer, as one of the leaders on an expedition to commemorate the original Australasian Antarctic Expedition 100 years ago.

Visit the Spirit of Mawson website.
View blog updates from the team.
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Dogs’ Breakfast for Hokitika
June 12th, 2013

Dog's BreakfastDog owners and their dogs are invited for breakfast on Sunday morning to find out how dogs and penguins can share the beach safely. Read more

MNZM for Trust Patron
June 8th, 2013

Craig PottonCraig Potton, Patron of the West Coast Blue Penguin Trust, became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit when the Queen’s Birthday honours were announced a few days ago.  Read more