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  • BRaid Newsletter #33 25 August 2017

    Posted on August 23, 2017 by in Newsletters


    Firstly, a reminder that the next BRaid meeting is our AGM Friday 3.00pm 08 September at the DOC offices, 31 Ngai Mahi Road, Sockburn. You do not need to be a member to come along, however you do need to be a member to vote. It would be great to see you all there, as a couple of Rule changes to Braid’s constitution are being proposed, and of course there will be the annual election of new officers.

    Secondly, we are holding a trapping workshop at Woodend Community Hall on Saturday, 28 October 2017 from 1:30 pm to 4:00pm. The principal goal is to create a protective barrier, by way of traps, around the Ashley estuary, in part with a view of reintroducing kaki/black stilt. The workshop is also open to everyone interested in learning about predators and trapping, and offers experienced trappers a chance to network with other trappers and share a few tips and tricks. For more information and to book, click here.

    On that note, 60 sub-adult kaki were released on the Tasman River earlier this month. It was a stunning day for all: see the photos and news story here.

    Nick’s most recent Postcards from the Ashley-Rakahuri River is well worth reading to find out what’s happening on the river. A dozer will begin clear weeds from the riverbed next Monday (August 28), accessing the riverbed from the end of Rossiters Road and working upriver from there. If you are interested in watching the progress, please contact Grant Davey or ph: 021 0519798. Grant can tell you where they are working at the time, but it will be up to you to get out there safely.

    Black-billed gulls have already started nesting along Lake Rotorua, and BRaid has supplied artwork for signs warning people not to approach them. While interpretation signs are vital educational tools, at some point it’s necessary to point out there are consequences for disturbing protected wildlife.

    With spring just a few days away, birds will also soon be returning to our local rivers to breed. If you come across injured birds or orphaned chicks (be sure they are actually orphaned!), please contact the South Island Wildlife Hospital (at Willowbank in Christchurch) or Oxford Bird Rescue (Oxford) as they have an incubator.

    Sonny Whitelaw

    • For those who missed out on the (sold out) NZ premier of 7 Rivers Walking last Saturday, the film will be showing at the following times and locations (NB, it’s the top selling NZIFF single screening film in 2017)
    • Lam Pham, one of our recently elected ECan councillors, has just released this brilliant short music video Mad Love Walking designed to engage otherwise indifferent and also young voters.
    • ECan has recently updated what’s happening with the Canterbury Water Management Strategy:
    • The Waimakariri Zone Committee regularly update the Waimakariri story so far on Canterbury Maps ( If you are seriously interested in water issues in the Waimakariri District, this should be your first port of call. It’s very time consuming and frankly, frustrating, when people come to community meetings with questions and strong points of view, without having done even the most basic background reading.
    • DOC is currently reviewing of the status of public conservation lands in the St James are. See here for key dates and updates:


    For all upcoming events, please see our online calendar. Publicise your event! If you remind me a week or so ahead, I’ll also promote it through our social media network. This is FREE publicity, so take advantage of it. NB: the event must be related to braided rivers or river birds.

    From around the web:

    • Excellent research paper on braided rivers as the ‘ecological nexus’ of regional biodiversity; they’re much richer biologically than ‘normal’ rivers, and should be regarded holistically, ie cross-disciplinary – Science Magazine
    • New Zealand aims to eradicate invasive predators, but winning public support may be big challenge – Science magazine
    • Stoat research is not for the squeamish – Predator Free NZ
    • Should genetic engineering be used as a tool for conservation? – Yale Environment 360
    • Conservation geneticists want to build a bridge to DOC – Predator Free NZ
    • Canterbury irrigation project applies for compulsory land-buying powers (a dangerous precedent!) – Stuff
    • Some birds can string sentences together, even ignoring grammatically ‘incorrect’ calls – Science magazine
    • Human disturbance and upward expansion of plants in a warming world (ie, weeds are spreading faster) – Nature
    • River ecologist: ‘It’s a really bad situation’ – Stuff
    • ‘They’re sitting on their hands’ – Slow progress to Ashburton River flow target – Stuff

    Funding opportunities:

    Ministry for the Environment Community Environment Fund: applications can now be submitted until midday 14 September:

    Membership Renewal is due at the AGM September each year. If you are not already a member of BRaid, you can join as a General, Casual, or Representative member. General Membership is a modest $20/annum, giving you voting rights and the opportunity to have a say in BRaid’s activities.

    Thanks to those who have contributed to this newsletter. Please keep news items coming.

    Please feel free to redistribute this newsletter

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