Then we were lucky enough to be a part of the Kaimanawa horse muster in the Kaimanawa ranges on the Central Plateau. That was very exciting, and I was blown away by how all of the people involved (two different groups of volunteers for Kaimanawa horse welfare, vets, musterers, chopper pilots, DOC staff, scientists etc) worked in unison to make sure that the horses were rounded up quietly and calmly and to keep mothers and foals together… it was like clockwork! Just last week, I visited a lady in Clevedon (just out of Auckland) who is a ‘foster-mum’ to two of the horses from this year’s muster. Just two months after they were brought in from the Kaimanawa ranges, these two beautiful wee horses are already firm friends with her, and can be led around on a halter, and come to her for a good feed and a brush. I was also very excited, because one of the horses was a young foal I had spotted during the muster, and had really fallen in love with! – great to see he had found a wonderful home.
The kids were great – and were very enthusiastic about all of the wildlife that can be found over there. We knew the trip had got off to a great start when we saw some common dolphins right in front of Ra ngitoto Island on the way out to Tiritiri Matangi. I had such a lovely time with the kids (even though they laughed at my attempt at hip hop dancing!) and we were lucky to have some very experienced volunteer nature guides from the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi. The students were happy to roll up their sleeves and get stuck into planting trees, measuring weather, and feeding the endangered hihi. Great fun!
And I reckon with students like the ones from Mangere Central School getting involved, the future of our precious natural heritage is looking brighter and brighter!