On the road: A special episode of Meet the Locals

 —  26/08/2009
The new half-hour special episode of Meet the Locals takes us on a journey that features a trip to the deep south where we got to be part of returning the last kakapo chicks from the captive rearing facility in Invercargill, back to the wild, on the island of Whenua Hou.
Perhaps they think my hand looks like a piece of kumara!

Perhaps they think my hand looks like a piece of kumara!

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.

Then, just a couple of weeks ago we filmed the final part of the half-hour special, a ‘Kids Conservation Camp’, where we took the kids from Mangere Central School out to Tiritiri Matangi Island – one of New Zealand’s amazing open sanctuaries. This is a place, just a stone’s throw from Auckland (you get there by ferry), where you can sit and eat your lunch while the endangered takahe graze nearby! This bird was thought to be extinct until they were rediscovered in 1948 in the Murchison Mountains near Te Anau. How cool is that!?

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!

Some of the keen students from Mangere Central School on Tiritiri Matangi

Some of the keen students from Mangere Central School on Tiritiri Matangi

5 responses to On the road: A special episode of Meet the Locals


    Glad you’re enjoying the DOC blog! i love reading it and seeing what all of the other rangers are up to. Cheers,



    Im searching for sites related to this. Glad I found you. Thanks


    They are lovely kids and Mr Krishnan is a really cool teacher!

    The half hour episode is now available to see on the Meet the Locals site – you can view it here http://tvnz.co.nz/meet-the-locals/meetthelocals-s2009-conservation-video-2997946



    this picture is really cool i know all of the kids in the picture and mr krishnan they are all hard workiing and cool people


    Oh and just to let you know – the half-hour special of Meet the Locals will play during Conservation Week on TVNZ 6 (which can also be seen on channel 16 if you have Sky TV).

    For more info – please visit http://www.tvnz.co.nz/meet-the-locals