Archives For Gisborne

During the winter months, DOC Ranger Joe Waikari, goes around the East Coast region talking to schools, kohanga, early childhood centres and marae about the need to protect native wildlife from predators.

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Come behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Today we profile Trudi Ngawhare, Partnerships Ranger, Gisborne…

At work

Trudi and partner Bennet at the Auckland Nines.

Me and my partner Bennet at the Auckland Nines

Some things I do in my job include: 

Working with the community, events, education, volunteers, community groups, iwi—whenever, wherever… even at netball or while watching rugby.

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by:

The more people that engage with conservation, the more people participate in recreation…

The best bit about my job is:

The passionate people I meet and the cool places and species work DOC people are privileged to be a part of. It’s very, very awesome!

The awesome-est DOC moment I’ve had so far is:

Seeing the return of tuatara to the East Cape—a translocation project from Ngāti Kōata to Ngāti Porou.

Trudi with tuatara being returned to the East Cape.

It was a privilege to be part of history and see the return of tuatara to the East Cape area

On a personal note…

Most people don’t know that:

I am a twin, so if you see my lookalike in Hamilton, don’t worry. We are quite accustomed to people carrying on a conversation with us before realising that they may be talking to the wrong sister.

The song that always cheers me up is…

Anything by Michael Jackson or Stevie Wonder.

My stomping ground is:

“The promised land” Te Araroa, East Cape!

If I could trade places with any other person for a week it would be…

Beyonce. That way I wouldn’t have to pretend.

My best ever holiday was…

Anywhere with my family, where there is no cellphone coverage and where you don’t have to spend heaps of money, because there are five or more kids to get into everything.

Trudi with her kids at kiwi egg operation.

Awesome DOC moment to take my kids along to lift kiwi eggs to be taken to Kiwi encounter

My greatest sporting moment was:

Actually, that I am still playing competitive netball at 36 (nothing seems to recover fast any more). My osteopath shakes her head disapprovingly.

If I could be any New Zealand native species I’d be:

kārearea—travel would be cheaper and faster.

My secret indulgence is:

Horoera pumpkins (kina) with a side of sautéed paua off the BBQ.

Trudi dressed as a paua for a community event.

My first community event dressed as a ‘Paua’

Before working at DOC I was…

A youth career coach working with early school leavers to transition into productive pathways.

I learnt many life lessons, such as talk to your kids from primary level about their interests and possible pathways that stem from them; don’t do everything for your kids, let them suffer a little bit to learn; expose them to different role models, even undesirable ones so that they know where they don’t want to be; and (not the easiest concept to sell to teenagers). STAY IN SCHOOL …everything is free!

Deep and meaningful…

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is:

“Get outside and play.”

In work and life I am motivated by:

My whānau.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is:

Enjoy and learn about our natural heritage, that way we are better equipped to protect what we love.

Question of the week…

I never go anywhere without…

That’s easy… my gumboots, (a Coasties main apparel). If it weren’t for your gumboots where would you be?

By Trudi Ngawhare, Partnerships Ranger, Gisborne

Tiki the conservation dog.

Tiki the conservation dog

Recently, we lost a “totara” for conservation.

Tiki the conservation dog passed away at the prime age of 11 (human) years.

Tiki was based at Motu, in the Gisborne region, with Ranger Joe Waikari and whānau.

He was a small Border Terrier cross who specialised in detecting mustelids (weasels, stoats and ferrets).

Ranger Joe Waikari describes Tiki as an “energizer battery, he never went flat”.

More travelled than most humans, Tiki’s work would take him (and Joe) all over the country: island work; in the back country… anywhere where extensive pest control programmes were in place, to ensure mustelid populations were gone from the area.

Tiki the conservation dog on a DOC boat.

Tiki heading to Mokoia Island, Rotorua

Tiki, was part of the Conservation Dog Programme. These detection dogs are trained to locate specific target species—either protected or predator. This helps the handler to capture and monitor protected species, or eradicate the pest species through trapping, poisoning or shooting.

Joe says the highlight in working with Tiki has been “doing our part in protecting our endangered species”.

Tiki was also a public relations specialist, winning over the crowds with his unassuming charm. He attended A&P shows and school talks, and he was a great advocate for conservation efforts with many children declaring that they wanted to go home to teach their dogs to be like Tiki.

Joe and Tiki doing training.

Joe and Tiki entertaining a crowd

Also a valued whānau member, Tiki was the champion in the small dogs category at the Matawai School Pet Day a couple of years running.

Tiki is a tribute to all conservation dogs that quietly go about their work (for cuddles and food), making huge gains for conservation.

He whakamaumahara ki a ‘Tiki’, he kuri o te papa atawhai. Moe mai e hoa, moe mai. A tribute to Tiki, the conservation dog. Rest easy friend, rest easy.

Watch this video tribute to Tiki but be careful of ‘dust getting in your eyes’: