17-23 June is Volunteer Awareness Week, so it’s a great time to acknowledge the invaluable contribution volunteers make to conservation in New Zealand.
Today we profile an amazing young volunteer, Antonio Barbarich-Waikari (Antz), who has been helping out with conservation since he was “knee high to a grass hopper”…
Youth Week was launched in Gisborne on 19 May with the 2012 Youth Awards for Volunteering.
Tributes were paid to 24 young leaders who give their time and energy freely. Gisborne Volunteer Centre manager Jenny Greaves said the teenagers, through volunteering, displayed values that contributed to the well-being of the community.
Young-at-heart television personality Te Hamua Nikora presented the awards with Mayor Meng Foon to deserving recipients at the “well to do” Quality Hotel Emerald.
Acknowledged within this prestigious group was DOC and Whinray Ecological Charitable Trust (WECT) volunteer Antonio Barbarich-Waikari (Antz).
Antz has been helping out with conservation since he was “knee high to a grass hopper!” says nominator and Community Relations Ranger Trudi Ngawhare.
Antz has assisted many times with kiwi and weka listening and kiwi monitoring which occur usually during late hours. He has traversed steep, rocky and damp terrain to check stoat trap lines, transmit and process weka, place out Sentinel possum traps, monitor residual trap catch possum lines, and service cat and stoat traps.
He has helped with feeding kiwi chicks and has attended tree plantings with the Whinray Ecological Charitable Trust (WECT) in the Motu Kiwi Enclosure. He has spent time with DOC scrub barring at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve, and has helped with track maintenance at Gray’s Bush Scenic Reserve, as well as giving up a week during the Christmas holidays to help with track maintenance on Moutohora (Whale Island) in Whakatane.
Even though Antz is only 16, acknowledgement for this long time volunteer is long overdue.
Nga mihi kia a koe Antz!