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Major Expansion of Karioi – Maunga ki te Moana project
 
The dream to restore seabirds to Karioi Maunga came one step closer recently with a significant grant from NZ Lottery Grants Board.

On March 2nd, contracted track-cutters from the local hapu began work on the establishment of 40km of new tracks across the mountain – in preparation for the laying of a further 500 stoat/ferret traps.  Area of intensive predator control will grow from 130 hectares to 1800 hectares!  The development of the project and the recognition by Environmental Waikato and the Department of Conservation of Kairoi as one of the significant bio-diversity projects in the Waikato region is testament to the thousands of hours of work put into the project by volunteers and the leadership (and perseverance) of A Rocha’s co-Director Kristel van Houte and a dedicated group of people who oversee the community-conservation project.

Now the hard work really begins.  A growing project also means more work and thus more opportunities to be involved (e.g. the deployment of new traps across the mountain scheduled for August/September 2015).  If you’re interested in volunteering and/or bringing a group to visit the project, don’t hesitate to contact us on: new.zealand@arocha.org
 

Experience + Theological Reflection =
Transformative



In January, nine students involved in the A Rocha-Laidlaw ‘Ecology, God and Community’ course spent a week at the ‘Blodge’ our base in Raglan, reflecting upon what it means to participate in Christ’s work - the reconciliation of all things.  The week involved enriching conversations, visits to organic dairy farms, eel farms, Raglan Xtreme Zero Waste, and participation in a range of practical activities associated with the Karioi project (building rat-trap tunnels; checking predator traps, clearing invasive weeds).  Feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive and indicated that significant learning and transformation had taken place:
 
The week was full of learning for me with the opportunity for group discussion and to be able to tease out some of the theory I had been reading.... To be able to look at my life and realize that balance is not just out there in the world, that I am part of creation, and need to live a simpler more balanced life.
 
Xtreme Zero Waste turned out to be one of the most inspirational sites I ever visited.... I was shocked and greatly saddened by facing the dark reality of our modern lifestyle.... I witnessed the evidence that we are literally raping the world and daily dumping the mess we do not want to deal with.
 
The take home learning for me was how absence of "place" is one of the defining problems of our society. That people have become transitory and define values in life by the latest ad campaign. This in turn leads to environmental indifference and degradation...
 
I had a lesson in the re-discovery of child-like enthusiasm for the non-human other during the predator monitoring... for an extended period we watched a morepork watch us. It was Mark’s [our guide] expert and loving eye that had known s/he was in the crown of a ponga, having already spotted us before we spotted him/her. Mark’s enthusiasm led to the joy of encounter.
 
This has easily been the most challenging, exciting and transformative course I've taken… probably ever.
 
What is happening in Raglan, Karioi, is a symbolic story of hope and restoration for me. Our work in caring for creation is not over. It is only beginning.
 

A Rocha Kenya Update


 
In January we asked you to pray about threats to Arabuko-Sokoke Forest from oil and gas surveys by CAMAC. The Kenya team reports: ‘CAMAC indeed has kept their word and stayed out of the forest. This morning (22 January) we drove past their camp and they are clearly packing up to leave. For the time being the forest is safe! Praise be to God and thanks to all who contributed in the tumult of the campaign. Please pray, though, that we’ll find creative solutions to the continued degradation of Dakatcha Woodlands.’
 

Global Climate Change prayer reminder
 
This is a critical year for climate action.  On Dec 1st, 2015 the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place in Paris, France.  Hundreds of thousands of Christians (and those of other faith traditions) are joining in fasting and prayer to:
  • stand in solidarity with the poor and vulnerable who both are (& will be) disproportionately affected by the impact of climate change (extreme weather events; drought etc.)
  • pray for tangible outcomes in the international climate negotiations that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the sake of future generations, the vulnerability of the poor and the overall health and well-being of God’s good creation.

 
A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand has signed up to the fast and you too can sign up individually at http://fastfortheclimate.org.  We would encourage you to fast and pray on the 1st day of each month between now and the Paris talks in December 2015.
 


Get Active in your location!
 
A reminder: there are A Rocha local groups across the country involved in hands-on conservation projects (stream, wetland restoration, mistletoe research, predator control, native nursery and replanting).  If you’re interested in knowing more or being involved then you can contact new.zealand@arocha.org or the regional groups directly:
 
Auckland@arocha.org
Waikato@arocha.org
Manawatu@arocha.org
Wellingto@arocha.org
Christchurch@arocha.org
Dunedin@arocha.org



A Rocha Auckland: Bio Search, Unsworth Reserve, April 12, 2014


A Rocha Auckland: Unsworth Reserve Planting Day


A Rocha Wellington: Green Mistletoe Restoration Project - A large mistletoe plant which has germinated from seed “planted” some years ago.

 
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A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand is part of A Rocha International

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