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Convenor's Report - December 2012

NZ Kiwi Foundation does a great job in controlling animal pests in the broader Bay of Islands and beyond. Last year's Convenor's Report provided information about that success. We have a continuing excellent relationship with the Northland Regional Council with several more Community Pest Control Areas (CPCAs) initiated last year – with integrated predator management (IPM) at Top Energy, Upper Kerikeri River, and Puketotara Landcare Group (trapping only with the community doing the rat and possum control). When the last two above are considered along with the Candy CPCA on Puketi Road, there is now a pretty solid block of land with IPM linking the Puketi Trust with the Waipapa floodplain and incorporating much of the Puketotara and Kerikeri Rivers. The map below helps you see the importance of CPCAs. Note that NZ Kiwi Foundation manages many of the areas in between the CPCAs as well.

CPCA Map

However, it's crunch time for funding! 2012 was the last of three years's major funding from NZ Lottery Grants Board. Since then, we have existed largely on our own resources plus invoices and donations from landowners, various small-scale fundraising activites, and membership. The proportion of our funding which we raise from major applications is about 55 percent of our total operating budget so we remain heavily reliant on success with these applications.

As the competition has heated-up for such funding because of the huge growth in demand by community groups, there are now many fewer opportunites to get that assistance and so we continually look for outside and (importantly) independent funding to sustain our work. The Biodiversity Condition Fund and Advice Fund has been generous to us over the years but we have probably exhausted that source. The Robertson Foundation supported us through the 2006 to 2008 period along with the Biofunds, then NZ Lottery Grants Board for 2009 – 2012. We have applications for three years' funding in with WWF-NZ and Biofunds currently. Three-year funding is essential for strategic planning and the successful continuity of our activities.

From our accounts for 2012, you can see that our turnover is now c.$140,000 with the NRC supplying alot of our equipment and poison on top of that figure. We are now deriving revenue of just over $60,000 p.a. What we really need is a million dollars in investments to deliver something like $50,000 p.a. for our work. More than a million would obviously be better. This would make NZ Kiwi Foundation not reliant on the begging bowl approach to funding. The other key aspect is that independent funding is a tremendous bonus because most of the public funding is now being constrained by excess rules and regulations as to how organisations can do their work. I hesitate to point the finger at DoC, but most of these constraints are coming from DoC and I feel that DoC have demonstrated that they cannot sustain their model of looking after our environment even on Crown land let alone private land.

What can members do to help? Think about a bequest to NZ Kiwi Foundation. Think about a large donation to establish a survival and operating fund that would be legally ring-fenced. Think about corporate support – we don't currently have a corporate sponsor. Maybe you have a spare section available that could be sold? You have probably noted from the accounts that NZ Kiwi Foundation has a significant asset base in the land at Russell Heights. However, we are not able to do anything with it but look after it so the ownership is negligible in terms of obtaining operating funds. You will also note that we have a reasonable amount of cash in the bank, but most of this is allocated to project expenditure. I have attached an up to date donation form – virtually any amount can be donated these days and provides a personal tax benefit.

As is often the case with community groups, several 'jobs' are available right now in the NZ Kiwi Foundation: jobs dealing with sponsorship, looking after membership, and helping with the newsletter. Please step forward later in the programme when I call for nominations to join the committee. We need another Trustee or two as well. I note the considerable contributions of two trustees who retired recently – Kerry Walshe (a foundation trustee) and Edwin De Wilde (our Treasurer for the past six years).

Finally many thanks to our pest control contractors, volunteers, committee, trustees, members, landowners, and businesses which support the NZ Kiwi Foundation.

Greg Blunden Convenor, NZ Kiwi Foundation Charitable Trust
021 710 441
nz.kiwi.foundation@gmail.com