18 December, 2007
Minister congratulates winner of conservation award
Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick congratulates the winner of New Zealand’s top conservation award, the Loder Cup, which has been won by a Chatham Island’s ecologist Amanda Baird.
Steve Chadwick says Amanda Baird has overcome huge obstacles, including extreme weather, isolation and lack of access to help preserve some of New Zealand’s rarest and most unique plants and animals.
Ms Baird is responsible for 15 per cent of New Zealand’s most vulnerable native plant species, and has spent the past 12 years working tirelessly for conservation in the Chathams.
“She has helped to lead the Mangere Island Nature Reserve Restoration Project, which involved planting 70,000 native seedlings in what’s described as one of the toughest locations in New Zealand.
“Access to the remote Mangere Island is only by fishing boat, and Ms Baird and her team have spent weeks at a time working in harsh conditions of extreme heat, cold or wind, to transform the grassland into an emerging native forest.”
Ms Baird has been directly involved in 19 Nature Heritage Fund projects, to covenant a total of 2,071 hectares of private land with high conservation values on the Chatham Islands.