Minister congratulates conservation innovators

  • Maggie Barry

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has congratulated the winners of the inaugural Conservation Innovation Awards.

The World Wildlife Fund Conservation Innovation Awards were presented at a ceremony in Wellington last night. The awards recognise innovative approaches to conservation issues.

Ms Barry presented the inaugural award to inventor Gian Badraun and Microsystems Research for their product ‘Trap Minder’, an early response system for monitoring predator traps and bait stations.

“I’m very impressed by how inventive and forward-thinking these solutions are in their practical approach to tackling key conservation issues, including the threat of ‘eco-invaders’ to New Zealand’s biodiversity,” says Ms Barry.

‘CatTracker’, which helps owners research their pet cats’ behaviour outdoors, won the research category, and was led by Dr Heidy Kikillus for Victoria University and Wellington City Council.

“These awards demonstrate the ingenuity and commitment of volunteers but also the ability of communities and partners to work together,” says Ms Barry.

‘Energise Otaki’ is a community group working to improve the wellbeing of its local area, including using solar power to supply clean, cheap energy. Each of the three award winners receives $25,000 to support their project’s development.

“I am sure the Conservation Innovation Awards will go from strength to strength, especially with the generous support of The Tindall Foundation and the ongoing dedication of New Zealand conservationists,” says Ms Barry.