Best wishes to members and supporters for 2018.
While DU has achieved many great things over the last three decades there are always challenges that need to be addressed. Organisations like DU are dependent on members so declining membership is a concern and one which is a priority for Directors over the year ahead. Some new initiatives in this area are being considered.
Spring and summer is a great time around wetlands with plants, insects, frogs and birds becoming a lot more active and obvious. I was at Wairarapa Moana recently and the DU Wairio wetland project was a real standout with over 2,000 waterfowl present. Ducklings, cygnets, shoveler courtship flights, booming bittern and even a single white swan were observed. The 100 hectare sheltered shallow Wairio wetland complements the larger open areas of adjacent water provided by Wairarapa Moana, Boggy Pond and Matthews Lagoon and is a project that DU NZ can be really proud of. Wairio is maturing as a wetland and water bird use is increasing accordingly. This is flagship project is one that DU NZ can justifiably be very proud of.
The role of wetlands in helping to address climate change issues is becoming more widely acknowledged. Hopefully the statutory agencies (Central and Regional Government) will start to recognise this by developing more robust policies and providing additional funding to help protect what wetlands remain and also recreate some which have been destroyed.
This year’s AGM will be held in the Waikato and more detail will be provided in the next issue of Flight.
2018 will be a challenging year and we look forward to your ongoing support.