Wildlife is a great joy to all of us whether they are wetland, forest or common species.
Sitting writing this I am looking out my office window at the coming and goings of numerous wax eyes and the occasional tui feeding on the sugar water put out for them. I still get a thrill seeing these common species even though I have had the pleasure of working with some of our most endangered species like kakapo and kiwi. Wetlands, waterfowl and marsh birds are no different and this is what drives DU.
The last year has been a good one with our Flight magazine editor Liz Brook, Secretary Jan Abel, and Web Site and Quack Club Coordinator Michelle Cooper all making great contributions in promoting DU and ensuring we operate well on behalf of our members.
Their input is pivotal to what we achieve. To the other Directors thank you for your efforts.
Discussions are continuing with Tony Roxburgh Chairman of the National Wetland Trust as to how we can work together.
They have progressed designs for their national wetland centre to be located at Lake Serpentine near Te Awamutu.
Wairio Wetland near Lake Wairarapa continues to be our flagship project with the benefits of the Stage 4 project resulting in 35 hectares of shallow wetland (maximum depth 1.2 metres) being created by the construction of a 1.2 km bund. Waterfowl use is high and includes regular sightings of the endangered bittern. This work was funded by Greater Wellington Regional Council, NZ Game Bird Habitat Trust and DU. Planning for a similar sized project for Stage 2 and 3 is well advanced and should be constructed next summer. Tree planting and maintenance are also major tasks funded from a range of other sponsors. The AGM field trip takes in Wairio so you will be able to see and hear firsthand what has been happening.
We have been long term supporters of a number of very successful waterfowl projects (Pateke, Whio, White swan). A new focus has been on the endangered bittern (less than 1000 birds in NZ and 750 Australia) and the DU Board are currently considering a proposal to support a study by a doctorate student from Massey University. Bittern will be a great additional flagship species for DU’s wetland objectives.
DU’s slowly declining membership is still a concern and our members are aging. This will be a focus for the Board this year.
During the summer we lost one of our great stalwarts in the passing of Dave Johnson who was a life member. Dave has been a magnificent supporter and mentor for many of us. His contribution will be sorely missed.
I look forward to seeing as many as you as possible at the AGM at Martinborough. The organisers have a great programme planned.
8.30am at Distinction Hotel and Conference Centre, Palmerston North.
The President John Cheyne, welcomed members to the 41st Annual General Meeting.
A special welcome was extended to the Piranis.
Glenys Hansen and Athol Rowden, Dan and Sandy Steele, Peter and Anne Russell, Chris Bindon, Graham Berry, Sue Perry, Fraser Chetwin.
That the apologies tendered are accepted.
Moved: John Bishop.
Seconded: Di Pritt.
Minutes of the last AGM:
(Circulated in Flight #164, copies available at the AGM.)
That the minutes of the last AGM be accepted as a true and complete record. Moved:
Seconded: Neil Candy.
Matters arising from the 2014 minutes:
No matters arising.
John Cheyne (Circulated in Flight #164, copies available at the AGM.)
We are facing challenges with maintaining our membership. Our members are aging and younger people just aren’t joining.
Main support base is from Wairarapa and Manawatu Chapters. The Wairio wetland project continues to be our major wetland restoration project.
Reiterated his thanks to three key ladies – Liz Brook, Jan Abel and Michelle Cooper
The President’s report is accepted.
Moved: John Bishop.
Seconded: Adrienne Bushell.
Matters arising from the President’s 2014 Report:
No matters arising.
John ran through the accounts and explained the main differences between receipt of funds.
This particularly relates to the Wairio project where payout has occurred before receipt of funds in.
Accounts show a loss of $41253 for y/e 31 March 2015
That the 2015 financial report be accepted.
Moved: John Bishop.
Seconded: Ken Barnes.
Waterfowl and Wetlands Trust Report:
Funds $463420 as at July so even with the usual fluctuations it has not done too badly, an improvement of our position of just under 8 percent.
Held in a variety of companies predominantly Australasian but some overseas.
Adrienne Bushell questioned re ethical investing.
Moved: Di Pritt.
Seconded: John Bishop.
Election of Officers:
The President read out the following Statement:
The Constitution states that the Board should consist of not less than six, of which half, but not more than two thirds shall be permanently appointed Directors.
As of right, the permanent appointments are the Chairman, President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.
Other permanent appointments are Neil Candy and William Abel.
John Dermer and Jim Law are standing again
by rotation and also have a nomination of Gill Lundie for the Board.
Call for any further nominations – None - therefore all were declared as duly elected.
Moved: David Smith.
Seconded: Glenys Hansen.
Wetland Care: William Abel (tabled).
Royal Swan Report: William Abel (tabled).
Website Report: Michelle Cooper (webmaster) Same as last year but with more visitations.
Could someone write on how to build a wetland. And what to plant maybe publish on our website?
Quack Club: Only have five schools involved and 80 younger kids belong. It is continuing successfully but could be doing better.
Jim Law (Full report tabled).
He also showed photos of the project.
Summary: In Wairarapa this project is seen as a significant success story and could be considered a forerunner for organisations such as ours to take on. Perhaps DUNZ could look at one large project every 5 years - need to look to start a new one.
Pateke: Mike Camm (no report).
Whio: Peter Russell (Full report tabled).
Membership Report: Jan Abel. 78 percent memberships renewed slightly up on last year.
Clarification re Election of officers given. John Dermer and Jim Law were re-elected with Gill Lundie welcomed to the Board.
Thanks to the Board members for their contribution.
The meeting closed at 9.30am.