Planning for this year’s conference and AGM, which will be held in Wanganui/Whanganui from 2-4 August, is well under way.
The conference venue and accommodation will be the Quality Inn Collegiate, a five-minute walk from the city centre.
The programme will include a field trip to Bushy Park Homestead and Wildlife Sanctuary, with lunch at the category-1 heritage-listed Bushy Park homestead, built in 1906.
The trip will include a stopover at Virginia Lake, pictured, where DU released a number of mute swans several years ago.
Bushy Park is considered by Forest & Bird to be among the 25 best restoration ecology projects in Australasia.
The sanctuary is home to hihi (stitchbird), tīeke (saddleback), toutouwai (North Island black robin), kereru and many other species.
A revegetation project in the wetland area of the park includes plantings of rimu, pukatea, mahoe, karamu, hangehange, pigeonwood, kawakawa, NZ flax and toetoe.
For this year’s conference, DU directors are asking members for donations of suitable auction and raffle items, particularly DU Canada merchandise that you have bought at previous auctions and are in good condition.
Canada DU items have become too expensive to import because of the shipping costs.
You can either bring the item/s to conference or drop them off with someone who is going, but please let Will know in advance.
Neil Candy reported that Jim Law had replaced Ken Cook as a trustee on the Waterfowl and Wetland Trust, which was “ticking along really well” with more than $500,000 in the bank.
Reporting on the work of Wetland Care, Will Abel said $10,800 had been spent on three wetlands in the past year, creating about 10 acres of wetland
Where to from here will be the big question facing the DUNZ Board in the coming year. President Ross Cottle, in opening the formal business of the 44th AGM, said that, with an ageing membership and fewer members keen to do the work, the future direction of Ducks Unlimited would be on the Board’s agenda this year.
Measures already in place or under consideration were making Flight a two-yearly publication and changing the conference to a biennial event rather than yearly. With fewer demands to create new wetlands and maintain the established ones, the Board would be looking at other ways, including research scholarships, to support DUNZ’s goals.
Ross thanked John Cheyne, who resigned earlier in the year, for his four years as president and for raising the profile of bittern. Ross also paid tribute to those members who had passed away during the past year: Ian Pirani, Nancy Pain, Audrey Pritt, Alan Wilk and Robin Borthwick. Joyce Brooks also passed away after the AGM.
Treasurer John Bishop presented the accounts and updated members on the new rules for charitable trusts, which require entities to state their purpose. DUNZ had submitted the following mission statement: “We deliver and advocate for effective wetland restoration, development, research and education; and support the preservation of threatened waterfowl and the ethical and sustainable use of wetlands.”
Brackenridge Country Retreat is our place for this year’s Ducks Unlimited Annual General Meeting,
(5&6 Aug, also Friday evening if you arrive on the 4th) annual dinner and the much anticipated auction. DU was there in August 2014 and members found Brackenridge enjoyable and comfortable.
The weekend event includes a catch-up on Friday evening, the annual AGM the next morning, plus morning tea then a bus trip to visit Wairio Wetlands, which has come on leaps and bounds since our last tour there. Put in a pair of gumboots for Wairio. Lunch follows at the Village café in Martinborough. Brackenridge has the atmosphere of early New Zealand station dwellings and with a view of the Haurangi ranges. Brackenridge Conference Manager Leeann O’Neill said they are looking forward to hosting our group. All members should receive the brochure about events at the AGM, and the information. Brackenridge can accommodate 64 guests, so make sure you do not miss out.
• Studios, two-bedroom cottages with two bathrooms and fourbedroom cottages with three bathrooms (includes self-catering continental breakfast provisions with free-range eggs).
• Indoor heated 20m lap pool, and gym complimentary for guests (16 years and over).
• On site day spa offering therapeutic and beauty treatments (bookings essential).
• Some unites are available at The Claremount in Martinborough for overflow.
Register now for another fun DUNZ AGM.
White Rock Rd Martinborough