Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 30 October 2009 Contents LOCAL NEWS
30 October, 2009 | Page 7
Fiordland College is looking for
community volunteers to support a
mentoring project for its students.
People from all walks of life are
being sought to buddy up with a
college student and give them
a helping hand -- whether it be
academically, socially or even just
Principal Linda Miller said she
had been involved with a similar
scheme previously but that had
focused on at risk young people.
This project was aimed at all
students from those who were
particularly talented to those
struggling with motivation.
A mentor could be someone with
a scientific or maths background
offering a helping hand to a
student who showed promise
in that field and wanted to take
it further. It might be a foreign-
speaking immigrant who could
help a student who was studying
that language. Other possibilities
were people who played musical
instruments or even just someone
who had time to take a kid fishing
who might otherwise not get that
The commitment would be as
great or as little time as the
volunteer was able to spare --
even just an hour a week to share
knowledge and experience would
be appreciated, Ms Miller said.
The basic requirements of a
mentor were someone who enjoys
working with teenagers, has some
time available, can communicate
well, demonstrates patience
and has a sense of humour. The
project is being co-ordinated by
science teacher Christoph Zink
who said the scheme would be
rewarding for both mentors and
"Mentors might assist young
people with academic work, play
games, participate in a cultural
activity or simply spend the
time chatting. They might play a
significant role encouraging young
people who battle with formal
education or help out with specific
skills," he said.
Indidual students were being
surveyed now on what type
of mentoring they would like,
meanwhile a register of volunteers
was also being set up so the two
could be matched.
Anyone interested in taking part
should phone the college on (03)
249-7819 or e-mail: christoph@
Community mentors sought
Monitoring of rat numbers
following the first month of ground
control using bait stations in key
parts of the Eglinton Valley has
returned encouraging results.
Contractors, Department of
Conservation (DOC) staff, and
volunteers have been filling close
to 1100 bait stations spread
across 950 hectares with cereal
pellets containing the rodent
poison pindone. The work began
on September 7 and the first
monthly monitoring results are
in and show encouraging results.
No rats were tracked by the
monitoring tunnels inside the
treated area compared to 11
percent outside the bait station
Te Anau's Biodiversity Programme
Manager Lindsay Wilson said the
results show that at this time the
control programme is working well.
"However the area with bait
stations is only a small percentage
of the total valley".
Contractors will begin setting up
an additional 500-600 ha of bait
stations next week to expand the
protected area into other parts
of the valley. Each station is filled
with 500g of bait, then checked
and topped up every two weeks.
"The success of the programme
relies on bait being available
right through the required control
period, and baiting is likely to
continue until the end of summer,"
Mr Wilson said.
Control work was started this
winter in response to indications
that rat numbers were likely to rise
to damaging levels in the Eglinton
Valley following an autumn beech
mast. Significant reductions in
populations of native bats and
birds were recorded the last
time rats increased in the valley
following the 2006 beech mast.
Both species of bats and many
threatened native birds have
disappeared from places they
were historically found due to
predation from rats and stoats.
It is hoped that predator control
work in the Eglinton Valley can
ensure the long term viability of
these native species where
they still occur.
Bait stations keeping Eglinton rats under control
Short-tailed bat in flight.
They looked like some kind of
Two flowering cherry trees, in full
bloom, and a kowhai, were dug up
from their plots in Te Anau's Town
Centre last week.
In a delicate manoeuvre just
after dawn, the trees were lifted
onto the back of a truck which
transported them to a new home
in McDonald Park in the Luxmore
Te Anau Amenity Contracting
owner Graeme Humphries said
while he would have preferred to
have moved the trees before they
started flowering, they still had
a 95 percent chance of survival
and he was happy with how the
Southland District Council Te Anau
area engineer Graham Jones said
the decision was made to move
the trees from their main street
plots to enable the adjacent car
parks to be widened. The walls
around the plots had sustained
quite a lot of damage, with
capping stones frequently knocked
off or broken. That, in turn,
indicated that there were a lot of
visitors to town whose vehicles
were being damaged.
There were only two bays causing
problems -- outside the Te
Anau Dairy and outside Bailiez
Restaurant. Both plots had now
It might yet be possible to create
an extra parking space outside
Bailiez but that was not the
primary purpose of the exercise.
The objective of making the
existing spaces wider had been
achieved, Mr Jones said.
As for the trees, they appeared
to be adapting well to their new
"It's very early days but so far they
look okay," he said.
A cherry blossom tree, in full flower, is relocated from Te Anau's main street to
make way for extra car parking.
By Kirsty Macnicol
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