Our longest running community partnership at Punakaiki Restoration Project is one that began decades ago, before the very idea of a Sandplain Forest restoration project was even considered. It’s the partnership which exists between the Westland petrel / tāiko and the children of the local Barrytown School. As the ones who alerted the world to the existence of these special birds, the Barrytown School students have been their guardians ever since that day of discovery in 1946.
Here at Conservation Volunteers New Zealand’s Punakaiki site, we are privileged to be able to continue supporting that partnership between the tāiko / Westland petrel and the Barrytown School. Since our first planting days in 2008, the Years 1 to 6 school children have enthusiastically volunteered in a planting or conservation event here on this site every year. They led the planting for the 200,000th Tree Planting Day back in February 2020 working with another 25 community volunteers. Supporting the wider West Coast community and the Dolomite Point development at Pancake Rocks, they helped start the process of transplanting and nurturing hundreds of nīkau palms in May 2021.
We look forward to many more years of working with many more generations of Barrytown school children.