Passionate volunteers are at the heart of Tiritiri Matangi’s success
SOTM’s founding Chairperson, Jim Battersby, was the enthusiastic catalyst that led the formation of a formal supporters group in 1988 (SOTM), after he discovered that the island only had one rake. Since then, the SOTM has both financially and physically supported the conservation programme.
The Spade Brigade planting trees, by G Thew, 1989.
Courtesy of the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi Inc
As New Zealand’s first ‘Open Sanctuary,’ Tiritiri Matangi was one of the first places (and still is one of the few places) where the public could go and see critically endangered species. The island’s location, so close to New Zealand’s largest city, has enabled hundreds of thousands of people to experience and connect with our special biodiversity. It attracts many international visitors - some of considerable fame themselves, including David Attenborough and Lucy Lawless.
SOTM gifted the spade referenced earlier in this piece to Auckland Museum so we can recognise the importance of communities in protecting our precious biodiversity. Tiritiri Matangi is a well-known Auckland conservation story and as such is represented in our Natural Sciences collection through specimens, like the tīeke (North Island saddleback Philesturnus rufusater) pictured here. This spade, worn from use by hundreds of volunteers planting thousands of trees, reflects the human endeavour behind the ecosanctuary. It will be on display in our new Tāmaki Herenga Waka: Stories of Auckland gallery, opening early next year.
Image: Tīeke (Saddleback), LB11808