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President’s Report 2012-2013

It is true to say that your Society has thrived through another constructive and productive year looking after and maintaining the public areas of the Reserve. The volunteers have planted, cleared, weeded, and burnt rubbish during 10 workdays since our last AGM and dealt to many mustelid pests in the traps, every week throughout the year. It is fair to say that the Society is held together by a small group of very dedicated volunteers who turn up at every work-day, but that is the norm in many groups like ourselves, and it has been pleasing to see some new faces as well. The HSIS has now reached our 10th. Birthday in 2013 and that is a credit to our founders, our loyal supporters, and a top class and dedicated Committee.
I would first like to acknowledge on your behalf some special contributors to the Society’s outcomes.
  • Our much loved and revered Patron, Ynys Fraser, who is our constant inspiration and who continues through all her various activities, to stay young !
  • Your Committee, who have met monthly throughout the year. Special thanks to the officers, Vice President Kerry Oates, Secretary Sally French and Treasurer Cherry Douglas, who do much behind the scenes to keep the wheels in motion. Each of the Committee have an area of responsibility such as Pest Control, Fundraising, Traveller’s Trees, the Book etc., and progress has been made in all activities. Jerry Douglas stood down during the year to manage the Census process, and while nominated to return, has decided to concentrate on his other commitments. Jerry’s contribution since 2003 has been huge as you all know, and on your behalf I thank him sincerely for his  outstanding service. He will continue, thank goodness, to support the Committee and the workdays. I am pleased to advise that, per our Constitution, the entire Committee have retired but, have have all been nominated for re-election and have all accepted, which makes the elections this year much easier.
  • The staff at the Lakes office of DOC, especially Paul Cashmore, Katrina Knill, Kristina Thompson, Rob Griffiths, Tom Mayne and Maurice Wilke. These people have faced more re-structures than I have had cooked dinners, but their committment to this area and to supporting HSIS has never wavered.
  • Te Rangikaheke and Kahuariki of Ngati Rangiwehwehi, who have continued to maintain a dialogue with us, without criticism, throughout the year. We are pleased to have worked here for a decade. We always remember that this Reserve has been a key part of Ngati Rangiwehwehi’s ancestral land for centuries. We totally understand and respect the aroha they have for this place, their home. The Society’s love and respect for this special place is not historically based. As very recent arrivals, our aims and aspirations are simply to help, to work alongside the Iwi and DOC to help maintain and improve the public parts of the Reserve, that no one else has either the time or the means to do. As a small band of volunteers, we are keen to march to the beat of the same drum as the Iwi, and to in turn be respected for that.
  • Barry and Lynn Menzies,  who have again behind the scenes in their own time, and at workdays, done more than anyone else to make the Reserve a pleasure for all visitors to enjoy. The Mower Man and Lynn are deserving of all the positive comments made by visitors.
  • Our Webmaster Herma Snel, who continually maintains and improves our Website, which is now top of the page when you search Hamurana Springs. Herma does this free of cost to the Society and is also now training Committee members Lorraine Parker and Paul Sampson to back her up down the track. Herma has also put her hand up to serve on the Committee, and been nominated accordingly.
  • The Committee of the Hamurana Golf Club, for not only the use of their Clubrooms tonight, but also for the support of the Website, which they share with HSIS.
  • Paul Sampson, for his hours of work and leadership on “Hamurana Springs, Ancient Waters”, the book we have commissioned on the history of the Springs and surrounding area. More about that shortly.
  • Kerry Oates and Alice West, who have continually maintained and re-baited all the traps scattered around the Reserve, and to all the volunteers on the trap-checking roster. Kerry will give you an update on the Pest Control a bit later.
  • Finally, the volunteers who front up at workdays to help make a difference. We would be pretty disheartened without them. Thank you to all.
If anyone overlooked, I apologise and thank you too.A few comments now on our key initiatives over the last year:
  • We planted 650 native trees and shrubs last Spring, paid for by DOC, in the area alongside the Ynys Fraser Walkway. This year, DOC has ordered and paid for 1020 plants which await our pick-up from Treeline Nurseries this coming Spring. The Society is indebted to DOC for their generosity and support, allowing us to replace plants that didn’t come through the drought over summer, and to extend the plantings up toward the head Spring.
  • We have completed clearance of the S bank of the tributary stream which flows over the new Koaro weir, and have burnt most of the rubbish. As first impressions are important, we continue to remove weeds and maintain either side of the main track from the main bridge to the Redwoods. Further clearance and blackberry removal has recently commenced near the head Spring, around the Traveller’s Trees area, this will take some months.
  • Thanks to Ed van den Broek and Paul Sampson primarily, the expanding Traveller’s Trees area is now on the world map, to the extent that all trees have been photographed, tagged as to their source donor, and GPS mapped. Your Committee intends every year to send a photo plus details to the donors wherever they are on the globe, so that they can see their trees grow and so they or their descendants may one day hence touch their tree in the reserve.
  • The Pest Control via trapping programme continues, expertly managed by Kerry Oates, to the benefit of the birdlife population in the Reserve. An update from Kerry a bit later.
  • Holding work days all through the winter months allows more work to be done and there is always plenty to do. A shared lunch under the Plane trees is a relaxing way to conclude the day, and the camaraderie is what makes it worthwhile.
To conclude, the HSIS is currently in a good space, there is abundant enthusiasm within the Committee, we have a sound relationship with the major stakeholders, Ngati Rangiwehwehi and DOC, with whom we look forward to working in 2013/14.
Having served as your President for the last 2 years, I am now handing over the reins. It has been a good, at times wild ride, but always working with great people. I have committed to staying on the Committee.

John Rainbow
June 2013