A team of 17 spade-wielding NHNZ staff will don their gumboots and dig for penguins this Friday, planting native trees at Okia Reserve on the Otago Peninsula as part of the company’s ongoing support of the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust.
EVP Development and Marketing, Neil Harraway, says the planting mission is an annual event for NHNZers who are always keen to pitch in and do what they can for the endangered yellow-eyed penguin, whose habitat has been severely compromised by human modification.
“We are delighted to be able to help the trust which makes such a huge contribution to our local ecosystems. The planting is also our way of off-setting the company’s carbon footprint and it’s a wonderful team-building opportunity – it’s quite a tough change of pace, going from the office to digging for hours, but we always have fun.”
Over the past three years, NHNZ has donated hundreds of trees and 240 people-hours to plant those trees.
Okia Reserve, a 230 hectare eco-jewel located just 30 minutes from Dunedin’s city centre, is probably unknown by the majority of Dunedin residents. Jointly owned by the Trust and the Dunedin City Council, it is bounded on one side by the arc of Victory beach, home to 20 pairs of yellow-eyed penguins, and on the other by the Pyramids, Taiaroa Hill and the sandy Okia flats with their relict dune fields. The planting this year is on the north-end dunes of Okia – in an area between two existing penguin nesting sites. The natives planted will, in years to come, greatly enhance penguin nesting opportunities.
To find out more about the trust and its work visit: http://yellow-eyedpenguin.org.nz