It was the silver lining to the covid cloud: receiving Jobs4Nature funding to be able to employ people to help us at Matuku Link. From November 2020 to December 2022 we have had Nic, Christine, Stephen, Stephanie, Gillian, Devon, Jeff, Denis and myself employed for anywhere between four weeks and two years. What a blast is has been! The funding has been a catalyst on so many fronts – creating leverage to get other funds, building an accessible pathway, getting rid of hectares of willows… and so much more. Have a look below at some of the pictures of the team’s mahi over the past two years and you’ll agree it has been the best thing this government has done in creating this covid relief fund.

Some achievements in no particular order: two sheds, a tractor villa, three boardwalks, a bridge, two floors in the Sustainable Wetland Education Centre (aka “the barn”), one canopy, 140 metres of shell paths, one nursery, two viewing platforms, many sculptures, one culvert repair, fish monitoring, sign painting, fence building, track repairing…. as well as continuous learning – how to drive Wildfire the tractor, operate Wanda the hole borer, First Aid, Grow Safe, birds releasing, pest control, wetland flooding…. interspersed with liters of tea and coffee (and a couple of beers), kilos of home baking (and some sausages) and lots and lots of fun.¬†

A very special Thank You to Devon, Jeff and Denis who could have chosen to work somewhere else (and made more money!) but chose to help us, contribute towards a better natural environment and have added more enthusiasm, energy and ‘can-do’ mentality then I could have ever hoped for as colleagues.

We wish them all the best and would have loved to employ them for many years to come! (If you happen to read this after having just won the lottery and feel generous, please let me know).

As we’ll be back to one parttime employee, our amazing educator Leah, and some hours for myself as coordinator and fundraiser, it means we are counting on you as our volunteers to keep Matuku Link and our wetland conservation work going – see you soon!

Nga mihi nui, Annalily