Lou Sanson, Director-General
Lou Sanson has been in the role of DG of Conservation since mid-September and has had to hit the decks running. Luckily for him, he has a background in environmental protection and a previous time in the Department of Conservation and its predecessors. Lou has also spent his recent time in a strategic role as CE of Antarctic New Zealand, managing international collaboration and partnerships with diverse interests.
As a negotiator and innovator, Lou comes to the Department of Conservation with the sort of credentials required to move DOC in the right direction with anyone it is required to be working with. Lou will explore what it means to be working with others, how it impacts on the attitude, style and skills required to deal with the mixed objectives of partnerships.
Barry Hanson, Director Conservation Partnerships
There are four fundamental shifts to how we operate that we need to make in order to grow conservation. Firstly we want New Zealanders to recognise that a healthy environment is a necessity for a healthy, prosperous economy. Secondly, Partnerships are how we work. In this new model conservation partnerships become as important as the conservation work we do ourselves. Thirdly we are scaling up and starting to think, work and act more broadly across New Zealand's land and sea scapes. And finally, we are lifting our game internally. We can't hope to partner with others if we aren't joined up and working together ourselves. Success also requires new thinking, a willingness to challenge, and follow through on brave ideas.
Paula Wilson, Manager Biodiversity Funds
The Nature Heritage Fund and the Biodiversity Advice and Biodiversity Condition Funds collectively form the Non-Departmental Funds/Putea Urutapu administered within Kahui Kaupapa Atawhai in the Department of Conservation. These funds have supported the work of community groups and private landowners for over a decade. The Nature Heritage Fund since its inception in 1990 has protected 340,780 hectares of indigenous ecosystems through direct purchase or covenants, at a cost of around $158.45 million. The Biodiversity Advice and Biodiversity Condition Funds have contributed $38 million of funding to private landowners enabling them to care for 364,000 ha of lands containing indigenous biodiversity values. With the new direction of the Department of Conservation these funds have an important role to play in enabling others to do more conservation.
Tim Fraser, Commercial Manager Partnerships
DOC have entered into a new era of engagement with business – moving from predominantly a sponsorship model into one that is partnership based, delivering value to our partners, and additional conservation for New Zealanders. Exemplifying this new direction and approach with business are the partnerships with companies like Air New Zealand, Dulux and Fonterra. DOC’s new commercial partnership direction is not about DOC seeking revenue to cover budget cuts – but about seeking to double conservation – and it needs support from communities. Instead of seemingly competing for the same dollar or support, a model currently being developed is one where DOC develops the partnership (bringing scale and brand leverage) but where business support (volunteers, in-kind and money) flows directly to community groups and trusts. This model can bring significant benefits to all parties – but requires good governance by community groups to succeed.
Youth Panel Discussion: What will conservation look like in 25 years’ time?
The Youth Panel discussion will be presented by a variety of local high school students, and chaired by Dunedin City Councillor Jinty McTavish.
Jinty will introduce the session giving her view on the role of youth in conservation as we review the next 25 years’ and what issues the world may be facing.
Students from Otago Girls’ High School, Bayfield High School, Queen’s High School and John McGlashan College will then each give their respective views. They will also address questions about succession planning and who will take over.
The re-seeding of Aotearoa: Regenerating communities in culture and landscape in the face of disconnected government
From mainland islands to local trap-lines, from stream protection groups to private covenants, the movement to actively care for and enhance indigenous biota has become one of the most significant and transformative social impulses in these islands. Although older age groups are probably over-represented and Maori often more exclusively engaged, at its most diverse it embraces most elements of society. In this paper the historical origins and the more recent phenomenal rise of the movement is explored and its wider effects on identity and conservation and politics examined. So too is a yawning disconnection between government, here and around the world, and those committed to upholding protective and precautionary values.
Gerard De Courcy
Legal Considerations for NGOs
Being an effective organisation involves a clear structure and processes. It is proper structure that underpins a properly functioning relationship between the governance and membership of the organisation and funders.
As at 30 June 2012 there were 21,035 charitable trusts and 23,674 incorporated societies. They are then very common but the standard or organisation will vary greatly.
This presentation aims to give an overview of a proper functioning charitable trust and incorporated society.
Presentation: The Paradoxes of Leading Community Engagement
We bring to community conservation a wonderful, essential passion for ‘what’ we want to achieve. This presentation invites us to pause and consider ‘how’ we lead in this space of community-based engagement around conservation. What does it take to engage and grow the leadership of ‘the many’ around shared vision, mission and values? What might we need to let go of in terms of our ideas about what ‘good’ leadership is, to work within this context?
A number of paradoxes will be explored, for example the tensions between leading out front with your vision; from behind with the messy, self-organising energy of communities; and somewhere in the middle, shaping a shared vision together. Principles, qualities, competencies and practices that help us work with the paradoxes, uncertainties and complexities of community engagement will be offered as a way of thinking, acting and leading with communities.
Funding from a sponsor’s perspective
How do organisations create an application for funding that captures the interest of those they are seeking funding from.
This is an opportunity for you to learn some techniques on how to make your request a successful one.
'Trends in fundraising today - it's all about the people, the people, the people!
Find out how "the people" (he tangata) become the roots of your organisation, providing you with valuable support from their hearts and their pockets so you can sustain your mission for as long Tane Mahuta. Treasure your supporters and take them on a journey of lifelong giving. Award winning fundraising guru Heather Newell will share hints and tips and heart warming stories to set you on track for fundraising excellence.
Branding for conservation groups
Conservation groups should have a head start over corporates in the branding stakes. After all, you have a ‘positively good product’ that the public sees as endearing, endangered and expedient – our environment. It’s an easy sell. You are fighting the good fight. So your branding process should be straight forward and its outcomes guaranteed. Right?
Unfortunately, our understanding of branding is clouded by esoteric catchwords, a myriad of formulas, and an overcrowded media menu. This makes it hard for any organisation to be confident it is getting the best bang for its buck. And our anxiety starts with answering the question of the moment: is web ruling the world?
Stew Robertson will help delegates to better understand the B word. His 38 years of knowledge will be concentrated – like a fine jus – into 20 minutes of clarity, helpful information and tips.
Stew is co-owner and creative director of AdArt Brand Promotion, a brand development and graphic design studio in Dunedin. Its clients include Naylor Love Construction, Taieri Gorge Railway, Numat, City College, Tyreland, Cancer Society Otago & Southland, VICTA and the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust. AdArt has also designed and implemented successful brand marks for CRT, The Methodist Mission, Larnach Castle, Taieri College, Association of Community Access Broadcasters Aotearoa and this conference, Conservation Inc.
Stew also fronts not-for-profit branding workshops for the Otago Chamber of Commerce.
Community-based mainland sanctuaries – Partners in the conservation cause?
Drawing on a newly-published book, the presentation reports the distinctive contribution that the founders of large community-led mainland fenced sanctuaries believe they can make to the conservation cause. It assesses the potential of these projects to be economically self-sustaining, and to sustain increases in the resources being devoted to conservation and restoration as against what would be possible from publicly-funded initiatives alone. It concludes that both publicly-led and community-led initiatives will achieve more to the extent that they establish effective partnerships while retaining their autonomy. The presentation is based on Diane Campbell-Hunt: Ecosanctuaries – Communities building a future for New Zealand’s threatened ecologies.Dunedin: Otago University Press, October 2013.
David Mules and Jenny Lynch
The Social Benefits of Conservation - Funding social innovation and Reconnecting Northland
WWF - New Zealand has developed a new funding model that aims to support innovation in community conservation and support communities to go beyond trees in the ground. Jenny will share these concepts with you and how they may benefit your group.
An exciting new large-landscape ecological restoration programme in Northland, being guided through a partnership between WWF-New Zealand and NZ Landcare Trust. Daviduses his broad experience in this and other community-based conservation projects to examine the nature - and the fundamental importance - of the social benefits deriving from community involvement in conservation at a flax-roots level, and their role in helping ensure that your group stays viable.
Christchurch City Council perspective on community participation in conservation projects
What does success look like?
A reflection on lessons learnt on engaging with the community and creating successful conservation outcomes.
How do we create partnerships rather than perpetuating silos? There can be a tendency for agencies to believe they have sole access to all the expertise while within the community there quietly sit some tremendous assets.
How do we meaningfully engage with these people and ensure we are having a dialogue, not a monologue? There are barriers and problems to creating success both within agency and the community.
How do we share our values, principles and beliefs in a way that enhances the credibility and trust of both the community and agency? We must have the credibility and the trust of the community before we can develop a sense of connection.
Finding the balance – can commercialism complement nature?
New Zealand, including our tourism industry, promotes ourselves on the back of ‘clean and green’ but are we kidding ourselves and our visitors? Have we becomes so captured by our commercial interests that we risk destroying our most distinctive assets, our environment? Is it too late to recover lost ground? Do we care? Can we use the economic importance of tourism to New Zealand’s economy to turn the tide?
The value of sponsorship to a corporate
The presentation will be on the journey of Mainland and Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust over the last 25 years. How FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) companies can make community based sponsorships win:win and an introduction to the principles of social mission marketing.
Have we moved beyond Model or Muddle? What’s ahead for single-species conservation trusts?
Twenty-five years ago, the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust broke new ground by adopting a charitable trust structure to conserve a threatened native bird species. Since then, not-for-profit trusts of this kind have been growing steadily in number, diversity and ambition. In 2007, we paused to take stock of this approach. Would the charitable trust model serve conservation purposes well? Or would its fragilities make a muddle of community-based conservation and its causes? In this presentation, we follow a review of the model’s strengths and weaknesses (as we see them) with consideration of how trusts might serve the future. We argue that, on balance, the strengths outweigh the vulnerabilities, so that trusts will play a highly creative role in conserving threatened species in New Zealand. We also consider that, within its limitations – some inherent and unavoidable; others, such as capacity, imposed by operating environments – the trust model still has room to evolve in directions barely considered feasible a decade ago. These new directions will challenge trusts as much as their allies. They may also expose their vulnerabilities further still.
Jean S Fleming
Conservation, Communication and Community
The Centre for Science Communication, The University of Otago
There are big challenges facing scientists and science communicators when it comes to the environmental issues of the 21st century. In a world of 9 billion people, will we be able to afford wilderness areas for the protection of rare birds or unique reptiles? Why save the yellow-eyed penguin when climate refugees may number 200 million by 2050? There is now evidence that burning even our current, above ground, oil and gas reserves will warm the planet by more than four degrees, but our so-called leaders don’t seem to be able to feel the heat and move away from Roads of National Significance. Science communication theory tells us we should engage and deliberate with our communities to find the way forward through a controversial issue. This paper will discuss the importance of community resilience at a grass roots level and how we all might contribute to this. I suggest that one essential step towards a better future is to increase people’s daily engagement with the natural world.
Nathan Champion and Kimberley Collins
Linkages: Online tools and social media
In this two part presentation, we will look at how non-profit organisations can successfully adopt new technologies and make productive use of social media.
Nathan Champion has been involved in the support of non-profit organisations’ technology needs for many years. The first half of the presentation relays his experience; providing advice on how your organisation can select and implement new technologies.
One of the key areas covered is “understanding the need” where Nathan recommends spending the time within your organisation understanding specific areas that could benefit from new technology.
Kimberley Collins has spent a significant amount of time researching social media and technology trends for her thesis. The second half provides a summary of her work; looking at how the non-profit sector can benefit from new forms of social media and technology.
An overview of relevant social media and technologies available to non-profit organisations is provided. The presentation concludes with a successful example of a social media project within a non-profit organisation.
How can the West Coast Blue Penguin Trust best meet local biodiversity needs?
Like many conservation groups, the West Coast Blue Penguin Trust was formed by local residents concerned by the decline of a familiar species that nests close to human habitation and is regularly encountered by people (in our case, blue penguins). Since inception in 2006, the Trust has extended its interests to protect other West Coast seabirds . For instance, we are fostering the remnant sooty shearwater colony at Cape Foulwind as an educational seabird experience. Though resource-intensive and challenging as conservation projects, it is relatively easy to gain public support for the accessible and visible blue penguins and shearwaters. Other more threatened species such as the Westland petrel and the Fiordland crested penguin breed in inaccessible rainforest far from the public gaze. These may be equally charismatic but they and work we may undertake to protect them are largely out of sight out of mind. This raises a number of issues for our Trust. First, how do we justify work on these species when Trust supporters, let alone the wider public, have limited awareness of them. Secondly, can we attract funding for work on the less accessible species when sponsors may not receive full recognition for their support? To what extent is the Trust’s own profile and credibility compromised by unseen work in remote locations? Importantly, are we and other community groups forced to focus on the visible species, even though the conservation priority lies in the hinterland? One of the challenges we face is using our front-country projects to raise awareness of obscure species in greater need?
Are seabirds the West Coasts greatest biodiversity need? The Buller area is a centre of diversity for Powelliphanta land snails. Most of the Buller species are threatened, some more so than any of our seabirds. There is no West Coast save the snails community group.
It is the iconic species that people have knowledge of and empathy for that attract the attention of community groups, and as conservation in this country becomes ever more reliant on community support, less known and unloved species are even less likely to get the required conservation attention than they were when DoC was better funded. The West Coast Blue Penguin Trust is using the iconic blue penguin to raise awareness of other West Coast seabirds and to educate people, in particular children, about conservation of our indigenous species.
Local Council roles with NGOs
The Otago Regional Council has both regulatory responsibilities primarily relating to the RMA and responsibilities for the management of regional assets focusing on drainage and flood protection.
ORC’s focus has been around water quality and quantity, and air quality. Recent changes to the Water Plan have highlighted the Council’s position relating to the role as both a regulator, but also as it relates to the balance between regional development and environmental stewardship.
ORC’s relationship to non-regulatory activity has historically been by way of offering grant funding for special projects. Funding for fencing in the Orokonui Ecosanctuary, funding of walking tracks, and supply of staff for wetland projects, have all been examples of this.
ORC, like all local government, is under considerable public scrutiny, and rate increases make great newspaper headlines.
The formal way for NGO’s to interact with local government is through the Annual Plan process should funding be required. Informal relationships though, make the discussion around that formal interaction more informed and likely to achieve a more successful outcome.
Eyes wide shut? Risks vs. benefits of community conservation and collaboration.
In principle, who can object to the idea of communities taking ownership of conservation projects and collaborating with agencies like DoC? But collaboration can be costly in time, resources and sometimes principles if organisations don’t enter the process with their eyes wide open. Just what are the risks and benefits of collaboration, and why have the government and DoC become so enthusiastic about community ownership of conservation?
Dr Les McNamara* (presenter), Dr Chris Jones*, Marie Haley**
Evaluating community-based conservation projects: Challenges and Opportunities
Increasing pressure has been placed on government agencies to deliver cost-effective outcomes. Earlier this year for example, the Director-General of the Department of Conservation announced plans to cut departmental conservation jobs, stating “it’s irresponsible of an organisation to identify a way that it can work more efficiently and not do it. That holds for any sector, private or public, but perhaps more so when you’re spending taxpayers’ dollars in a very difficult financial environment”. If trends continue, it is likely that there will be added pressure on non-government recipients of public funds to demonstrate that projects deliver significant environmental outcomes and value for money. INFFER (INvestment Framework For Environmental Resources) is a framework that can be used to assist with project development and compare different projects. We assessed four community-initiated, multi-agency conservation projects using INFFER and identified challenges and opportunities relating to organisations’ and agencies’ ability or willingness to implement more thorough evaluation of community-initiated projects.
Measuring success – Community groups and environmental restoration
Although the level of environmental monitoring currently being carried out by community groups in New Zealand is unknown, user-friendly toolkits are available – FORMAK, SHMAK and WETMAK are good examples. Based on scientific protocols, these toolkits enable groups to measure the success of their restoration interventions. Given the gaps in our knowledge on community groups and environmental monitoring, the first part of my PhD research at Waikato University will be to collect baseline data on groups and their use/ non-use of science-based toolkits.
Beyond understanding why and how groups monitor and what barriers there may be to using toolkits, how community-generated data are used, or could be used, for wider environmental reporting are important considerations. Today’s political landscape is compelling:
- The Department of Conservation now relies on much greater input from community groups to drive works on the ground;
- The Land and Water Forum underscore the need for an expanded community role in environmental decision-making;
- Funders require increased outcome monitoring by groups to quantify the value of their investment.
Community groups with robust data e.g. on biodiversity decreases/increases will be in a far stronger position to contribute to decisions affecting their local landscape and simultaneously prove to funders that their money has been well spent.
A host of studies show that communities, with the right tools, training and support can collect quality data. Initiatives in Europe and USA clearly show how community groups or “citizen scientists” can make important regional and national-level data contributions. The OPAL programme, for example, harnesses data gathered by willing citizens all over the UK to report on biodiversity. The result is a citizen’s State of the Environment Report. Given the embarrassing lack of a recent Government-led SOE report for New Zealand, a vision for the future could be this: community-derived toolkit data from restoration projects around the country is drawn into a national data set that both complements and supplements agency-collected data. The eventual SOE report provides a clearer picture of the trends occurring in New Zealand and community groups’ commitment to restoring degraded landscapes receive greater recognition and support.
Developing the Taranaki Biodiversity Accord.
In Taranaki there are many agencies, community groups and individuals that have an interest in biodiversity. Sometimes the interest is derived from a statutory function and responsibility, while for others it’s a passion and we just want to do our bit. Until now, there has been no document that has attempted to set out agreed priorities and actions in order to coordinate and add value to our respective efforts. The Taranaki Biodiversity Forum Accord is an initiative where the signatories have agreed to work together to set out a strategic vision, outcomes, priorities and actions. This is a presentation about the journey.
Can sponsorship be used to sustain NGO’s while supporting restoration events?
With less than 1% of original native vegetation remaining in the Selwyn District, it is all hands on deck to reinstate native corridors and ‘greendots’. The Canterbury Plantout is a platform for conservation partners to jointly restore sites in the upper and lower Selwyn River/Waikirikiri catchment. The Canterbury Plantout is unique, as a collaborative landscape-scale approach to the reintroduction of native vegetation and plant communities.
Participants from the Selwyn District and Christchurch come together to visit new places, meet new people and contribute to the greening of Canterbury. Meals, activities, entertainment, planting equipment and transport is provided for volunteers.
Our success to date:
- In 2011, 5 sponsors, 390 volunteers planted 4800 native plants at 10 different sites over 4 days.
- In 2012, 6 sponsors, 550 volunteers planted 7700 native plants at 11 different sites over 4 days.
The 2012 event was a success thanks to our gold sponsors WWF New Zealand and Canterbury Community Trust, silver sponsors Ministry for Environment and Selwyn District Council and bronze sponsors Environment Canterbury and The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust.
Does a sponsorship package make the process any easier? Are sponsors coming back to re sponsor? This presentation will describe the constraints, benefits and lessons from Te Ara Kakariki’s experience.
Enhancing conservation by developing revegetation networks
Currently many conservation groups face the need to achieve conservation success from less funding. However, stoically, this provides an opportunity to re-evaulate goals, methods and strategies. This presentation introduces a developing project linking volunteer groups, NGOs and government agencies together to support the development of coordinated local networks for the sharing of volunteers, knowledge, tools and developing a broader range of revegetation resources and techniques. The longer-term stability of conservation projects comes from the independence of projects from funding through the knowledge of how to harvest and utilise revegetation resources without needing money to do so. This is critical if conservation is to be achieved on the landscape scale, especially when funding is progressively withdrawn.
Maketu Ongatoro Wetland - A Case Study
Maketu is a small coastal community in the Bay of Plenty lying between Maketu and Little Waihi harbours. Both harbours are protected by long sand spits, the one to the east, Pukehina, is largely built on, while the western one is one of the least spoilt dunelands in the Bay of Plenty with a largely intact ecosystem including threatened New Zealand Dotterel.
In 2009, a small community group was established to help look after the NZ Dotterel, this group realised that more was required and in 2010 developed, in partnership with Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC), Western Bay of Plenty District Council (WBOPDC) and DOC, a Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) for the ecological restoration of Maketu Spit.
The Maketu Ongatoro Wetland Society (MOWS) has as its long-term aim, the establishment of a Ramsar Site covering the lower Kaituna and the two harbours, but initial efforts are focused on Maketu Spit, a 3.5km long sandspit running from the mouth of the Kaituna River to Maketu. In 2011 the society won two awards, the Dunes Restoration Trust’s award for the Best Coastal Restoration Project in New Zealand, and the Western Bay of Plenty TrustPower Community Award. These successes have helped to give MOWS a significant voice and influence in deliberations by both local and national government agencies.
The Society is now working to develop a BMP on Dotterel Point, Pukehina, to match the one on Maketu Spit, and is also working to broaden its work by removing weed species such as pampas and wattle from the road verges around the harbour, replacing them with natives. The growth in the size of the operation is forcing us to become more commercial, but this should help- to relieve us from some of the tyranny of the funding application, a well-known problem for all community groups. This commercial focus will also help to provide some economic benefit to a less than affluent community and thus help to increase the acceptability of conservation work.
Given the focus on community based conservation that while desirable, is also being forced upon us for other reasons, the Maketu story is significant and may provide hope, help and inspiration for other groups faced with similar issues and problems in other parts of the country.
What will conservation look like in 25 years’ time?
Dunedin City Councillor Jinty McTavishwill chair aYouth Panel comprising students from Otago Girls’ High School, Bayfield High School, Queen’s High School and John McGlashan College.
Jinty and the panel will consider the role of youth in conservation over the next 25 years. Among the challenges they see ahead is the question of succession planning. Who will continue the work we do today? And what is the best way to engage tomorrow's youth in our projects?