By DANIEL ALVEY
Whakatipu’s conservation groups have created an informal alliance to speak as one on the region’s environmental issues.
Following a meeting earlier this month, a dozen groups have banded together to create
the Whakatipu Conservation Collective (WCC).
Wakatipu Reforestation Trust ops manager Karen O’Donahoo says the purpose of the collective is to enable the 12 groups to communicate as one voice rather than many and achieve better conservation outcomes for the region.
Among the 25 or so people at the meeting at the Kiwi Birdlife Park were representatives
of Queenstown’s council and Department of Conservation.
‘‘WCC is aspiring to provide shared support services to members, to increase collaboration, education and engagement, to help increase funding investment in conservation, and to work towards landscape-scale environmental restoration and nature conservation,’’ O’Donahoo says.
However, each trust remains fully focused on delivering their own ‘‘unique visions’’.
‘‘But, as we move forward, we’re doing so with greater strength through our commitment to support each other for the sake of our children’s future.’’
The collective will remain an informal one for now, but it’ll work towards formalising itself at some stage, she says.
The collective’s members have agreed to meet about every two months, with an immediate priority being Conservation Week activities in September.
As well as O’Donahoo’s trust, the other members are the Whakatipu Wildlife, Mana Tahuna, Kea Conservation and Queenstown Trails trusts.
Joining them are the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group, Te Tapu o Tane, Project Crimson/Trees that Count, Queenstown Mountain Bike Club, Friends of Tucker Beach, Friends of Lake Hayes, and Glenorchy Community Association, as well as council and DoC representatives.