Friends of the Blade / Ngā Hoa o Pā Kererū is an all-volunteer community care group working to establish a Pest Free Zone centred around the Pā Kererū Loop Walk and Ngāmarama Tracks in the Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park. This work has already led to an increase in native bird-life and improved regeneration of the bush, which was extensively logged in the first half of the 20th century.
The group was formed in 2015 under the aegis of Whakamārama Community Inc., and operates under a Community Agreement with the Department of Conservation (DOC). An initial grid of possum, rat and mustelid traps covering about 100 hectares was established, an area that has subsequently grown to 300 ha. with 23 trap lines. This work is endorsed by BOPRC, DOC, WBOPDC and local iwi. Friends of the Blade does not use toxic baits, only non-toxic lures.
- Keeping pests out of the established 300-ha area, and expanding that zone as resources allow.
- Eventually there may be an opportunity to encourage DOC to re-introduce taonga bird species to the area, such as kōkako, kākā and kiwi.
- To encourage the local population, as well as the wider Western Bay of Plenty citizens to visit the Pā Kererū Loop Walk and take pride in the area.
- To involve other volunteer conservationists to join them in their predator control work, sharing the opportunity for fitness, mental stimulation and wellbeing that comes from time spent in the bush.
How to Help
Friends of the Blade are very keen to welcome new members to the group of volunteers. They currently meet at the Blade carpark every second Friday morning, with working bees held at other times. There is flexibility for those who prefer to volunteer at weekends or other times. Full training and trapping equipment are provided. If you are interested, contact them at: [email protected]
Find Out More
Anyone interested in joining Friends of the Blade can see the links below for more information.