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What is advocacy? It's speaking for something that has no voice. I speak for our birds and trees, for our water and soil quality, for bees and frogs, for Central Otago and awareness of the dangers of fracking.


I’m a Greenie, a paid-up member of the Green party, not that I’m political, but every bit of support helps the environment. I want to be an example to follow.

I’m concerned how some people treat our land as a resource for their personal profit regardless of the consequences. I delight in how others are doing their best to restore ravaged places to what they used to be. I help as best I can. I'm a volunteer. No longer can I walk the trails carrying rat or possum bait. My joints restrict me to supporting those who do. Instead, I’m a hostess at the kohanga, the hut and home base from which practical work in the bush is carried out. Volunteers depart with maps and bait and when they return, I’m there to welcome them with hot drinks and homemade baking.

I help in public displays by the Aongatete Forest Project to educate the public about predators and ways to catch them at home. I write to create awareness so I have a blog 'Tell Me a Story' - great people, our environmental subjects, my take. Check it out at kinsahaysblog. 

The Aongatete Forest Project is a care group in the bush-clad Kaimai Range with the aim of reducing predators, restoring the dawn chorus and being the example of what Nature used to be. The AFP has employed a Project Manager, Emma Cronin, relieving volunteers from details that became onerous, organising the kohanga (hut), maps and baits efficiently, coordinating volunteers and tracking results. I wrote a story about this most interesting lady which was published in the March/April 2019 issue of Focus magazine.

Kinsa on Ulva Island taken by

Noel Peterson

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James Denyer, new chair of AFP with the latest award from DoC



A story of soil science, email-savvy elves, a wicked magician and a real soil doctor charged with re-balancing the soil for farmers and elves, crops and animals to thrive. Written in magical realism style that both adults and children 8-12  will enjoy.

Rat-catcher extraordinaire

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Sick of walking the line to find and clear predator traps, Scott Sambell added technology – and a rat-detecting dog Milly – to his arsenal. As Kinsa Hays discovered, the more strategic approach is raising hopes Predator-Free NZ could be a reality earlier than 2050. 

No ordinary sculptor: The man who makes wood come to life


In a small part of the Bay of Plenty works a man who can make satin and lace from wood. 

Walking through Kevin McCardell’s gallery in Tauriko, you’ll be astonished by what appears to be clothing hanging on the walls. Closer inspection reveals these realistic creations are made of wood. 

Carved folds hang loosely. The teeth of zips and the stitching on a sports bag is almost for real. The builder’s bag complete with tools seems ready to wear.



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