Tuesday, 26 January 2021


Successful Info Day for Rings Beach Wetland Group

The Rings Beach Wetland Group was thrilled to take part in this holiday season’s Matarangi Summer Festival for the first time, holding an Info Day on Tuesday last week at the Bluff Road entrance to the Matarangi Bluff Scenic Reserve.

The aim of the Info Day was to give Mercury Bay residents and visitors the opportunity to learn more about the conservation work the group does in the reserve and to encourage them to walk one or more of the tracks. “The Rings Beach Wetland Group has always been conscious of the need to gets its message out to the wider world,” says Carrie Parker, chairperson of the group. “The Informer along with other local media has always been very supportive. However our participation in the Matarangi Summer Festival, along with our new Facebook page, has made us realise that we haven’t previously provided a mechanism that enabled our friends and supporters to reach out to us directly.”

Secretary, Dave Fitzgerald, concurs. “By holding the Info Day, we were able to have conversations with some of the many people who use the tracks on a regular basis, even if it is only when they are visiting Matarangi during holiday periods,” he says. “We gained some valuable insights, such as the need for better signage and that not everyone knows that there are three options to walk. We were also delighted to receive several offers of volunteer assistance along with some generous financial donations. These donations are greatly appreciated and will assist with the costs of our ongoing predator control and track development efforts.”

Info Day visitors were able to view exhibits of the most common predators, kindly provided by the Department of Conservation, and to see some of the traps that are used to target these predators. A short quiz was handed out to those walking the tracks, with completed entries eligible to prizes from Luke’s Kitchen and Stargazers Astronomy Tours.

With well over a hundred visitors passing through, the Rings Beach Wetland Group team was delighted with the success of the Info Day. “We would especially like to thank Richardsons Real Estate for providing the gazebo, and Luke’s Kitchen and Stargazers for providing the quiz prizes,” says Carrie. “Thanks also go to the members of our group who donated their time and effort in numerous ways to make the day a success, and to Coastal Signs who gave us a great deal on our new T-shirts. Most of all, however, we would like to thank all of those people who made the effort to come and see us and especially those who carried on to actually walk the tracks.

“The arduous work involved in maintaining the tracks and trapping predators can seem thankless at times. But seeing so many people appreciating what has been created makes our effort all worthwhile. Our team of volunteers will have an extra spring in their step from now on and we definitely look forward to participating in Matarangi Summer Festival again next year.”

For more information about the Rings Beach Wetland Group visit their website, www.ringsbeachwetlandgroup.org.nz, or their Facebook page.

Pictured: Rings Beach Wetland Group volunteer, Alastair Brickell, engaging the younger generation with information about traps and predators at the group’s Info Day on Tuesday last week.


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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.