Sysmex volunteers for conservation project on Motuihe Island

MotuiheIsland2Motuihe Island (Te Motu-a-Ihenga) is a picturesque island situated 16km from the Auckland CBD, in the Hauraki Gulf. Originally settled by Maori people, the island was then extensively farmed by Europeans for over a century. It also has an important role in Auckland’s history, having acted as a quarantine station for over fifty years.

In collaboration with the Department of Conservation (DOC), the Motuihe Trust operates the Motuihe Restoration Project, a conservation scheme aimed at restoring the island to its original state through native replanting and endangered wildlife programmes. In recent years, volunteers have been working hard to transform the island from farmland to a sanctuary for kiwis, tuatara, geckos and other rare and endangered flora and fauna.

As part of Sysmex’s continued support for the environment, a team of Sysmex staff and their families braved the wet, stormy conditions on Sunday 29 May to volunteer for the project. With such a big crew available to work on the restoration, volunteers were split into two working groups. Half of our volunteers spent the day working in the nursery preparing native seedlings, with over 200 native trees potted up including Kowhai, Totara and Pohutakawa. The rest of the group worked outside in the Snapper Bay area, planting over 240 native trees.

The Motuihe Trust were extremely pleased with the results of the hard day’s work, saying “A big thank you to our volunteers who were mainly from Sysmex.”

Many of the volunteers also took up the opportunity for a guided bushwalk. “I have to say, the bush walk was the highlight for me,” said Marketing Coordinator, Caroline Eddy, “We got to see birds that you don’t normally see on the mainland (saddlebacks). They were not scared at all, so we could get quite close. Plus it was interesting to see the progress of the planting since they started the restoration in 2005.”

“Although the day was slightly damp and cold, we all had a wonderful time,” said Marketing Communication Manager, Rose Harding. “Our younger volunteers, in particular, had a great time potting up the small seedlings.”

If you are interested in volunteering or helping out the Motuihe Restoration Trust, please visit their website for further details.

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