Kerikeri Stone Store Basin Weedbusters
Award Category: Northland
My motivation is that I have been much impressed by the older ladies that have been associated with the Stone Store Basin Weedbusters over the last ten years. They are an attractive bunch that have tackled some of the most appalling jobs we have on offer such as working in swamp areas to clear honeysuckle and gorse etc.
First my wife Winsome Fisher was appalled at the state the track to the Kororipo Pa and asked DOC to do something about it, only to be advised that they had no money for the job. Indeed they suggested that one solution was for her to form a bunch of volunteers, and basically do the job herself. Much to my surprise, she did just that and ran the group for a couple years until her patience with DOC was finally exhausted. Fortunately Marilyn Buckley took the job on for another couple of years until similar frustration left her exhausted as well.
Rather than let a good idea die, I decided to have a go, and I guess I ve been doing the job for about the last six years, but I am 79 and tiring fast, and I have decided this will be my last year. Fortunately I have been blessed by the assistance of five wonderful dedicated and productive workers. The two other fellers are doing great work, but four ladies have gone way beyond the normal call of duty. First Barbara Parris, who is a professional botanist of international repute, and has been with us from the very beginning, is of enormous value. Then we were joined by Gaynor Branford who showed that anything the fellers could do, so could the women, but she has since moved on. Then we were joined by Maggy Aslund, who meshed with our needs every bit as well as anybody else. And finally we were joined by Isabella Godbert, another amazing NZ women.
These aforementioned women have all made an enormous contribution, for which we all should be extremely grateful. Money is now being poured constructively into the Basin, but nothing seems to be happening regarding ongoing maintenance. There will be problems ahead, but my bunch of volunteers will soon be too old to help.