You are currently viewing Volunteers pitch in for Thames Coast kiwi
Volunteers travelled from Auckland recently to help TCKC install two new traplines. Photo: SUPPLIED

Volunteers pitch in for Thames Coast kiwi

A chance meeting at the Thames Market between an Auckland Engineering Company director and Thames Coast Kiwi Care has led to a satisfying partnership that was recently marked by a third annual working bee helping tackle pest eradication on the Thames Coast.
Robert Mannes, founder and head of 22 Degrees, a Ponsonby engineering consultancy active in sustainability and the design of building services (involved in projects like Commercial Bay and Bay of Islands Airport), had his fateful encounter with a TCKC market stall during a Save the Kiwi month promotion in 2019 while spending the weekend at his property in Puriri.
Robert saw a great fit with company values and as a strong supporter of the Predator Free 2050 vision to protect native species, he was so impressed with the work of TCKC’s volunteers and outstanding results in improving local kiwi numbers, he pledged on the spot to become a financial sponsor.
But Robert and fellow director Jennifer Austin Mannes didn’t stop there, wanting to create a way for their staff to get involved, and so the 22 Degrees Working Bee Days were born. Now in their third year, there’s been a steady increase in staff participation and a day out of the office, to help wild kiwi thrive, has become a highlight for their employees.

Seventeen people (originally 20 but Covid-19 struck) travelled from Auckland on March 9 to help TCKC install two new traplines.
Ten people helped with self-resetting AT220 traps for possum and rat control while the other team of seven lugged hefty DOC 200 stoat traps up the steep Te Mātā ridge to create a loop extension for an existing trapline.
Robert and Jennifer said they appreciated the tangible benefit of their financial contribution as they see TCKC go “from strength to strength with outstanding results”.
But they really value the opportunity for their staff to participate and feel like they’re making a hands-on difference.
“So many of our guys are passionate about sustainability and preserving our wildlife and natural habitats. We have keen trampers and birdlife enthusiasts on our team who feel privileged to help out.”
22 Degrees new graduate Kees Albers Connolly was just one of the team that was buzzing afterwards. “It was really fun and I’ll definitely come back next year.”