Call (+64) 3 304 7654, or Email marie@theseventhgeneration.org

Fools & Dreamers: Watch the full documentary here!

Fools & Dreamers is a 30-minute documentary telling the story of Hinewai Nature Reserve, on Canterbury’s Banks Peninsula, and its kaitiaki/manager of 30 years, botanist Hugh Wilson. We learn about the commitment of Hugh and the Maurice White Native Forest Trust to regenerate marginal, hilly farmland into native forest, using a minimal interference method that allows nature to do the work, giving life to over 1500 hectares of native forest, waterways, and the creatures that live within them. When, in 1987, Hugh let the local community know about his plans to allow gorse to grow as a nurse canopy for self-sown native trees, the response was sceptical at best and outright angry and disparaging for the most part – one farmer stating the plan was the sort to be expected only of “fools and dreamers”. Now considered a local hero by town and country folk alike, Hugh’s home at Hinewai overlooks a valley resplendent in native forest canopy, where birds and other wildlife are abundant and 47 known waterfalls are in permanent flow. An inspiring, charismatic personality, Hugh’s passion and enthusiasm for his life’s project come through in every sentence he speaks. A dreamer who has made his dream come true, Hugh has proven without doubt that nature knows best – and that he is no fool.

Banks Peninsula Locals Sustainability Story

Watch this video to understand why Banks Peninsula is such a remarkable place!

Local student Marco Varray, 12, has created this winning documentary film in the National Outlook for Someday competition. The film features local characters who tell their story of sustainability, it also captures the unique outlook of this rural community who are passionate about living a sustainable and enjoyable life.

How to Build a Sense of Place

Our understanding of our home and our sense of place is such a vital connection for people’s wellbeing and contentment, I would be honored if I can add to that for both residents and tourists alike.

The more you know about your place of belonging in the world the stronger your connections to community and place can be. This sense of place is one of the greatest sources of meaning to our lives.

It can take many years of observation to fully know the world around you, and your rhythms within it. Over time each place, the stories attached to them and even each tree or rock can start to hold meaning for you, these become your marker pegs as you orientate yourself within space.

As a child I would roam the hills and valleys of our farm, slowly each year I would add new knowledge to my kete (basket). These gems would come from close observations, the time each year the kowhai comes into flower, when it is warm enough for jeweled gecko to be seen, a story told by an Aunty of a memory of my Great-grandmother, little scraps of information from the local newspaper, discussions with friends. And this is how I have built my knowledge of this place. My ambition in life is for that knowledge building to never stop, because this knowledge builds love and a deep connection to this land and the community who shelters here.

This August Seventh Generation will be providing ‘Locals Tours’ especially for residents who may want to add to their kete of knowledge.

Bookings can be made on my website www.theseventhgeneration.co.nz

Akaroa Mail July 2018

 

Meeting the Minister

Yesterday at the 155th Canterbury A&P Show we meet the new Minister for Agriculture, Biosecurity and Rural Communities, Damien O’Connor (pictured right) as well as the Director General of the Ministry for Primary Industries, Martyn Dunn (pictured left). As the 2017 Community Biosecurity Award winner Marie had been invited to meet with the Minister to discuss the Wildside Project.

This was a rare opportunity to tell the inspiring story of the Wildside, where rural farming families have driven conservation efforts on their own land to protect and restore nature for it’s own sake. After 30 years of conservation work, including predator proof fencing, fencing forest habitat and predator control the economic rewards are starting to match the ecological rewards as people come from far and wide to see the species of birds that are returning, such as the New Zealand Falcon, tomtit, penguins, titi and morepork and to walk in the regenerating forests.

It was also an opportunity to raise concerns around the future of the yellow-eyed penguin that is threatened by multiple threats both onshore and at sea.

I hope to work closely with the New Zealand Government into the future in sharing our unique perspective on community conservation, to engage and enable people to make conservation action and appreciation of nature as an important part of our everyday life. By envisioning Seven Generations past, we can create abundance Seven Generations into the future.

He aha te mea nui o te ao : What is the most important thing in the world?

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata : It is the people, it is the people, it is the people!!!