News article

QEII Open Day for Southland Covenantors and friends 3 November 2019

On Sunday 3rd November 2019 we hosted a get-together of Southland QEII Covenantors at our property. The afternoon was organised by one of Southland’s two QEII Reps Jesse Bythell and assisted by Mark Sutton. New CEO Dan Coup and staff from QEII Office in Wellington were here as well as Board Members - Chair James Guild and Donna Field. Southland put on a gorgeous sunny day and the Education Centre provided a much welcome shady place for sitting, chatting and eating!

After short speeches from Jesse, Dan and Chris and Brian there were a number of activities arranged as well as lots of mingling and networking over food. Bronwyn showed people the Education Centre and talked about the types of activities we do with schools, Chris and Linda showed people the Nursery – and discussed eco-sourcing, seed collecting and growing native plants, Brian and Jesse led a walk around the covenant, ponds and bush, Dallas (Otatara Pestbusters) had an animal pestbuster table, Rachel (Environment Southland) had a weeds information table. National Office staff were on hand to help out and talk to people about their roles at the QEII National Trust and learn about covenantors stories. Read all about the day on the QEII website -

For those reading who don’t know anything about the QEII National Trust, it is a non-governmental organisation where private landowners have a legal mechanism for protecting their special natural area, in perpetuity, whilst still retaining ownership of it. You can read all about the Trust at

Covenants are registered right across New Zealand (at last count 5304 of them) and are very varied in vegetation type and of different sizes – some in farmland, some rural and some urban. Some are open to the public permanently and some, like our own, open by prior arrangement. All have their own important stories. Our own covenant protecting kahikatea swamp forest and restoration area was registered in 1999 and some background around the why, and what has happened since, is contained in a recent article

Thanks to Jesse for all her organisation and enthusiasm and to all who attended.

Chris Rance