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Charity gives Kaikorai Valley some love | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

The future looks bright for Kaikorai Valley with the launch of a new charity that aims to improve the environment for all.

About 50 people attended the launch of Aroha Kaikorai Valley Trust at Kaikorai Valley College on Tuesday. 

The registered charity has a mission to care for Kaikorai Stream, plant indigenous species, remove predators and care for native birds.

The organisation began with Turboweb co-owner Paul Southworth.

When he and his staff moved to a new location in Kaikorai Valley Rd, they noticed a bank behind the building was filled with weeds, scrub, gorse and broom and there were supermarket bags filled with rubbish as well.

The building was also overrun with rats when they moved in.

The team worked to clear the weeds and rubbish, and in the process an idea to see what they could do to be part of the community by developing an environmentally-focused organisation was formed.

The trust had a long-term view of more than 150 years for the valley, which included clean water in Kaikorai Stream all the way to the sea, replacing weed species with native and significant species and removing all predators from the valley, Mr Southworth said.

“So it is not about fixing everything now, it is about small incremental steps where we are just raising awareness and bringing people on board with us and making things happen.”

By developing partnerships between residents, businesses, schools and community groups in the area it hoped to nurture a sense of community pride in the local environment.

The trust had been working behind the scenes for more than a year building connections with local businesses as well as the regional and city councils and had secured funding from the Otago Regional Council EcoFund for residential predator control.

Future plans included appointing a co-ordinator, rolling out a trapping project and a “valley spring clean”.

“I have a vision of a big army coming down the road picking up all the rubbish.”

“I think it will be just fantastic to have this massive cleanup and then end in one of the reserves here and have a bit of a community barbecue.”

Speaking at the launch Dunedin Mayor Jules Radich said it was great to see this initiative happening in Kaikorai Valley.

“Having a community-led project is fantastic.”

When the Dunedin City Council was able to work together with people in the community it made a big difference to what could be achieved, he said.




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