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Monday, August 25, 2014

Geological Tour of Maungawhau on Sunday 28 September

As part of the Auckland Heritage Festival 2014, on Sunday 28 September geologist and FoM volunteer Bernhard Sporli will lead a walking tour around and over Maungawhau, looking at its shape, lavas, scoria and volcanic bombs.

This will be a half-day walking tour starting at Eden Garden at 9am and looking at the volcanic features there, then
proceeding around the base of the mountain to its summit before returning to Eden Garden at about 2pm.
Participants will have the opportunity to take in an array of volcanic rocks and landforms while looking at the setting of Maungawhau within the regional geology of Auckland (if the views from the summit permit). We will also discuss general aspects of volcanic risk in Auckland.
Eden Garden has a lovely café, and has generously offered free admission to participants. 
The maximum number for the walking tour is 30, so you do need to book with Bernhard: <bandh.sporli[]>
Another geology walking tour of Maungawhau, led by Dr Bruce Hayward, is planned for Love Your Mountain Day on Sunday 7 December. See our Events page for details nearer the time.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Super Moon on Maungawhau

In case you missed the photo in the NZ Herald of the super moon and our super maunga, here it is, and if you go to this link you will see it at the top of a page that features photos of the super moon taken from different locations around the world.  This photo is by Simon Runting/Rex.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The missing ranger on Maungawhau

World Ranger Day is observed on 31 July, the anniversary of the founding of the International Rangers Federation in 1992. It is a time to celebrate the dedication of park rangers around the world who protect parkland and animals, and to remember the approximately 1,000 rangers who have been killed or injured in the line of duty in the last ten years. 

The Friends of Maungawhau celebrate World Ranger Day with a traditional boiling of the billy - actually a Thermette, or Benghazi Boiler - and morning tea with our volunteers and invited guests.

We were joined by Peter Haynes, chair of the Albert-Eden Local Board, and Glenda Fryer, deputy chair and one of the six Auckland Council representatives on the new Maunga Authority, due to have its first meeting in September.
Smoky billy tea and fruit cake accompanied discussion of current issues. Peter gave a brief summary of matters relevant to FoM, and was pleased to announce that the Board's funding has been increased by some $1.5 million.

World Ranger Day has special significance for FoM: for two decades now we have campaigned for a ranger service on Auckland's volcanic cones as the only practicable way of preserving a potential World Heritage site and coordinating conservation efforts. The need for a ranger on Maungawhau was stated in the first management plan (1986). Successive councils have made promises, but the vision of a ranger on the maunga seems as distant as ever.

This year we're taking a new approach to the "missing ranger" issue with the aid of a PR mascot. Our WRD celebration was his first official outing.

It all stemmed from a casual remark by our volunteer coordinator Jean Barton that we might as well dress up a dummy and stand it there while we work. By chance shortly after, Jean and Keith discovered a battered but still handsome mannequin in a junk shop, and immediately deployed him for FoM's PR team.

The missing ranger is as yet un-named and short of a boot, but should brush up nicely for Love Your Mountain Day on Sunday 7 December. He may even be presented to Mayor Len Brown who has confirmed his attendance.

Kit didn't get to speak formally about World Ranger Day it's hard to get a word in when there are politicians about but the Duke of Cambridge was kind enough to stand in for him. He did a creditable job, without matching Kit's passion for the subject, as did Dame Jane Goodall. You can listen to their messages on the International Rangers Federation website.