Village News

A natural obsession

06 May 2024

Orion Point resident, Annette Rice

With a passion for the outdoors, Orion Point resident Annette Rice is determined to help keep Motutapu Island’s natural environment flourishing.
Every Wednesday, rain, hail, or shine, you’ll find Annette on the Island, like she has been for the past four years, establishing seedlings or, at this time of the year, weeding out the invasive plants.

“I’d always wanted to volunteer when I retired and when I heard about this opportunity I thought, that’s a bit of me!”, says Annette.

Motutapu is part of the Hauraki Gulf Islands in Auckland’s inner harbour. A predator and pest free reserve, it’s home to some of New Zealand’s rarest native wildlife including kiwi, takahē and the tīeke (saddleback).

But this isn’t Annette and husband, Philip’s first conservation rodeo. Before moving to Orion Point in September 2023, they spent many years working with Ark in the Park, a volunteer driven conservation project restoring the Waitākere Ranges in West Auckland.

“That was strenuous work, lots of bait lines and traps but it’s a privilege to be a part of the restoration work at some of the region’s most amazing reserves”, says Annette.

Now that they’ve hung their boots up on projects in the Waitākere Ranges, the work on Motutapu is the perfect balance of labour and enjoyment.

“It’s a day on a beautiful island with all the reintroduced New Zealand birds and other like-minded people – that’s my favourite part.”

Latest news.