BTW Company Director Grant Aitken (far left) with some of his volunteering team.
PHOTO: Vicki Zieltjes

Over the last 12 months a number of Taranaki-based businesses have supported biodiversity efforts on the Mounga.

One such business is BTW Company (BTW) which has provided opportunities for its staff to check and maintain 53 traps along a five-kilometre loop near the Mangaoraka carpark by the North Egmont Visitor Centre.

BTW Director Grant Aitken says as with many other community projects the company supports, the staff enjoy being actively involved.

“We’re proud to be a company that supports the volunteering efforts of its staff and the benefits have been immense,” says Grant. “As well as supporting the Taranaki Mounga Project, staff well-being and the camaraderie across teams have increased.”

BTW Company Environment Team Leader Dave Bolger said staff were so keen to be involved, names had to be drawn from a hat. One staff member who is an avid tramper and runner missed out in the draw so he contacted Taranaki Mounga and now looks after his own trapline.

“Our surveyor, Trent Davis, was gutted he missed out. The trapline he now looks after is pretty demanding. Trent is loving it,” says Dave.

After nine monitoring days, four stoat and 61 possums have been caught.

Taranaki Mounga Project Manager Sean Zieltjes says the support of businesses like BTW Company has seen the trapping network across the Project area increase by 30 per cent.

“This provides an opportunity for native birds, flora and fauna to thrive. It’s also great to know that staff are either discovering or reconnecting with the Mounga again. The wellness benefits of being on the park are immense.”

As well as supporting the Project’s trapping efforts, BTW Company has provided engineering support by designing a transportable aviary as part of a plan to return kākā to Taranaki. Project Janzoon, a NEXT Foundation partner in Abel Tasman National Park, is currently using the aviary as part of its efforts to restore fauna in that part of New Zealand.

Other Taranaki businesses which have now adopted stoat trapping lines in Egmont National Park include First Gas, Todd Energy, Methanex and Countdown.