Richard Henry of Resolution Island is a pivotal father figure in New Zealand conservation whose heroic solo, but ultimately unsuccessful, efforts to save wildlife from invasive predators is a tragic story yet to have an ending.
As European settlement gathered pace across New Zealand during the second half of the 19th Century, vast areas of native habitat were converted to pasture for farming as New Zealand became Britain's farm in the South Pacific.
In a few short decades, the lessons learnt from a thousand years of land changes in Britain were visited upon New Zealand and great swathes of native forest, grassland and wetlands were decimated. Along with the loss of these habitats went the extinction of many species of our unique flora and fauna.
To be successful, any technology initiative must be aware of the macro-environmental factors in play and the aptly named PEST analysis does this.
In the field of predator control, a pest analysis sounds like a list of invasive species that might be targeted for control or eradication. However, it is a label with a double meaning as a PEST analysis is also a very useful tool in the strategic planning toolbox to better understand the broad environment in which any organisation must successfully operate if it is to thrive.
PEST is an acronym for the four key macro-environmental factors; political, economic, social and technology. It is an outward looking analysis rather than the more commonly used inward looking SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis that shows an organisation how to improve its overall performance
By reimagining the humble umbrella, a Kiwi engineer has shown how clever innovation and great design can transform something mundane into something special.
If you ever doubted innovation could make significant improvements to everyday items that we take for granted then you should learn more about the inspiring story behind the development of the amazing Blunt Umbrella. And once again it is Kiwis showing the world how to make the ordinary both extraordinary and incredible.
Stoats, ferrets and weasels in New Zealand are invasive predators, while in Britain they are still predators but also native animals and part of their biodiversity.
During a recent visit to the UK we were fortunate to meet and engage with a number of specialist predator control staff working with the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust.
This was particularly enlightening because while they work with some predatory mammal species that also occur in New Zealand, most notably stoats, ferrets and weasels, for them these are native animals that are part of their biodiversity, whereas for us they are invasive introduced predators
What's in a Name?
The familiar saying "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" warns about the risks that come with trying to achieve more by challenging the status quo.