Guests at QEII Trust's 30-year birthday celebration at Lake Pounui on16 March were greatly privileged to share the occasion with His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
Some 300 guests from around the country attended the special occasion at Lake Pounui in southern Wairarapa, enjoying walks around the stunning open space covenant before a formal cake cutting ceremony.
The cake showed a map of New Zealand on which every QEII covenant was located. QEII Chairperson, Sir Brian Lochore, said, ‘Our cake ensures every single one of our covenants and covenantors are represented and celebrated here today.’
On arrival, guests drove through the beautiful Pounui Homestead Covenant belonging to Juliana and Nick Allen, who run an accommodation business at their 13ha property. The 2ha stand of secondary forest comprises a karaka, kahikatea and titoki canopy with a kawakawa understorey.
Beyond the homestead, on Annette and Bill Shaw’s 739ha Lake Pounui Farm, the Lake Pounui Covenant is nestled at the base of the Rimutaka Range. The 284ha covenant protects the only deep-water lake in the lower North Island as well as wetland areas and secondary beech-podocarp forest. Dr George Gibbs, Senior Research Associate at Victoria University of Wellington told guests that the area is of great interest to researchers in such fields as eel migration, forest ecology and entomology. Former owners, Evelyn and Don Cameron, originated the covenant in 1990.
Both covenants are classified as key natural ecosystems by the Greater Wellington Regional Council, which carries out an ongoing programme of pest control and invertebrate monitoring in the area.
Sir Brian said the Trust’s anniversary was an occasion to pay tribute to:
Left: Children from Kahutara School helped Prince Andrew, Duke of York, plant a young rimu. Prince Andrew then talked about tree care with the children along with Dr George Gibbs and Chris Carter, Minister of Conservation.
QEII thanks the generous sponsors that helped make this event possible: Federated Farmers of New Zealand, Department of Conservation, Ministry for the Environment and Pounui Homestead.