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Other Events

The following events and meetings are highlighted as being of potential interest to BotSoc members.   A section on regular workbee events is at the bottom.   If you know of any event they may be of interest to members please email details to webmaster (at)

2015 Events

January – April:   Regional outdoors programme

The Great Outdoors summer events programme is now open for bookings!   Over 60 events are on offer from January to April.   Bookings & information: Greater Wellington Regional Council,, email bookings (at), phone 830 4041.

20 – 28 January:   Practical Field Botany (BIOL305)

University of Canterbury summer course:   An intensive, residential, short course designed to meet the need for training in the collection, preparation, and identification of botanical specimens.   Venue: Mountain Biological Field Station, Cass, Canterbury.
This course will be of interest to amateur botanists, members of the workforce (e.g. Crown Research Institutes, DOC, local and regional councils, botanic gardens, horticulturists and teachers), and biology students who need to acquire or upgrade taxonomic skills and are interested in field ecology, conservation, biodiversity and biosystematics.   It is targeted at participants with various entry levels, from students with limited plant knowledge, to experienced career professionals.
Goals of the course are to enable participants to
•   become familiar with the common plants of the Cass and surrounding areas quickly
•   identify and name plants correctly and accurately
•   maximise usefulness and minimise environmental impact when collecting specimens
•   prepare high-quality voucher specimens of plants
•   use scientific names to access detailed information about NZ plants
•   understand the patterns of variation within populations
•   appreciate unique and unusual aspects of the NZ flora.
For further information see or contact Dr. Pieter Pelser, email pieter.pelser (at), phone 03 364 2987 ext. 45605.

Friday 30th January – Sunday 1st February 2015 :   Taranaki ECO Regional Gathering

ECO Summer Gathering
This three-day ECO regional gathering in Taranaki will include a full field trip on Saturday to learn what it is like to live amidst oil and gas fields, and sessions on fracking, drilling-waste disposal, seabed mining, climate justice and the implications of the RMA changes. We will also work on community strategies, networking and share knowledge and experiences.   Venue: Muru Raupatu Marae, Te Arei Road West, Bell Block, Taranaki.   Space is limited and you need to apply to apply to ECO to attend.   For further information:;   phone / fax: 04 385 7545;   e-mail: eco (at)

Saturday 2 February:   World Wetlands Day 2015 – “Wetlands for Our Future – Join us!”

World Wetlands Day 2015
Celebrates the anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971.   The World Wetlands Day theme for 2015 is “Wetlands for Our Future – Join us!”, with the slogan “THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY DEPENDS ON WETLANDS”.
Wetlands purify and replenish our water, and provide the fish and rice that feed billions.   Wetlands act as a natural sponge against flooding and drought, and protect our coastlines.   They burst with biodiversity, and are a vital means of storing carbon.
Unfortunately, these benefits are not widely known. Often viewed as wasteland, 64% of our wetlands have disappeared since 1900.
Help us turn the tide on the loss and degradation of our wetlands.
World Wetland Day is an opportunity for governments, organisations, and citizens to raise public awareness of the values and benefits of wetlands in general, and the Ramsar Convention in particular.   For more information see, and

Tuesday 12 February:   International Darwin Day

International Darwin Day
Darwin Day is an international celebration of science and humanity held on or around February 12, the day that Charles Darwin was born on in 1809.   Specifically, it celebrates the discoveries and life of Charles Darwin — the man who first described biological evolution via natural selection with scientific rigor.   More generally, Darwin Day expresses gratitude for the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, has contributed to the advancement of humanity.   On this date, two great men were born, Abraham Lincoln, Emancipator of American Slaves and Charles Darwin, Emancipator of the Human Mind.   Their Positive Legacies Still Endure   For more information see

Wednesday 11 – Friday 13 March:   Dune Restoration Trust of New Zealand – 2015 Conference: “Nelson – a Region of Coastal Diversity”

Dune Restoration Trust Conference
Each year the Dunes Trust runs an annual conference to bring together people's knowledge, experiences, up-to-date research and visions for dune restoration.   The next annual Dunes Trust Conference will be held in Whitianga.   Dunes Conferences have a very special flavour due to the combination of volunteer CoastCare groups and professional scientists, consultants and representatives from local bodies.   Guest speakers will represent the best expertise in coastal and dune processes and management, and volunteer groups will report on their various challenges and achievements.   The programme promises many interesting speakers and more than a day of fieldtrips to coastal dunes and restoration projects in the area.   For further information and registrations please see:

ECO Annual Conference
Weekend 14–15 February 2015:   Food Matters Aotearoa Conference

Food Matters Aotearoa Conference, Te Papa, Wellington.   Have you been wondering?
•   How nutritious is your food and how it is produced?
•   Should New Zealand embrace GM food production?
•   Are alternative farming methods able to feed the world and produce healthier food?
Food really does matter, especially when it comes to addressing the problems of an increasingly vulnerable global system. We invite you to hear speakers with different indigenous and international perspectives on solutions to the challenges we face.   For further information:>
2 Saturday 28 February – Sunday 8 March :   Seaweek 2015 – “Toiora te Moana – Toiora te Tangata, Healthy Seas – Healthy People”

Seaweek 2015
The theme for Seaweek 2015 is “Look beneath the surface – Papatai o roto – Papatai o raro” highlighting how precious this amazing resource is that we call the sea and how much we can learn from studying its wonders.   Seaweek is a national event organised by the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education and was first held in New Zealand in 1992.   For more information and resources see, and

Saturday 14 March:   International Day of Action For Rivers 2015

International Day of Action For Rivers
Every year hundreds of people around the world lift their voices to celebrate the world’s rivers and the thousands of people who struggle to protect them.   The International Day of Action For Rivers is a day to celebrate victories such as dam removal and river restoration.   It is a day to take to the streets, demonstrate and demand improvements in the policies and practices of decision makers.   It is a day to educate one another about the threats facing our rivers, and learn about better water and energy solutions.   Above all, it is a day to unite by acting together, we demonstrate that these issues are not merely local, but global in scope.   For more information and resources see, and

Saturday 21 March:   World Forestry Day 2015

World Forestry Day
World Forestry Day has been celebrated around the world for 43 years to remind communities of the importance of forests and the many benefits which we gain from them.   The concept of having a World Forestry Day originated at the 23rd General Assembly of the European Confederation of Agriculture in 1971.   Later that year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation gave support to the idea believing the event would contribute a great deal to public awareness of the importance of forests and agreed that it should be observed every year around the world.   March 21, the autumnal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere was chosen as the day to be celebrated offering information about the three key facets of forestry, protection, production and recreation.   For more information see and

World Water Day 2015
Sunday 22 March:   World Water Day 2015

International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.   World Water Day (WWD) 2015, under the theme ‘Water and Sustainable Development’, provides an important opportunity to consolidate and build upon the previous World Water Days to highlight water’s role in the sustainable development agenda.
For more information see and

Saturday 28 March 8:30PM:   Earth Hour 2015 – Uniting People to Protect the Planet

Earth Hour logo
Hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world unite each year to support the largest environmental event in history.   Earth Hour started in 2007 as a lights-off event to raise awareness about climate change.   It has grown to engage more than 5,200 cities and towns in 162 countries and territories worldwide, sending a powerful message for action on climate change.   It also ushered in a new era with members going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action for the planet.   Without a doubt, it’s shown how great things can be achieved when people come together for a common cause.   For more information see

Wednesday 22 April:   Earth Day 2015 – Mobilize the Earth

Earth Day 2015
Earth Day, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, was first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution.   Earth Day is now a worldwide movement celebrated by millions of people worldwide wanting to protect our planet, our children, and our future.   2015 - Earth Day’s 45th anniversary - could be the most exciting year in environmental history.   The year in which economic growth and sustainability join hands.   The year in which world leaders finally pass a binding climate change treaty.   The year in which citizens and organizations divest from fossil fuel investments and put their money into renewable energy solutions.   These are tough issues but we know what’s at stake is the future of our planet and the survival of life on earth.   On Earth Day we need you to take a stand so that together, we can show the world a new direction.   It’s your turn to lead. So our world leaders can follow by example.   For more information see

Saturday 25 April:   Save The Frogs Day 2015

Save The Frogs Day
Save The Frogs Day is the world’s largest day of amphibian education and conservation action.   In an effort to raise awareness of the plight of amphibians the scientific community has declared Saturday April 28th, 2015 the 8th Annual ‘Save The Frogs Day’.   On this day we encourage the appreciation and celebration of amphibians by people from all walks of life.   Only a small proportion of our public is aware that frogs are disappearing, and amphibian conservation efforts will not be successful with an un-informed public.   Our goal is to make the amphibian extinction crisis common knowledge by Save The Frogs Day: help make it happen!   For more information and resources see and

World Migratory Bird Day
Saturday–Sunday 9 – 10 May:   World Migratory Bird Day 2015

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) was initiated in 2006 and is a global awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats.   On the second weekend each May, people around the world take action and organise public events such as bird festivals, education programmes and bird watching excursions to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day and to help raise awareness around a specific theme.   The theme for WMBD 2014 was “Destination Flyways: Migratory Birds and Tourism” which highlighted the links between migratory bird conservation, local community development and wildlife watching tourism around the world.   For more information see

Plant Conservation Network
Thursday 23 – Sunday 26 May 2015:   Plant Conservation Network Conference 2015

The 2015 NZPCN Conference will be held in Dunedin on the last weekend of October.   For further information and bookings e-mail info (at), or see

May:   Wellington Restoration Day 2015

Wellington Restoration Day 2015, date to be confirmed.   Restoration Day is an annual event proving opportunity for restoration group members to gain new skills and inspiration through a programme of workshops, talks and fieldtrips.   Restoration Day also celebrates the restoration work being carried out in the region and provides plenty of networking opportunity.   Bookings Essential.   For further information and bookings contact:   Bronwyn Bell, DOC, phone 472 5821, fax 499 0077, e-mail bbell (at), or see

Environment Day 2015
Friday 5 June:   World Environment Day 2015 – End Food Waste

World Environment Day was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1972, to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment and is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.   It is held in a different country each year on June 5.   New Zealand hosted World Environment Day in 2008.

The World Environment Day slogan for 2015 is Think.Eat.Save.   One-third of all food that is produced is thrown away without ever reaching peoples stomachs.   And it’s not just the food itself that is wasted, but also precious land and water resources.   Food waste in landfills is one of the biggest contributors of gas emissions.   To find out more about the Think.Eat.Save campaign see   For more information on WED see and

Tuesday 5 June:   Arbor Day 2015

Arbor Day marks the beginning of the planting season and is about inspiring people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.   It is also a time to celebrate the unique biodiversity of our country.   2015 is the 15th anniversary of the Biodiversity Strategy.   For more information see and

World Ocean Day 2015
Monday 8 June:   World Oceans Day 2015

Covering more than 70% of our planet’s surface our oceans are probably the most important ecosystem of the earth.   World Oceans Day was first introduced in 1992 to raise awareness of the crucial role the sea plays as sources of food, oxygen and medicine.   It was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008 and is observed on June 8 each year.   On World Oceans Day people around the planet celebrate and honour the body of water which links us all, for what it provides humans and what it represents.   The theme for World Oceans Day 2014 was “Youth: the Next Wave for Change”.   World Oceans Day allows us to:
•   Change perspective - encourage individuals to think about what the ocean means to them and what it has to offer all of us with hopes of conserving it for present and the future generations.
•   Learn - discover the wealth of diverse and beautiful ocean creatures and habitats, how our daily actions affect them, and how we are all interconnected.
•   Change our ways - we are all linked to, and through, the ocean! By taking care of your backyard, you are acting as a caretaker of our ocean. Making small modifications to your everyday habits will greatly benefit our blue planet.
•   Celebrate - whether you live inland or on the coast we are all connected to the ocean; take the time to think about how the ocean affects you, and how you affect the ocean, and then organize or participate in activities that celebrate our world ocean.
For more information and resources see, and

Thursday 18 June   Matariki - Maori New Year 2015

Matariki is celebrated with education, remembrance and the planting of new trees and crops signalling new beginnings.   For more information see

Global Wind Day
Friday 15 June:   Global Wind Day 2015

Global Wind Day is a worldwide event that occurs annually on 15 June.   It is a day for discovering wind, its power and the possibilities it holds to change our world.   It is also a day for discovery of the work that has already begun by pioneers around the world.   In more than 75 countries around the world, wind farms are in operation, generating energy from a clean and renewable source.   The European Wind Energy Association - EWEA - and the Global Wind Energy Council - GWEC - coordinate the Global Wind Day through a network of partners.   The day started as a European one in 2007 and went Global in 2009.   In NZ our wind provides about 5% of our electricity and it is likely that wind will be providing 20% of our electricity by 2030.   On 15 June, thousands of public events are organised all over the world.   For more information and resources see and

Red Socks Day
Friday 12 July:   Red Socks Day 2015

The Sir Peter Blake Trust strives to honour Sir Peter’s leadership, love for the environment and dedication to young people.   Every year, hundreds of schools, businesses, organisations and community groups around New Zealand honour Sir Peter’s life and legacy on Red Socks Day, and use the day as an opportunity to celebrate their leaders, and what it means to be a member of their communities.   For more information and resources see

26 – 28 August:   NETS2015 Conference – The Learning Never Stops!

The New Zealand Biosecurity Institute National Education and Technology Seminar (NETS) Conference will be held at Dunedin from 26th – 28th August 2015.   The NETS2015 theme is “The Learning Never Stops” and the Committee especially encourages presentations looking at innovation and new ways of approaching biosecurity issues.   For further information see or contact Carolyn Lewis, NETS2015 Conference Organiser, email carolyn.lewis (at)

NIWA Wellington Science and Technology Fair
Wednesday 26th – Saturday 29th August 2015:   NIWA Wellington Science and Technology Fair.

Laby Building, Victoria University.   BotSoc offers annually a Special Prize for the winning entry on an indigenous plant topic.   Sylvia Nichol, NIWA Wellington Science and Technology Fair, Special Prizes Coordinator, PBag 14 901, Kilbirnie, WN.   Phone 04 386 0396, s.nichol (at)   For further information see

ECO Annual Conference
Friday 28 August – Sunday 30 August:   ECO Annual Conference and AGM 2015

This year’s conference – details to be confirmed.   Contact the ECO Office for further information.   Debby Rosin, Executive Officer, Environment and Conservation Organisations of NZ (ECO), Level 2, 126 Vivian St, Box 11 057, WN 6142.   For further information:;   phone / fax: 04 385 7545;   e-mail: eco (at);   Skype:

Conservation Week
8 – 15 September:   Conservation Week 2015

Show New Zealand that you love it - our native wildlife, our incredible natural areas, and the places that are part of our history – by taking part in conservation events and activities, watching conservation programmes on TVNZ 7 and sharing your photos and comments online.   For further information see

Keep New Zealand Beautiful Week 2015
Sunday 13 – Saturday 19 September:   Keep New Zealand Beautiful Week and Conference and AGM 2015

A week long series of events to promote Cleaning Up New Zealand, culminating in the 2015 Keep NZ Beautiful Conference and AGM – details to be confirmed.   For more information see

25 – 27 September:   Wellington Home & Garden Show

Westpac Stadium, Wellington.   Kirsty Randell, Jade Promotions, Box 8516, Havelock North.   Phone 06 877 6475 ext 701,

Sunday 27 September:   World Rivers Day 2015

World Rivers Day
World Rivers Day is a global celebration of the world’s waterways, established in 2005, to highlight the many values of rivers and strives to increase public awareness while encouraging the improved stewardship of rivers around the world.   World Rivers Day occurs annually on the last Sunday in September.   World Rivers Day has been endorsed by the United Nations and is intended to complement the broader efforts of the UN’s Water For Life Decade 2005-2015.  For more information and resources see, and

26 September – 3 October:   Wellington Botanic Garden Spring Festival

A week of fun-filled events to welcome spring, starting with Tulip Sunday on 27 September.

Monday 5 October:   World Habitat Day 2015

World Habitat Day
World Habitat Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985, and is designated the first Monday of October every year.   The idea is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter.   It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.   The theme for World Habitat Day 2014 was “Voices from Slums” to recognize life in slums and give a voice to slum dwellers for improving quality of living conditions in existing slums.   For more information see

World Rain Forest Week
10 – 16 October:   World Rain Forest Week 2015

This is a program ran by Rainforest Action Network to help increase public awareness of rain-forest destruction and to motivate people to protect Earths rainforests and support the rights of their inhabitants.   We are losing nearly 40 million acres of rain forest each year, a problem that must be dealt with soon before it’s too late.   For more information and resources see and

Friday 16 October:   World Food Day 2015

World Food Day
This is a program ran by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation to provide an occasion to highlight the plight of almost 1 billion undernourished people in the world.   Most of them live in rural areas.   The theme for World Food Day 2014 was “family farming”; where agricultural work is carried out exclusively by the family and constitutes its entire income.   We're talking about an enormous area of world agriculture: according to the FAO, there are approximately 570 million farms in the world, of which at least 500 are family run.   They are small producers, often barely visible, but which provide much of the world's agricultural production and play a crucial role in economic and social development of the vast rural areas.   For more information and resources see,,

Ecological Society Conference
16 – 19 November:   NZ Ecological Society conference 2015

The 5th joint conference of the New Zealand Ecological Society and Ecological Society of Australia will be held in Christchurch during the week 16-19 November.   More details will be available later in the year.   For further information and registration see

Plant Conservation Network

Tuesday 24 November 2015:   Memorial service for John Sawyer

John Sawyer, a former Wellington Botanical Society member and well-known, highly respected plant conservationist, died of a heart attack on 6th November.

Details of the memorial service for John are as follows:
  • When:   Tuesday 24 November;   6-8pm (doors open at 5.30pm) – there will be plenty of time to share memories of John outside of the formal component of the night
  • Where:   Begonia House Foyer, Wellington Botanic Gardens (located next to Lady Norwood Rose Garden).   Nibbles and drinks will be provided.   The venue holds 120 people.
If you will be attending:
  • Please RSVP with the number of people to Sylvia Ho – email sho (at)
  • Note that a small koha to cover service expenses will be sought – you will be advised of the amount, with any remaining dollars going to the NZ Plant Conservation Network of which John was a founding member.
  • Please also send any pictures you may have relating to John to Tania Wrightson – email twrightston (at) – for inclusion into a slide show at the service (these will also be sent to John’s family).

22 – 27 November:   30th John Child Bryophyte and Lichen Workshop 2015.

Details to be confirmed, Email: g.pritchard (at)

16 – 30 November:   Flora of Aotearoa NZ (Biol 226-15T)

University of Waikato summer course.   Learn to identify (more) native plants; prepare to major in Plant Biology or Restoration Ecology; round out your biology degree with a botany course, so you can add plant identification to your CV.   Course comprises a weekend field trip, two weeks of intensive lectures, labs and a three-day field-trip, followed by an individual assignment.   Topics covered include:
•   origins of NZ’s unique flora
•   basics of plant taxonomy
•   modern methods of plant classification and identification
•   identification of plants in the field.
For further information contact Dr Chrissen Gemmill, email c.gemmill (at), phone 07 838 4053, Room CD 1.01.   Enrol at: science (at), phone 07 838 4625.

Friday 11 December:   International Mountain Day 2015

International Mountain Day
The United Nations’ International Mountain Day is an occasion to help raise awareness of the people who live in mountainous regions and the role that these regions play in providing food, water, and recreation.   The theme for International Mountain Day 2014 was “Mountain Farming”.   Covering around 27 percent of the earth’s land surface, mountains play a critical role in moving the world towards sustainable economic growth. They not only provide sustenance and wellbeing to 720 million mountain people around the world, but indirectly benefit billions more living downstream.   For more information and resources see and


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