Latest News

sheep house


May 22, 2015

Since the theft of our beautiful George, I’ve kept the remaining sheep very close to home. We started building a new shelter for them in the home paddock a while ago: the Uni Animal Rights group set the poles, Michael framed & enclosed it and put in half of the raised floor and most of a temporary roof…. but then other urgent projects took over, and it wasn’t completed. The threat of today’s weather bomb was a great motivator to finish it. Our talented new French wwoofer, David, put in the other half of the raised floor, and then he & Michael re-did the entire roof, complete with skylight! Just in time for the bad weather, and the sheep LOVE it. They’re all in there today, avoiding the rain, and munching on piles of hay. Project finished, sheep content: Priceless!



May 21, 2015

And what’s worse, it’s legal! Following on from the TV1 piece on rodeo cruelty in New Zealand, many people are outraged. So please please please, let’s do something about it.
Here are 3 simple things you can do:
1. WATCH this NZ video footage:
2. SEND an ecard to stop rodeos:
3. SHARE this info with your friends, as widely as you possibly can.
Thank you. Together we can stop the cruelty.



May 19, 2015

Many people don’t know what these gentle birds are when they see them sitting quietly somewhere… and don’t realise that without help, these birds will die. This is a petrel. An important thing to know is: Petrels cannot take off from land. They are a seabird, and can only take off from the surface of the water, or waddle to the edge of a cliff and leap into the air. However, if they get blown into town away from the waters edge, they sit quietly and starve to death, or are killed by dogs and cars. When petrels are brought to us, we feed them up on small amounts of minced fish several times a day for a couple of days, then take them to a cliff edge by the sea for release in the evening (because they are night birds). Common rehab wisdom has it that petrels cannot survive more than 3 days in captivity. My theory is it’s because something is lacking in the food they’re fed. Petrels skim the ocean surface with their beaks open, taking in small amounts of microscopic food. So we’ve begun adding spirulina to their minced fish, which does seem to be making a positive difference. They are incredibly gentle birds, and snuggle down into your lap when being fed or held. So cute! We love seeing them soar away over the water, back to freedom.petrel



In case you missed it, have a look at the attached link on Rodeo Cruelty right here in New Zealand:
They say the Ministry of Primary Industries will review the footage. Well, that means nothing. We all know they reviewed the Farmwatch footage of the pig being beaten to death over several HOURS at a pig farm, with an iron bar, and concluded that: they could not tell if the pig suffered. !?!?!?!? I have no faith at all in MPI . Let’s see if they prove me wrong. At least this time it’s not a farmer responsible for the cruelty, so maybe MPI will actually uphold their responsibility. But I’m definitely not holding my breath…

3 gate


May 18, 2015

The occasional rainshower can’t stop Tizane and the team from Get Gates & Fence It. They’re early starters, working hard to get everything installed and fully operating. It’s a wonderful feeling to see those gates going in. And totally aside from the important security factor they will provide for our sanctuary, there’s a fantastic bonus that I hadn’t thought of: No more getting out in the wind & the rain to open our heavy wooden gates, standing there in the rotten weather while the car goes through, and then hauling the gate closed and sloshing through the muck back to the car. No more ruining my “going out” shoes, and arriving at meetings or social events with mud on my shoes and the base of my pants. OMG, I’ve fantasised about automatic gates every time I’ve stood in the pouring rain at that gate for 13 years, and it’s finally happening. Thanks Get Gates & Fence It, for making another dream come true!!



It’s been kereru week here at the animal sanctuary. We received two young kereru on Tuesday, and another one on Wednesday. Anna, our volunteer from Germany, helped us to move them all into the large “Flight Academy”, so that they can begin their rehabilitation. One is already flying well, and will hopefully be eligible for release soon. The youngest needs more time to grow big and strong. Another has a problem with her primary flight feathers, so cannot be released until those have (hopefully!) grown back. They feast every morning on a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables. 5 star service, nothing but the best for our beautiful native birds!



May 14, 2015

Well, it was exactly 3 months ago that my beautiful George was stolen, and I must now face the fact that he’s not going to be returned to us. Since that day, we haven’t felt safe here at the animal sanctuary, and we’ve been trying ever since to raise/save the money to install a variety of security measures. Today we received some amazing fantastic wonderful news: Ann & Dan Wright, of Get Gates & Fence It (Dairy Flat), are committed animal lovers who wanted to help. They have talked with their team and their suppliers, and put together an incredible security gate package for us. Worth $19,000, they’re installing gates and security at both entrances for just $4000. !!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh, I can’t describe the feeling of overwhelming relief this gives us. Even better, they’re already hard at work putting them in right away! I”m blown away. Huge heartfelt thanks to compassionate Ann & Dan of Get Gates & Fence It; also to the generous suppliers who virtually donated most of the state of the art equipment: ASPL – Silverdale; Access Systems – Albany; Redlite Security – Grey Lynn; and finally to Tizane and the installation team from Get Gates & Fence It who are donating their time to install the security gates for us. You can’t imagine what this means to us. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
For more sweet news, see below…



Yes, I caught my husband kissing another female this morning! Well, a hongi in fact. (For our overseas friends, that’s a traditional Maori greeting where 2 people press noses and foreheads together.) But since it’s our darling Snow, I’m not jealous. I love that Michael and Snow have such a special relationship. She adores him. On Friday night Snow pulled a feather out of her back, which bled. We were afraid this might be a repeat of her feather pulling habit last year, and popped a jacket on her straight away. However, she hasn’t tried again, so I think it was just a one off feather that was bothering her. We’ll take the jacket off today to see how she does. In the meantime, she’s getting plenty of love and affection. I even heard Michael call her “Princess” this morning. Awww…