Rere Falls
Rere Falls

Photo: Kennett Brothers

The Rere falls and rockslide, a popular swimming and recreational spot on the Wharekopae River near Gisborne, is being touted as an example of what can be achieved when farmers, the community and the local council work together to clean up waterways.

Three years ago, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Gisborne District Council, Ministry for the Environment and Rere farmers formed a collaboration to bring water quality up to a swimmable standard. Clear goals, good relationships between all parties, getting locals involved, the use of expert advice, setting milestones and measuring progress, are recommended tactics.

To read the full article on Stuff >> 

A recent study of non-vegans, reported in The Independent by Rachel Hosie reveals that the holier-than-thou attitudes of vegans to meat-eaters put some omnivores off going vegan or vegetarian. This may hold lessons for organisations running social marketing campaigns designed to get folk to make lifestyle changes for their personal benefit or the greater good.

Whether it’s wearing seat belts, recycling waste, using energy-efficient light bulbs or cutting back on fossil fuel use, some people get the message first time round. Over time, as the behaviour changing messages are repeated, reheated and re-served, those who haven’t responded tend to move from being disinterested, to being passively resistant to change. Some then become hostile and actively opposed to change, a stance that can be reinforced by the ability to form alliances of the aggrieved on social media. Read more

Twitter has long been defined by its 140-character Tweet limit, forcing users to be concise and creative in their copy. Now this looks set to change, as the social network has revealed plans to increase what you can include in a Tweet. But before you limber up to write and tweet a novel, check out our quick guide to the changes.

In a post on 24 May, Twitter product manager Todd Sherman said Twitter can “already do a lot in a Tweet, but we want you to be able to do even more.” He referred to the evolution of the Tweet over the last 10 years from a 140-character text message to “a rich canvas for creative expression featuring photos, videos, hashtags, Vines, and more.”

Read more

Scion, the Crown Research Institute that specialises in forestry, struck the right note for the centennial of the Gallipoli campaign.

It propagated 50 descendants of the Gallipoli Peninsula’s fabled Lone Pine and gifted them to RSAs from Waiuku to Invercargill. Seedlings were also sent to the National Army Museum in Waiouru for a memorial garden. In Rotorua, the home of Scion, a seedling was planted in the Government Gardens at an evening ceremony to consecrate Rotorua’s Field of Remembrance.

The seeds were collected in 2012 from the only living Turkish red pine in New Zealand, a gnarly old specimen on the second hole of the Paeroa Golf Course. This tree is an authenticated New Zealand descendant of the original Lone Pine, a tree that stood on the Gallipoli battlefield until it was destroyed by gunfire. Australian Sergeant Keith McDowell brought home a pine cone from the trees when he returned home after World War 1.

Trees that grew from that seed were planted at war memorials in Australia, and now New Zealand.

Scion tree breeder Toby Stovold who collected the seeds and helped raise the seedlings from the Paeroa specimen said he first got involved in 2009 when approached by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council wanting to donate seedlings from the Paeroa tree to RSAs in the region.

The gesture by Scion is an excellent example of good community public relations. It is directly related to Scion’s core activity; is pitch-perfect for attracting media coverage – with each planting ceremony an opportunity to connect with local communities; and it won’t have cost much.

Well done, Scion.