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New Zealand is known for its clean, green environment and that’s partly thanks to the work of the Queen Elizabeth II Trust (QEII), which serves to preserve areas of natural value that exist on private New Zealand land.
Established in 1977, the QEII partners with private land owners to recognise and protect areas of natural significance. The QEII Trust is unique because land owners maintain ownership of all protected areas, and receive assistance and guidance from the Trust – which are administered by QEII’s regional representatives – people like Trevor Thompson.
Meet Trevor Thompson: Wellington QEII Representative
Trevor Thompson is the QEII Representative for the Wellington and Wairarapa regions, a role which he has held for over a decade. Trevor’s role for QEII can be split into two areas: assessing new areas to evaluate the case for putting a covenant in place, and visiting protected areas to ensure they are being adequately preserved according to the covenants prescribed by the Trust.
“Typically my day begins by loading the Ubco on the back of my hybrid and hitting the road for 3 – 4 covenant visits, which means conducting inspections and talking with farmers and land owners to make sure their covenanted area is adequately protected, and making a to-do list of anything that needs sorting. In the evening I plan my visits for the following day and do it all again.
“In the past I’ve taken my 4-wheel-drive or borrowed a vehicle from the farmer – but it’s not always practical, as some covenanted areas are relatively difficult to access. Aside from when I need to move plants in bulk for restorative planting, my 4×4 is more or less redundant now that I have an Ubco. I also like how quiet the bike is – during spring I can ride past ewes and lambs unnoticed, which is great.”
Living Off the Grid
Trevor’s not just passionate about his ecological work for the QEII Trust, he lives it, too.
Situated two hours north of Wellington, Trevor lives on a self-sufficient 19-acre block of native forest and grazing areas, which he treats as an experiment in perfecting different pest control methods and proactively managing the forest remnants. The property is off the grid, with water turbines generating electricity, and solar panels harnessing the sun’s energy – Trevor can’t store all the power he produces.
“For me it’s all about pragmatic living, really. It’s easy to live off the grid and it’s easy to help our eco-system with good old kiwi common-sense and innovation. We’ve got a hybrid car and now we have an Ubco. I’m not sure we could get any greener.”