Meet a volunteer! Merren Tait

Meet a volunteer!
Merren Tait, also the local librarian, has been a volunteer since a friend brought her along to deploy the first stoat trap line deployed across Karioi in September 2011 - when we took this photo! We talked to her about her involvement and work with the Karioi project.
Merren, you've been volunteering for over 5 years! Can you tell us why you enjoy being a volunteer?
When I first started checking the traps I was concerned about how silent the mountain was. Within a couple of years, I could hear and see the difference - birds like tomtits, grey warblers. The difference that it was making was obvious. I could see how important the project was, and what a great future it had in securing a future for many of the species up there.
And are you trapping at home as well?
Wherever I’ve lived in Raglan, I’ve had native bush. There are birds, but there are obviously going to be predators too. So I’ve bought DOC200 stoat traps off the project, and have caught tons of rats. I have Good Nature self setting traps and Timms traps for possums too.  I don’t know how people put up with it if they don't trap in their own backyard!

Tell me about some of your passions...
I'm president of Raglan Mountain Biking Club, and I’m about to build a tiny house (40 square meter) on a beautiful 2-acre block of land just outside of Raglan with an amazing view of Mount Karioi.

And I feel very strongly about waste. We live a very wasteful lifestyle. I’ve been single-use plastic free for nearly four years now! As a result, I produce very little waste. Which is something I’m really proud of. And I hope that by my example, others will be influenced to make some lifestyle changes too.

Thank you Merren for sharing and for your great contribution to the Karioi project.

Rebecca Towle