Statement of Mr Roy Grose, Department of Conservation Sounds area manager :
Mr Grose said Saturday was the first time in 10 years he had visited the reserve and the changes in the bush were amazing.
"There’s no comparison."
"They were living in a little hut, pouring all their resource into buying traps and getting rodent and possum numbers down."
"They’ve just done a fantastic job. For us it really demonstrates how they’ve done it all on a shoestring, basically through their own volition and (DOC’s) input has been to help facilitate that through advice and encouragement."
Mr Grose said the students all got something out of the open day and particularly enjoyed the predator control dog demonstration.
Statement Mr Raymond Smith, representative Ngati Kuia :
Mr Smith said projects like the Tui Nature Reserve were needed to move forward in conservation efforts, particularly since DOC just announced further job cuts.
"It’s what we require to get by, the government are finding it hard, the people are lacking in time and ability to volunteer and these people have committed everything."
The students he spoke to were inspired and enthusiastic after the open day.
"Into the future they will be leaders in environmental management."