Home' Whangarei Leader : March 22nd 2011 Contents 5
WHANGAREI LEADER, MARCH 22, 2011
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Bird rescue work an honour
By PAUL KENDON
Birds of a feather: Robert Webb from the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre
nursing a young kiwi chick.
Some might say the New Zealand
education system has gone to the
Maybe that s a good thing.
During NorthTec s graduation
ceremony Robert Webb, co-founder
of the Whangarei Native Bird
Recovery Centre, received the title
of Honorary Associate as part of the
NorthTec Council Awards.
Mr Webb delivered an inspi-
rational keynote speech to
graduates about to embark on their
own professional journeys.
It was marvellous to be asked to
speak. These people have put in the
hard yards and are now going their
Things may not go to plan. When
you come up against a problem,
think of it as a challenge.
Mr Webb was a truck driver until
a back injury stopped him working.
He explained that when he first
started caring for sick and injured
birds there were no courses to study
or professors to consult. He had to
look, learn and listen.
Certain medicine you can give to
a domestic bird will kill a wild
native, he says.
When I started I had to learn
about accounting too and all sorts of
We needed to build cages and all
kinds of other costs cropped up and
we didn t have any money. So you
stop and think, well if I ask so and
so he may be able to give me some
wood or labour.
Stop and think and sooner or
later you ll find a solution. We ve
been at the centre for more than 12
years -- we ve never drawn a cent in
wages. It costs over $3000 per
month to run. We don t charge
people to visit. How can we? We
don t own the birds.
Yet the bills get paid and along
with Mr Webb s NorthTec Honorary
Associate status he has a Queen s
Service Medal for public service.
World Cup helpers
Rugby World Cup 2011 organisers
are urging Northlanders to put their
hands up to help out.
''We need in total about 200
volunteers,'' Sport Northland's
Colleen Atchison says. Interviews
are being held in Whangarei's ASB
Northland Sports House,
Kensington Park, from 2pm to 7pm
today and Wednesday. Visit www.
Readers are winners
Congratulations to Alyse Foster of
Maunu who won a Billy T & Me DVD.
And, in another Leader giveaway,
Amanda Emerson of Tikipunga and
Barbara Stride of Kensington won
double passes to HIStory: This Is It
at Forum North on Wednesday.
Ratepayers are being asked to back
a change that will allow the
Northland Regional Council to
directly fund projects that will grow
the region's economy, raise living
standards and make it a better
place to live. The regional council
says its overall general rates
revenue could increase anywhere
from 4.56 percent to 15.3 percent
in the 2011-12 financial year
depending on what is funded
through its annual plan. A proposal
to redirect the council's income is
one of a raft of measures approved
by councillors at a meeting in
Kaikohe last week.
Call us on (09) 438-8636.
The NorthTec Council Awards
identify and recognise valued
This year Honorary Fellows
went to international artist
Chris Booth of Kerikeri and
Culham Engineering founder
Mr Booth was awarded his
honour in absentia. He was
adding the finishing touches to
his new exhibition at the
Sydney Botanic Gardens.
Mr Culham's engineering
company has been involved
with infrastructure works for
Spaghetti Junction in Auckland,
and Silver Fern structures
adorning the south stand of
The Institutional Medal was
presented to Marilyn Lescher,
widow of former NorthTec
councillor, deputy chairman,
and chairman Robert Lescher,
who chief executive Paul
Binney said had turned the
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