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    Birds of a Feather Conservation Ball 2018
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    Birds of a Feather Conservation Ball 2018

Real Journeys 'Birds of a Feather' Conservation Ball 2018 raises over $85,000 for Cooper Island

Date: 9 August 2018


Media Release 

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Real Journeys Chief Executive Richard Lauder with Lou Sanson Department of Conservation Director-General

With an historical New Zealand theme, a hundred elegantly attired guests raised over $85,000 towards Cooper Island Island Restoration Project at the Real Journeys ‘Birds of a Feather’ Conservation Ball on Saturday.

100% of their ticket price went towards Real Journeys’ conservation effort to remove predators and return birdsong to Cooper Island in Fiordland’s Dusky Sound, a project that is being carried out in partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC).

MC’d by tv personality and adventurer Jamie Fitzgerald, the evening’s entertainment at Walter Peak began with an adagio dance to the Cinematic Orchestra’s ‘Arrival of the Birds’; followed by opera singer Patrick Manning (accompanied by pianist Kana Takahashi) and ending with live music from LA Social and dancing on the TSS Earnslaw.

In between, guests dined on a specially designed menu of New Zealand fare with a historical twist by Executive Chef Mauro Battaglia and his team.

Real Journeys Chief Executive Richard Lauder says the ball raised even more than he’d imagined.

“This is my all-time favourite event – so many people get behind this, we raise a tonne of money for a fantastic conservation cause that’s close to our hearts - and have a hell of a lot of fun!” says Richard.

This is my all-time favourite event – so many people get behind this, we raise a tonne of money for a fantastic conservation cause that’s close to our hearts - and have a hell of a lot of fun!”

Richard Lauder, Chief Executive, Real Journeys

Well-known Queenstown personality Brendan Quill once again ensured the success of the live auction. 

Some extraordinary items were donated, including a trip to Doubtful Sound on the Department of Conservation’s Southern Winds vessel, a painting by renowned New Zealand artist Gareth Barlow, and several stoat traps.  

Real Journeys offered ten cabins on a special Discovery Expedition that will visit Cooper Island, whilst two of the silent auction items; a Moa bone and a David Attenborough signed book; were donated by staff members.

“We didn’t expect our staff to contribute auction items so I was pretty blown away when those two items were put forward.   It just shows how passionate people are about conservation in Fiordland,” says Richard.

DOC Director-General Lou Sanson has attended the ball every year.  He says the $85,000 raised helps secure the future of some New Zealand’s most vulnerable birds.

“Rimu seed counts are very high which suggests we may be in for a big kākāpō breeding season.  If that happens we’ll be needing more safe places for them to go and by removing predators from such a large area like Cooper Island, Real Journeys is helping us provide that vital habitat,” says Lou.

The funds raised at the ball will be used to complete the instalment of all rat and stoat traps on the island by the end of this year.

Rimu seed counts are very high which suggests we may be in for a big kākāpō breeding season. If that happens we’ll be needing more safe places for them to go and by removing predators from such a large area like Cooper Island, Real Journeys is helping us provide that vital habitat.

Lou Sanson, Director-General, Department of Conservation

For more information:
Visit the Cooper Island Restoration Project web page and video.


Real Journeys would like to thank all those who helped make the Birds of a Feather Conservation Ball an outstanding success:

Air New Zealand

Akarua Winery

Amisfield Estate Winery

Astrofix

Bowmont Wholesale Meats

The Flower Room

Cameron Newman Carla Mitchell
Photography
Church Road Wines  Coca Cola DB Breweries Department of Conservation - Te Anau
Eichardt's Private Hotel
Queenstown Events
Centre
Explore Group Flame Entertainment Frankton Hair Muskets & Moonshine
 Game Over Queenstown Hallifax NK Yarns  HQNZ IGW Event Technology Megan & David Epper
 LA Social Lothlorian Knitwear Jamie Fitzgerald Mitre 10 MEGA Queenstown Future Bars  Helping Hand Group Auction Services
Pacific Linen Party Plus Peter Hamilton Heritage Boutique Lake Resort Plants Plus Wai Dining Group
Quartz Reef Wines Queenstown Arts
Centre
Red Events Rydges Lakeland Resort Queenstown SHEEP-ish Design The Rees Hotel Queenstown - True South Dining Room
Skycity Queenstown Spark Brendan Quill The Linen Collection Sign It Signs Patrick Manning & Kana Takhashi
Tony Southall Go Orange Thunder Jet Villa Maria Print Central  Wild Wool Gallery QT Museum Hotel Wellington
Miramar Creative Jamie Selkirk The Roxy Cinema Zealandia Coco At The Roxy Weta Workshop Studio Tours
Cardrona Merino Lamb Neat Meat Bidfood      

For further information contact:

Tsehai Tiffin - Real Journeys Corporate Communications Manager
Mobile: +64 21 523 899
Email: ttiffin@realjourneys.co.nz