Parking was a problem and I ended up carring my collection of stuffed birds right across the city. It was a relief to be able to spread them all out on the mahogony table. Bill Christian, who was chairing the hearing looked down the length of the table to where I was sitting. "Tony" he said "They are all stuffed." "That" I replied " is what this hearing is all about. If we do not keep the dogs out the birds are stuffed."
Establishing the sanctuary
A rather motley collection of local residents had gathered at Chris Barfoot's house to protest at the Auckland City Council plan to turn Sandy Spit into a rubbish tip. I threw my hat into the ring by saying that I thought we should be positive rather than negative. I was fed up with always opposing stupid Council ideas when I really wanted to be creative. Chris put me on the spot. What was my positive idea? How could I say that I did not have one? Let's make it a bird sanctuary, I suggested, for want of any better idea. How was I to know that sitting almost next to me was Ronald Lockley, the world renowned ornithologist, who had had arrived in New Zealand a few months before? The campaign was really over before the night was out. The Council did not have a chance.