|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.
I had no idea that this was where the Godwits gathered before their 11,500km flight to Siberia. but I was soon to learn a great deal about Tahuna Torea.