The wet and misty weather didn’t dampen spirits on our latest QEII gathering on a covenant on Sunday 28 April. The event held at the Cummings property at Hihitahi, Waiouru and was a successful and enjoyable get together of like-minded people to view the protected areas on the property and discuss the covenantors experience over a cuppa.

Ian and Kathy Cummings were regional winners of the 2008 Balance Farm environment awards and are innovative and environmentally proactive farmers.  Their property is around 540 hectares, running beef cattle and sheep, with some forestry and several covenanted bush blocks.  The property is known for stunning views of Ruepahu, Taranaki and a on a good day we were assured you can see Kapiti Island.

Around 20 Guests were greeted by local QEII regional rep John Williamson, Ian and Kathy Cummings and a hot cup of tea provided by local St Joseph’s School.  We also had two QEII board directors and a couple of the Wellington office staff in attendance. We ventured up to the hill-top covenants to take in the impressive view (through the mist!) and compare degrees of regeneration within the bush blocks on the property which had been fenced off at very different times, before driving back along an alternate route for lunch

While the promised panoramic views were engulfed by mist and fog, we were able to venture into the protected bush to inspect the understorey of a quite recently fenced block. This provided a good insight as to how long it takes in this cold country for regeneration to progress, and the satisfaction in seeing the understory regenerate.

The day was a great opportunity to hear from each other and to spend time in a beautiful part of the country. Thanks to Ian and Kathy for hosting us, and to John for organising. We’re already looking forward to our next opportunity to get out into a covenant.