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ON THE BEAT
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Qantas Community Newspaper of the Year
MAY 19, 2011
Scientists team up to save native wildlife
By FRANCES COOK
Zealandia and Victoria University
are combining to save New
Zealand's native wildlife.
Although there have been links
between the two since 2006, sanc-
tuary and university scientists
this month signed a memorandum
The partnership allows scien-
tists from Victoria University's
Centre for Biodiversity and Resto-
ration Ecology to their increase
knowledge of re-homing, which
involves moving threatened
wildlife to a safe area.
Centre director Ben Bell said
previous success stories had
involved kiwi, kaka and tuatara,
but that such studies had been
carried out on an ad-hoc basis.
The memorandum gave a
framework that directed interest-
ed researchers to species which
were difficult to re-home, such as
Maud Island frogs and female bel-
As well as staff doing research,
it gives students the opportunity
for short-term and very relevant
research,'' Professor Bell said.
Zealandia was a great resource
for researchers, he said.
Having this place on our door-
step is so valuable; we have access
to rare species that otherwise we
would have to travel a long way
Positive effects of the research
were already visible, and included
the increase in native birdlife
throughout Wellington, he said.
Victoria University PhD
student Helen Taylor is
researching the reproduction of
little spotted kiwi, and uses
Zealandia for her research.
She said she relished the oppor-
tunity to work at the sanctuary so
much she left Britain to do so.
I have to do a lot of field work.
I've been coming up here five days
a week. Doing that on an island is
really hard,'' Miss Taylor said.
Location, location, location
Hot property: Pioneer City, Mars. A Wellington artist has been planning a colony on the Red Planet.
By ROBERT JOHNSON Mars is hot property
A Wellington artist has grand
designs for a real estate project on
Bronwyn Holloway-Smith is
working with Letting Space to
design a colony for humans.
The Pioneer City complex we
have designed would be built in
the Utopia plains,'' she said.
There is a crater there that
provides a good platform, and the
name Utopia works with the ideol-
ogy I have.''
Ms Holloway-Smith has been
working on a scale model with fel-
low Wellington architect Rachel
Logan to present next month.
Asked what fuelled her idea to
colonise Mars, Ms Holloway-
Smith said trends in the modern
real estate market, plus advances
in research such as the Mars
Rover mission, spurred her on.
Companies are selling
apartments and vacant lots
through showrooms with scale
models, or pictures on the inter-
net. People are buying without
actually seeing the property in
Ms Holloway-smith said she
believed that with Nasa wanting
to man a mission to Mars in the
next 20 years, a colony being set
up was not a question of if, but
Her colony would include edu-
cational and recreational facilities
and plenty of work for residents.
Amenities would be geared
towards adults during the colony's
early years, but would develop to
cater for children as the popu-
lation began to thrive.
We would take skilled
migrants first -- doctors,
engineers, teachers -- and you
would have to be fit to survive the
long journey there.''
Ms Holloway-Smith said she
had considered the issue of land
ownership on Mars.
The Outer Space Treaty allows
us to use the land on Mars for the
colony because nobody can
technically own it.''
The Extra-Terrestrial Real
Estate section of the treaty
dictates that space is the prov-
ince of all mankind'', and that a
part of space cannot be claimed by
any country, but can, however, be
owned by a private organisation.
The price of rooms and utilities
would be set by the company that
claims the land and builds the col-
ony,'' she said. Oxygen could come
with the room or be a monthly
charge, like electricity.
Technological advances would
be the big factor in how soon such
a project could be funded.
Ms Holloway-Smith has been
using this project as a way to get
the public to think about what the
future of real estate could be like.
The project is something I
believe will happen in the near
future. For the moment it is more
a proposal of what our potential
real estate sector could offer with
A real estate showroom, Pioneer
City, will be opened in June at a
venue to be confirmed. There will
be an agent ready to answer
questions and register public
interest or offers.
Letting Space is a programme
that seeks to find public spaces for
artists to display their work.
To check out the plans for the
colony, or to secure your own piece
of Mars, visit pioneer-city.com or
visit the showroom on weekends
from June 18 to July 10.
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