Here are some excerpts from feedback we’re getting which illustrate that we are achieving our aims:

I have experienced an informative presentation to the ASTA Auckland Science Teachers Association) as part of a professional development day by Jacqui Knight and have seen the benefit of this organisation to many schools and teachers in the central Auckland region.

The Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust enables us and other groups to become involved in research and education projects that lead to positive action towards increasing New Zealand’s biodiversity. They provide support in our efforts to be part of the solution to our diminishing Lepidoptera species.

— Patsy Hindson, Remuera Intermediate School

I regard the work of the Trust as essential for the promotion of butterfly and moth conservation in New Zealand. This country has a highly endemic butterfly and moth fauna of nearly 2000 species, with most species being found nowhere else in the world. And yet our understanding of this fauna is in its infancy compared to knowledge of northern hemisphere faunas. We know precious little about the distribution, habitat requirements and conservation needs of most species, and the few specialists in New Zealand cannot hope to fill these gaps in a lifetime’s work. Yet many species are threatened by habitat destruction and change, and by the impact of invasive insects, mammals and weeds.

Only by getting members of the public, and especially children, on board to take an interest and record what they find can we hope to gain the knowledge we need to ensure our butterfly and moth heritage is preserved for future generations. The Monarch butterfly acts as a flagship species, which, although not endemic to New Zealand, is conspicuous and widely recognised and enjoyed by the public. It is easily reared in captivity, allowing children to learn the typical life history of moths and butterflies. Though I am now a moth specialist, it was just such rearing of butterflies by my father when I was a child that sparked my fascination, and led me on to discover the many other less conspicuous species.

The aims of the Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust explicitly address the needs of our endemic butterflies and moths, as well as those of the Monarch. I see the Trust’s promotion of a rich part of our biodiversity as an essential adjunct to my own research into the taxonomy of moths and butterflies.

— Dr Robert J B Hoare, Landcare Research

I am writing to thank you for, and report on, the living exhibit Flowers that Fly installed in the Visitor Lounge, as a part of the Garden City Trust’s Festival of Flowers, staged 17 February – 4 March 2012. Visitors, and staff enjoyed the show and it was very well received by local, and national media.

The total recorded visitor number to the Museum for the duration of Flowers that Fly was 42,843. This figure comes from a thermal imaging count done at the Museum’s entrance. During this period, we have noted a doubling of the percentage of locals visiting the museum; compared to usual for this time of year. The weekend of the heart giveaway attracted 7,229 visitors, which we are really thrilled by, and all of these people will have also encountered the butterflies.

I am very grateful for everything you did for the display, and I admired your military organisation with the logistics of plants, and butterflies coming in and out of the building. As you may have gauged, many of us in the museum were somewhat preoccupied with the earthquake exhibition and the events surrounding the anniversary of the February quake. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time.

We were delighted that the museum could be a part of you fantastic display of live butterflies. I also hope you enjoyed being in amongst the Hearts for Christchurch display.

— Stephen Pennruscoe, Exhibitions Manager, Canterbury Museum

I have been involved with the MBNZT over several years and am continually impressed with its efforts in the field of education and advocacy, a most worthwhile direction.

I am teacher in charge of science and environmental education at Verran Primary school, an enviroschool on the North Shore. Verran is a member of the trust as I am as an individual. In short, this means we support the Trust in all its efforts in the conservation of New Zealand Lepidoptera.

Our school has embraced the philosophy of the trust to the point where we have built a butterfly house on school grounds to protect caterpillars of all species from predators. We have planted gardens to provide nectar feed for Lepidoptera and have been involved in the tagging of Monarchs for three years now, being very interested in this research. We grow nettles to encourage the Admiral butterflies to our school and study the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly to explain metamorphosis to all students.

It has been particularly useful to us that the Trust has encouraged us to learn and care for our endemic butterflies and moths, these being less common and accessible than the Monarch butterfly. Through its newsletters and meetings, the public learn more about pests and diseases from experts and from each other.

The organisation enables us and other groups to become involved in research and education projects that lead to positive action towards increasing New Zealand’s biodiversity. They provide support in our efforts to be part of the solution to our diminishing Lepidoptera species.

We consider ourselves fortunate as we are on the way, but there is a growing need for full, carefully planned and well resourced educational programmes able to be delivered especially to schools and many other community based organisations.

— Maureen Robertson, Verran Primary School

I recently attended the Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust exhibit at the Canterbury Museum and sincerely thank them for providing such a wondrous experience for our family. We attended as part of a Playcentre group visit and the children from our centre were given such an incredible experience to extend their learning about the lifecycle of the monarch butterfly. We have lovely photos to put in their learning journals of the children covered in butterflies and the looks of delight and wonder on their faces are priceless.

As a primary school teacher we often seek resources about lifecycles and metamorphosis. I know many teachers that would love to attend the workshops that the Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust wishes to hold to educate the educators. What a fantastic idea – teachers are always after more professional development opportunities! I also know that offering visits into schools would be hugely appreciated as part of the science curriculum. Anything that can make a child’s learning more real and hands on greatly increases the richness of a learning experience.

— Jessica Hey, Christchurch