Hero photograph
Lala Frazer (left)  and Moira Parker (right) - two friends and allies through 40 years of conservation mahi on Otago Peninsula.

Changing the World

Suzanne Middleton, Wild Dunedin —

We celebrate Moira Parker and Lala Frazer, friends and allies through 40 years of conservation mahi on Otago Peninsula.

Enlisting the support of hundreds of volunteers, Moira and Lala have been involved in setting up several organisations to protect and enhance the habitats of Yellow-eyed Penguins and Green Jewelled Geckos, planted thousands of trees, worked to control pest animals and plants, and educated us about biodiversity.

In 1980 as a result of the plan to build an aluminium smelter, both Otago Peninsula and Aramoana being proposed sites, Moira and Lala were involved in establishing the incorporated society Save the Otago Peninsula (STOP). Then the possibility of an open cast gold mine on Hereweka Harbour Cone became the next fight in which they were involved. Ensuring that some of the remaining bush remnants on the Otago Peninsula were fenced, and undertaking revegetation projects became the new focus of STOP’s efforts in which both Moira and Lala have made a significant contribution.

In 1987 when STOP learnt about the dwindling numbers of Yellow-eyed Penguins on the Peninsula due to introduced predators, Moira and Lala became founding trustees of the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust. Moira gave a year of her time as a full time voluntary staff member and initiated the Yellow-eyed Penguin Plant Nursery. In 2010 when Peninsula residents could see the benefit in eradicating introduced mammalian predators, Moira was one of the founding trustees of the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group. Then in 2014 when the Hereweka Harbour Cone Trust was set up to manage the property, Lala was one of the founding trustees. Moira has since joined the Trust Board to assist with the weed work she had already initiated in the area.

In their own words:

Moira on Lala

‘Lala is a great organiser who motivates others to contribute to conservation projects and always acknowledges their efforts. She maintains high standards in whatever she does and pays great attention to detail. She takes on the tedious tasks of writing submissions and attending public hearings on environmental matters, something that most of us shy away from. One outstanding characteristic is her determination. Her efforts to restore a Scientific Reserve, and also to purchase an important Yellow-eyed Penguin habitat, are both a testament to Lala’s persistence – she never gives up. Lala is a person who has a passion for the environment and works willingly to protect and enhance the natural world of the Otago Peninsula. She gives an extraordinary level of personal time and effort, and her commitment to conservation is remarkable.’

Lala on Moira

‘Moira has been a leader in everything she’s done in conservation. She’s always been ahead of the game and she’s got the scientific background as well. I’ve always followed behind her.’

If you’d like to join these remarkable women in changing the world, they’re on the lookout for volunteers.

You can contact Lala by email:  lala.frazer@gmail.com