Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Horizons council applauds local biosecurity honour

Horizons Regional Council has congratulated David Cade, better known as Didymo Dave, for being awarded the King’s Service Medal for services to conservation and biosecurity awareness in today’s King’s Birthday honours list.

Best known for his work at regional and national levels supporting the Check, Clean, Dry campaign in the fight against freshwater pests, Mr Cade (pictured) has been employed by the Council as a contractor during the summer months since 2013.

Horizons biodiversity and biosecurity manager, Craig Davey – who wrote a letter in support of Mr Cade’s award – says Mr Cade is a true conservation hero, regularly going above and beyond to champion Aotearoa’s environment.

“Dave is constantly putting himself in other people’s shoes, looking for specific ways to motive an individual to take action. He has the rare ability to engage with anyone, from the very young to the very old, no matter their background,” he said. 

“He has had hundreds of thousands of conversations with people from around the world about how they can best look after New Zealand’s special places. From riverside chats to public speaking slots at events, he makes sure people know exactly what they need to do to protect the environment.

“Mr Cade is someone who does all he can for the environment, including making flies and selling aluminium cans to raise funds to put towards protecting and enhancing natural areas like his treasured Hinemaia River.

“Dave’s passion for kaitikaitanga is contagious, his care is genuine, and his ability to encourage behaviour change is effective.” 

Mr Cade says he does not see himself as an individual with lots of natural ability, but someone who is able to picture what a waterway may look like free of freshwater pests. 

“I then get to work with good mentors, like Mr Davey, who can guide me while I work my butt off to make it happen,” he said.

“My motivation is simple – what are we going to deliver young children in terms of clean, weed-free waterways? That is all the motivation I need to keep going.

“The Check, Clean, Dry message is as important as ever, especially with the discovery of the freshwater gold clam in the Waikato Region. Taking time to learn the Check, Clean, Dry requirements can help to prevent the spread of invasive pests and protect our natural areas for generations to come.”

For information about Check, Clean, Dry to prevent the spread of didymo and other freshwater pests, see here: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/outdoor-activities/boating-and-watersports-tips-to-prevent-spread-of-pests/check-clean-dry/

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