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Revised Strategy

May 23rd, 2021

A Revised Strategy for Ornithological Society of New Zealand / Te Kāhui Mātai Manu o Aotearoa: 2015 to 2025

In 2015 our Society celebrated its 75th anniversary.  To help recognise that point in our history it was fitting to set out a strategy that would advance the purpose, vision, values, aim and objectives in order to emphasise our primary activities in the short term, and achieve improved public understanding and wider acceptance of the Society in the community.  The 2015 to 2024 strategy was adopted by the 2015.

At the midpoint of the present period, in 2020, Council considered that our strategy needed to be reviewed and where necessary revised in order to recognise factors that have changed and to provide a sharper focus in the Society’s development for the next five years.

The primary goal of increasing awareness of the purpose, aim and objectives of the Society through inspiring a scientific and a general interest in birds is unchanged.  Also unchanged is the goal that the Society will be recognised by the scientific community as the premier independent source of knowledge on ornithology in New Zealand and the South Pacific, in particular, for the reliable identification of birds. The Society’s scientific journal, Notornis, will not change in name, content or editorial style; it will continue to apply high standards of scientific rigour, objectivity and independence in editorial matters.

A shorter, succinctly expressed vision that recognises our charitable status under New Zealand law is introduced, also an ambition to increase membership with a focus on gaining younger members and to invite Māori participation in Society activities.  In 2019 we welcomed young ornithologists through a new “Young Birders” membership category that is linked to the Society through a Memorandum of Understanding with Young Birders New Zealand.  A new name for the Society in te reo Māori has been adopted and from March 2020 has been printed prominently on the cover of the ‘Birds New Zealand’ magazine.

Changes in activities to increase awareness of the Society include:

  • wider use of social media, notably Facebook and Twitter.
  • continuing development of the functionality of the Society’s website and regular use of newspapers, radio and TV to promote community knowledge of birds and ornithology.
  • facilitate the delivery of video conferencing/lectures (using ‘Zoom’-type technology) to regions, especially in small regions, in order to strengthen their engagement and participation in learning about the results of new research on birds.
  • upon request, arrange for experienced members and/or Councillors to assist with specific events, including giving talks, in regions having limited ability to do this.
  • promote a range of field activities specifically for younger members that will provide memorable ‘hands-on’ practical experience and information about ornithology.
  • engage with Māori, both nationally and regionally, to design and introduce programmes and activities that recognise and document customary knowledge about birds.

Helpful comments received following circulation of the revised strategy to the membership were considered in assembling the final text, including extending the term from 2024 to 2025.  The revised strategy for 2015 to 2025 has now been adopted by Council and is posted on the Society’s website.

Download the revised strategy here

Bruce McKinlay