Pestival festival

The ' E Raticators", Helen Crook and Peter Hobson
The ' E Raticators", Helen Crook and Peter Hobson

A family-fun festival in Picton this month will raise funds for the Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary and celebrate a community working together for a common cause.

Barry Maister, who chairs the trust that created the peninsula sanctuary in Shakespeare Bay, says the March 22 event follows last year's inaugural Picton Pestival.

It highlights the work volunteers have done to rid the reserve of introduced pests and plants and points out the sanctuary's survival depends on others getting involved.

"We want to educate and we want to involve the larger community in what we are trying to do . . . to restore a piece of nature back to its original condition.

There are 17 reserves like Kaipupu around New Zealand and if more individuals and businesses see their benefit, more can be created, Barry says. "It's a project for the future; for future generations."

The former biology teacher and secondary school principal's own involvement started in 2011 when he and his wife Cheryl moved to Waikawa.

Originally from Christchurch, the couple had used the seaside township as a family holiday base for the previous 10 years and are glad it has become their permanent base.

"[We] wanted to be involved in the community," Barry says at the trust's Picton office last week. "My father was a huge role model, he was always a community person . . . and I had a sense it was my time to put something back."

Hear what the 65-year-old is doing in 2014 and he is clearly putting a lot back.

As well as leading the Kaipupu Point trust, he is a board member of Destination Marlborough and a member of the International Olympic Games committee.

That took him to Russia last month for the 2014 Winter Olympics and to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Barry's association with the world's most prestigious sporting event started long before that, however.

When he was 18, he and his brother Selwyn were in the New Zealand hockey team selected for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Four years later Barry was in the New Zealand team that played at the Munich games, and in 1976 he stood on the stand with the other Kiwi hockey players to receive a gold medal in Montreal.

While athletes have their eye on earning medals, the Olympics has influences extending far beyond the sporting arena, says Barry, a former New Zealand Olympic Committee secretary general. The Olympic movement is one of the 10 biggest peace movements in the world, holds observer status in the United Nations and as a humanitarian and philosophical organisation, has a presence throughout the world 365 days of the year.

During the Games, countries of all political and religious persuasions compete against one another and spectators applaud each one's successes in an air of shared camaraderie.

"The Olympics creates a microcosm of how the world might be," Barry says.

"Who wants war? People don't want war. Common people want to get on and live their lives in peace."

The 2014 Picton Pestival runs from from 11am till 6pm on Saturday, March 22, in the Waitohi Domain, Dublin St, Picton.

The Marlborough Express