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Auckland Pestival Weekend

28 Nov 2020 - 29 Nov 2020


Saturday 28 November 2020, 9.00am - Saturday 28 November 2020, 12.30pm

Sunday 29 November 2020, 8.30am - Sunday 29 November 2020, 1.00pm


  • Day One featuring the Mayoral Conservation Awards: Hyundai Marine Sports Centre, 8/10 Tamaki Drive, Orakei
  • Day Two 'CitiSci': Science Centre, Building 302, University of Auckland's city campus, cnr Wellesley and Symonds Street, city centre
  • Day One – register here 
  • Day Two – registration now closed


Auckland Council’s ‘Pest Free Auckland’ initiative brings you the Auckland Pestival Weekend 2020 featuring the Mayoral Conservation Awards and CitiSci.

In a year like no other, we're combining our favourite things into one super weekend of celebration, networking, entertainment and upskilling.

Day One (Sat 28 Nov):

Join us at the spectacular Hyundai Marine Sports Centre to cheer on the finalists and see who wins the Mayoral Conservation Awards for 2020 including the inaugural Penny Hulse Supreme Environment Award.

Grab some morning tea and cuppa and catch up with people you haven’t seen all year (thanks to the you know what!) or meet someone new, kanohi ki te kanohi. Then sit back for some light relief with the Pestival Great Debate.

Day One is brought to you by Auckland Council in partnership with Department of Conservation.

Numbers are limited so please register here.

Nominations have now closed. Finalists have been announced on OurAuckland.

Get more information about the awards

Day Two (Sun 29 Nov): CitiSci

CitiSci has been created as a forum to share knowledge, new techniques, and conservation innovations with citizen scientists and other interested people. 2020 is the first CitiSci event, brought to you by the Auckland Museum Institute (RSNZ) and the University of Auckland’s School of Environment, in partnership with Auckland Council.

NOTE: No one platform or tool is endorsed over another – this is an opportunity to explore some of the tools available.

Check In

Check in at the Information Desk, open 8am-12.15pm, in the foyer of the Science Centre (access from Symonds Street). Do this only once and in advance of the first session you’re attending. Allow more time for check in at the beginning of the day. Room details will be available on the day. All sessions will be on the ground or first floors of the Science Centre, Building 302.

All sessions are fully booked. Registration is now closed.


  • a) CatchIT-Graphics. Presenter: Prof Rachel Fewster – Statistician, Department of Statistics, University of Auckland. CatchIT- Graphics is a large and growing suite of tools for creating maps and graphics of community trapping and baiting projects and even mapping conservation outcomes such as bird nesting. Projects don't need to be members of CatchIT to use the graphics tools. In this session Rachel will go through what tools are currently available and gather feedback on how to direct future developments.
  • b) iNaturalist – Introductory. Presented by the iNaturalist team, led by Dr Jon Sullivan (via Zoom), Ecology Lecturer, Lincoln University. iNaturalist is the largest citizen bio-science platform in the country with New Zealanders having made 1.12 million observations of 19 000 plant, animal, and fungal species over the past 14 years. Part of a global network that just topped 50 million records, this free platform is all about discovery, species identification, mapping and monitoring, learning and sharing knowledge, contributing to science, and regional identity. Come and learn how to make the most of it.

10.40am-12.10pm: CONCURRENT SESSIONS

  • a) eDNA. Presenter: Dr Thierry Lints, Prof Cris Print and colleagues, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland. Environmental DNA is an exciting and increasingly accessible conservation tool that uses environmental samples like soil, water and sediment to detect species. You will have a chance to play with and understand DNA sequencing machines, analyse some DNA sequence data, and learn about the pros and cons of these technologies. You’ll leave this session knowing what this means for your conservation activities including possible involvement in future eDNA projects. Note: no previous experience needed.
  • b) iNaturalist – Introductory/Intermediate. Presented by the iNaturalist team, led by Dr Jon Sullivan (via Zoom), Ecology Lecturer, Lincoln University. If you have some basic experience with iNaturalist and would like to learn more about making the most of this platform, join us to explore its more advanced capability. Note: new users are also welcome.

12.15pm-1pm: FINAL SESSION

  • Conservation Information and Tools at Auckland Council – Join Auckland Council's Hugo Geddes and Viv Cole to explore the conservation information and tools including the newly launched conservation website Tiaki Tāmaki Makaurau | Conservation Auckland with a view to future collaborations.

COVID-19 Alert Level 1

  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Venues will have the NZ COVID Tracer app QR codes available for scanning – please use these or your own way, to keep track of where you’ve been
  • Venues all have facilities for hand washing and will have hand sanitiser available. Please make use of these to wash your hands often.
  • Materials will be available at the Science Centre, for you to sanitise desks, keyboards, mice etc.
  • Physical distancing – numbers will be restricted to allow for social distancing.
  • Masks will not be compulsory, but you are welcome to wear one.

COVID-19 Alert Levels 2 to 4

  • The weekend’s events will be cancelled.


Twilight Ranger Walk – Smiths Bush, Northcote

Join our twilight guided walk through a magnificent remnant stand of native forest at Smiths Bush.

Be a tidy Kiwi neighbour this summer

There are better ways to find a new home for unwanted items instead of leaving them outside hoping someone will wander by and take them.

Finalists shortlisted in this year’s Mayoral Conservation Awards

Environmental champions achievements to be recognised.