It’s that time again, time to vote for
the island’s Community Board in the local body elections.... and this
time it’s for a Board serving the Barrier in the structure of a much
larger Auckland Council, in the ‘Super City’.
So we will need strong advocates, we will especially need strong voices
for the environment if we wish to keep the island in its beautiful state
with its varied eco-systems and its wonderful biodiversity. We will need
protection for the endangered species that still manage to maintain life
and reproduction here when they cannot on the mainland. It is essential
we have a Community Board that understands that, apart from the
pest-managed Sanctuary areas at Glenfern and Windy Hill-Rosalie Bay,
biodiversity on the island is in decline and will continue to decline
until the pests are managed to low densities or eradicated.
We will need real leadership, leaders able to manage a wide level of
debate with this community on the scenario of a rat and feral cat- free
future. It is disappointing that so little leadership on this issue has
been shown by our Community Board to date, and that they have allowed
themselves to be stalled by the toxins debate and not consider the long
term benefits – the social, economic, and environmental benefits – that
the Trust envisions.
The current Board voted not to support the Trust’s well-regarded State
of the Environment Report, and in our view has a poor record of funding
and supporting environmental issues on the island. Their lack of concern
(and action) about the degree of freshwater stream pollution shown
through Auckland City stream monitoring is a prime example of the
Board’s sidelining of an important issue.
We are pleased to have ex-Trustee Sue Daly standing and also to support
Izzy Fordham who has been an effective liaison between the Community
Board and the Trust.
Environment News sent out questions to each of the candidates. Only 6 of
them chose to respond, that should tell you something in itself! So if
you want to join us in making a vote for the biodiversity as well as the
humans, please think hard about what is being said here, and about the
commitment of those who have not replied at all.
We are indeed sad to lose our two outgoing Trustees, Sue Daly and Jo
Ritchie. Sue has resigned in order to stand for the upcoming Community
Board elections. We have appreciated her input and enjoyed her company
and knowledge of the Barrier gained over many years. Good Luck Sue!
Jo has provided us with valuable expertise in conservation practice.
Pressure of work has been a large factor in her decision to resign.
Thanks Jo, we are grateful for your input, magazine articles and
Regional Monitoring Programme: The ARC is
to expand its annual regional monitoring of rats, vegetation, and birds
on Great Barrier. A local team will be trained this October to carry out
monitoring in 60 sites on the island over the next five years. Twenty of
these are at Glenfern Sanctuary, twenty at Windy Hill and Rosalie Bay,
and twenty in areas where no management for pests is carried out. Four
sites in each of the areas will be monitored each year. The data from
these local sites will be added to data from the Waitakeres, Hunuas,
Tawharanui, and other regional parks.
Having a regionally standardized programme means that comparisons can be
made between managed and unmanaged areas, the island with the mainland,
and between different sanctuary areas. These results will contribute to
the knowledge of the status of species and be used as part of the region
wide State of the Environment report that is done by the ARC.