Editorial
 

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 encouragement.

EcoBriefs

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.