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Conservation Board on the Barrier

 

THE AUCKLAND Conservation Board visited Great Barrier for three days in February as part of their series of field visits to significant areas of the Department of Conservation’s Auckland conservancy. As a new member of the Board I was pleased to be able to share a local perspective on the Department of Conservation and current conservation issues. The Board visited Kaikoura Island for an update on their restoration plan, checked out the proposed Marine Reserve from the sea, and discussed issues for the Management of Te Paparahi, the island’s northern bush area. There was also a visit to the set of the TV show ‘Castaways’ at Harataonga.

The Board held two public forums—the one at Claris was well attended by locals and a variety of topics were raised including the maintaining of view-points, the proposed Marine reserve, and the community debate over the GBIC Trust’s vision of eradicating rats and feral cats. The second forum was held as part of the Board’s meeting at Orama. Several local conservation projects made presentations to the Board – Glenfern Sanctuary, Mohunga Peninsular, and the GBIC Trust. These were all well received and the Board expressed its intention to provide letters of recommendation for groups to use to support funding applications.

The main focus for the Board over the next 18 months will be to prepare for the review of the Auckland Area Conservation Management Strategy (CMS). Currently all D.o.C conservancies operate with their own individual strategy—a nationally standardised CMS format is currently being drafted on which to base planning for the next ten years. As the Board has some input into the CMS it is to visit most of the significant sites over this year in order to develop a better understanding of the issues for each area. Visits are scheduled for the Kaipara, Little Barrier, Browns, Rangitoto, Tiritiri Matangi, and Kawau Islands.