Liz Brooks is no stranger to New Zealand's conservation community – from joining the Department of Conservation and the Motutapu Restoration Trust, to now working with Auckland Council, she’s been there, done that, planted this and eradicated that.
Now as Senior Biosecurity Advisor Hauraki Gulf, Liz helps to protect the precious flora and fauna on some of the Gulf’s oldest landmasses and on our youngest volcano, Rangitoto.
Liz says that she’s loved working at different levels from national to local, and Auckland Council offered her a chance to work regionally.
“For me, coming here was a chance to work on something so significant and vital,” she says.
“The Hauraki Gulf is the equivalent to having a national park right in the heart of the city.
“Auckland Council is driving heaps of initiatives, especially with the new natural environmental targeted rate which is already making a big difference to our work.”
Liz is also excited about how Auckland is pushing at the forefront of conservation work.
“Making residential islands – not just our uninhabited or isolated islands – pest free is ground-breaking. That’s huge and truly shows Auckland leading on the world stage. And it's only happening because that's what Aucklanders want.”
Liz and the biosecurity team have big plans for the Hauraki Gulf, expanding the pest-free island project, and keeping the islands pest free. Because the Gulf is where so many Aucklanders go to play, visit, work, fish or live, Liz says it’s important everyone plays their part in not spreading pests.
Auckland Council will be increasing its biosecurity work and targeting weeds, pest animals, marine pests and diseases (such as kauri dieback) while kicking off new projects. The council is already looking at expanding its range of pest-detection and control methods, including more use of dogs to detect pests such as rodents and plague skinks. So don’t be surprised if you see a friendly detector dog next time you head out on the Gulf.
“Our waters and islands are central to Auckland’s identity,” Liz says.
“The Hauraki Gulf is the jewel in our city’s crown. There’s a wonderful sense of purpose and pride in being able to contribute to that.”
If you’re interested in working for our environmental teams, there are some positions available. Head to our Auckland Council careers site to find out more.