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Harbour Bridge lights up to celebrate Conservation Week

Nature needs us

Published: 11 September 2019

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Going green for conservation!

Auckland’s Harbour Bridge will light up to celebrate 50 years of Conservation Week.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has joined with Auckland Council and Vector Lights to showcase New Zealand’s unique wildlife with an Auckland Harbour Bridge light show between Saturday 14 September and Sunday 22 September.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says that the Vector lights are an innovative way to promote conservation.

“Auckland is home to some of the country’s 4,000 threatened or at-risk species, and every little bit we each do to protect our native species helps.

“Using the renewable energy of the Vector Lights is a clever way of spreading a very important message in a vibrant and exciting way."

DOC Partnerships Director Michelle Palmer says there’s much to celebrate about conservation in Tāmaki Makaurau.

“Our region is home to some of the world’s most unique plants and animals.  

“The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park/Ko te Pataka kai o Tikapa Moana Te Moananui a Toi, is our first national park of the sea, covering 1.2 million hectares, making it the largest marine park in New Zealand.

“Auckland’s pest-free islands are our conservation crown jewels, providing a safe home for threatened native wildlife.

“One quarter of all whale and dolphin species in the world can be found in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Twenty-two species of whale and dolphin share these waters with 27 species of seabird, some of which only breed in the Gulf.”

This is the first conservation illumination event for the Department, but hopefully the first of many Michelle Palmer says.

Pest Free Auckland 2050 is Auckland Council’s response to restoring and protecting the regions biodiversity.

Pest Free Auckland Director Brett Butland says the organisation is fortunate to have passionate Aucklanders belonging to more than 2000 community conservation groups who give their time to hundreds of projects in Tāmaki Makaurau.

“We’re able to support these community groups in a variety of ways and acknowledge without their enthusiastic backing, leadership and willingness to put in the hours to help preserve our environment, we could well be fighting a losing battle.

“Tiritiri Matangi Island is one of the most successful community-based conservation projects in the world,” Brett Butland says.

This open sanctuary attracts more than 30,000 visitors each year to see some of our most threatened native birds including takahē, kōkako, tīeke / saddleback and hihi / stitchbird.

Auckland Council’s land-based sanctuaries, Tawharanui and Shakespear, play host to another million visitors a year, all keen to experience the outdoors and our beautiful natural environment.

“Throughout Conservation Week, we want Aucklanders to be inspired by what has been achieved particularly by community conservation groups during the last five decades and encourage them to continue taking action to protect their precious home,” says Brett Butland and Michelle Palmer.

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