Auckland Council’s Hunua pest management project won the Local Government New Zealand’s Air New Zealand Excellence Award for Environmental Impact, presented at the LGNZ Conference annual awards dinner in Dunedin on 25 July.
Judges praised the project as, “a well-planned and courageous initiative which achieved its objective to safeguard native wildlife in the Hunua Ranges, while at the same time safeguarding the water supply to New Zealand’s largest city.”
Regional Strategy and Policy Committee and Hunua Project Political Advisory Group chair Councillor George Wood says this award is the culmination of two years of hard work and a tremendous amount of support.
“We are delighted that the Hunua Project has been recognised as an exemplar local government project."
“This was not about 1080, or the pests ravaging the Hunua Ranges. It was about the future of Auckland’s largest mainland forest and the taonga that live within it."
“A truly collaborative project, we worked alongside iwi, the community, our colleagues at other councils, Watercare and Auckland Regional Public Health Service,” says Cr Wood.
General Manager Parks, Recreation and Sports Mace Ward says the project has set the forest firmly on the road to recovery.
“We knew this was a bold move but, with thorough planning, not only did we get rat and possums numbers well below 5 per cent, we are seeing the kōkako population booming and other important species thriving.
“The judges mentioned courage and it is also important to note the leadership of our council and Franklin Local Board, who made a courageous decision to change the way we managed pests in the Hunua Ranges, and then supported council staff to get stuck in and get the job done,” says Mr Ward.
Read more on the Auckland Council’s website.