Local board shows commitment to environment on Aotea Great Barrier Island

Publish Date : 28 Jun 2021
Pekapeka (long-tailed bat).

Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board has committed over $200,000 in funding towards environmental work on the island over the 2021-22 financial year.

The local board is continuing its support for existing environmental programmes including Aotea Ecology Vision, surveillance of Argentine and Darwin’s ants, an on-island Conservation Advisor role, and the freshwater management, natural environment ambassador and Ōkiwi ecology programmes.

New programmes are; marine education, a survey for pekapeka (long-tailed bat) across Aotea and work to raise awareness about responsible pet ownership including bird aversion training for dogs.

A regionally funded emergency water supply project has also been included in the work programme, at the request of the board, to enable visibility of the project and its progress. A multi barrier water treatment system, located at Claris, will provide water for residents in times of extreme shortages. 

Auckland Council Conservation Advisor Shanti Morgan says the board’s support is good news for Aotea’s fragile ecosystems.

“We’ve made some great progress, for example with rat trapping, pest plant removal and the work to eliminate Argentine and Darwin ants from the island.
“It’s fantastic that the board are continuing their support for this work, so that we can see it through.

“We’re also really pleased with the board’s ongoing support for the natural environment ambassadors programme. While we’re still in the middle of winter, the warmer months, when we’ll see an increase of visitors to the island, aren’t too far away.

“Our ambassadors work to educate visitors and residents alike about how they can play a part in protecting Aotea from the arrival of pest animals and plants. They also provide other environmental advice, like how to minimise your waste on the island, and ways to reduce your carbon footprint.”

Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board Chair Izzy Fordham says supporting environmental work on the island is a vital part of what the board does.

“When we consulted with the Aotea community on our Local Board Plan 2020, we heard very clearly from them that marine and environmental protection, along with climate change resilience and mitigation, were priority issues.

“These community priorities are reflected in our plan and our work programme. Protecting Aotea is a collaborative effort and we’re working hard to play our part.”

View the board’s environmental work programme, along with their wider work programme, items 12-14 on the board’s June business meeting agenda.

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