Pest control and large-scale community restoration activities take place throughout the Rodney Local Board area with $158,000 allocated for five co-ordinators to support volunteers.
Board chair Brent Bailey says the funding makes good sense because with the co-ordinators’ assistance ecological volunteers are improving biodiversity outcomes which benefits everyone in Rodney.
“We want to preserve the biodiversity and natural ecosystems that Rodney is known for. But our substantial land area - almost 46 per cent of Auckland’s total area - sets us apart from other local board areas and that can be challenge for environmental restoration.
“We can amplify our collective impact through teamwork and that’s why we continue to empower and support our incredible volunteers, as they can ensure the long-term sustainability of our area.”
The aim of Pest Free Coatesville’s 200 volunteers is to eradicate animal pests across an area that spans 3,574 hectares. They record existing animal pest control efforts, roll out new traplines, engage with the community and coordinate all animal pest control activity in the area. A dedicated part-time co-ordinator is kept very busy ensuring that processes are in place to deliver their pest-free outcomes.
Setting up a predator control zone from Mangawhai to Pākiri will act as a buffer for Tara Iti Wildlife Sanctuary and Te Arai Regional Park. Te Arai Shorebirds Trust provides coastal protection for shorebirds and a breeding habitat for the critically endangered fairy tern. Their co-ordinator assists with community engagement, landowners’ permissions and trap installations.
Bailey says the board is entering into a second year of support for Restore Rodney East, and the group has been able to secure $10,000 of external funding meaning less local board funding but still the same level of service for the community.
“The co-ordinator role has been pivotal to building capacity and support for individuals and groups undertaking restoration and pest management activities in eastern Rodney.”
In Rodney West, one role filled by two part-time co-ordinators supports landowners and community groups undertaking animal pest control from Muriwai to the South Head Peninsula. They also assist community-led initiatives for a Predator Free Kaipara.
Bailey says caring for land, waterways and coastlines will improve Rodney’s environment which is an outcome of the Rodney Local Board Plan 2023.
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