How targeted rates have helped Aotea

Publish Date : 07 Mar 2024
How targeted rates have helped Aotea

Two regional targeted rates – the natural environment targeted rate and the water quality targeted rate have been put to good use on the motu.

“The list of ongoing and completed achievements on the island from these rates is extensive,” says Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board chair Izzy Fordham.

“I encourage anyone interested in where a portion of your rates dollars are going to take a look at the report we received at our recent board meeting - there are impressive outcomes for our community’s environment.”

Natural environment targeted rate

The natural environment targeted rate supports community-led conservation and projects that tackle pest animals, weeds and pathogens that threaten our native species and ecosystems.

Locally, more than $275,000 worth of funding and resources has been contributed to community-led conservation initiatives by Windy Hill Trust, Glenfern Sanctuary, Tū Mai Taonga, Aotea Great Barrier Environmental Trust, Motu Kaikoura Trust and Okiwi Ecology Group in the past year.

In addition, council provided individual leadership and mentoring support to members of the Aotea Trap Library and Oruawharo Medlands Ecovision to improve the skills and knowledge that they bring to their roles.

Other networking and educational opportunities supported by the targeted rate include Aotea Ecology Festival (formerly known as Pestival) in November 2023, and the Enviroschools programme which all three primary schools on the island are now participating in to engage tamariki in environmental action.

Aotea Ecology Festival, November 2023

Aotea Ecology Festival, November 2023

Auckland Council also uses this targeted rate to extend existing pest and weed control operations carried out by conservation staff.

Some of the methods involved in the marine pest space were inspections of 226 ferry sailings to the motu by pest and pathogen detection dogs; the introduction of a Pest Free Warrant for commercial marine operators; and “biosecurity champions” stationed at key entry points to the Hauraki Gulf raising awareness of biosecurity risks.

Adding to the list of accomplishments achieved with the 2022/2023 natural environment targeted rate, this was the first year that seabird populations such as tākoketai (black petrel) and tītī (Cook’s petrel) were monitored within Glenfern Sanctuary.

Water quality targeted rate

The water quality targeted rate provides increased investment for projects that will result in cleaner harbours, beaches, and streams.

On Aotea, the targeted rate is being used for Safeswim sampling, as well as investigating faecal contamination issues to find out where and how contamination reaches our beaches, and how we can prevent it.

The Regional Waterway Protection Fund is also covered by this targeted rate which has helped two landowners on the island who applied to the fund in the 2022/2023 financial year to protect waterways on their land.

A complete overview of these targeted rates and related activity on Aotea / Great Barrier can be found here in the section titled ‘Water Quality and Natural Environment Targeted Rates Snapshot’.

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