Archive | Great Barrier

12,000ha of Great Barrier gets conservation park status

12,109ha of Great Barrier Island is to be set aside in a new Aotea Conservation Park.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith & Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye announced the park decision at a community function in Claris yesterday.

It will be the Department of Conservation’s largest park in Auckland, similar in size to Auckland Council’s Hunua & Waitakere Ranges parks, but will be broken into 18 blocks of general stewardship land.

The proposal follows the report of the Parliament Commissioner for the Environment in August 2013, which recommended a review of the legal status of higher value stewardship land. Ms Kaye proposed the new park in September, the minister initiated a formal investigation in October and a discussion paper was issued in December.

Dr Smith said: “This new park will bring significant conservation, recreational & tourism benefits to Auckland. My ambition is that, with improved facilities & stronger protection, we will see more Aucklanders choosing to visit & getting to know the natural wonders of their own city on Great Barrier Island,

“The treasure of this new island park is its spectacular coastal & bluffed landscapes, rich forests & unique species. The park includes New Zealand’s largest area of possum-free forest, including impressive stands of kauri, pohutukawa, kanuka & Great Barrier tree daisy. It has healthy bird populations of kaka, pateke (brown teal), puweto (spotless crake) and matata (fernbird). It has the most diverse range of native freshwater species of any offshore island in New Zealand, and populations of very rare frogs, native paua slugs & niho taniwha (chevron skink).

“This new park was very strongly supported with 2754 submissions. Many non-island submitters wanted it to be further upgraded to national park status, but this was not supported by most islanders. I am advised that, as much of the forest was previously logged, it is unlikely to meet the stricter criteria of the National Parks Act at this time. I have decided to confirm conservation park status. One change to the boundaries is an exclusion from the park of a small area of the Whangaparapara Cemetery that is to be transferred to Auckland Council.”

Dr Smith said extensive storm damage in the last 2 months would delay setting up og the new park: “The immediate priority is the restoration of tracks, bridges, repair of huts, signage, campgrounds & the department’s office, for which the Government has committed $2.5 million. This timely decision on the new park enables this repair work to be done to the higher standard expected of a conservation park.

“The final steps are for the new Aotea Conservation Park to be surveyed & gazetted in coming months. It is my intention to also appoint a park advisory committee with iwi & island representation. The plan is to have this work & the repairs completed to enable a formal opening over summer.”

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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Great Barrier conservation park proposal open to submissions

Conservation Minister Nick Smith gave notice at the weekend of his intention to declare a conservation park on Great Barrier Island (Aotea), which was proposed by Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye.

Dr Smith said: “Submissions close on Friday 28 February 2014 and hearings will take place in March & April. I will make a decision on the proposal after I receive a final report from the department.

“This is a significant proposal that would upgrade 12,100ha of stewardship land into a conservation park. This would make it the largest Department of Conservation park in Auckland and similar in size to the Hunua & Waitakere Ranges regional parks managed by the Auckland Council.

“I am supportive of this proposal. It is consistent with the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s recommendation that the Department of Conservation review the status of stewardship land. The proposed park contains the largest area of forest in New Zealand that is free of possums & mustelids like stoats that pose such a high risk to our native birds.

“The success of this proposed new conservation park on Great Barrier Island requires that we get the detail right. I encourage the public to read the discussion paper and ensure they have their say on the proposed boundaries, name and approach to the new park’s management.”

Link: Great Barrier conservation park document

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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Worry over Barrier ferry link

Published 4 April 2008

Auckland City Council’s transport committee will get a report on the fate of the Great Barrier Island Sealink ferry services’ city berth “when there is certainty”.

 

The island’s community board resolved on 17 March to tell numerous people holding sway over its affairs – the Minister of Tourism & Rural Affairs, Minister of Transport, the Auckland Regional Council, Auckland Regional Holdings and this committee – of the board’s extreme concern that the island might lose its freight, vehicular & tourist passenger ferry services in the current debate over the future of the Wynyard Wharf area, which had served the island for 23 years, and urged the parties to resolve their issues with Sea+City Ltd (an Auckland Regional Holdings subsidiary) as quickly as possible.

 

All the city council committee was going to do was note the islanders’ concern and recognise the need for ongoing ferry services. Committee chairman Ken Baguley said: “Somewhere in that redevelopment there’s a commitment that that service will be catered for.”

 

However, Cllr Graeme Easte said the committee needed to make an active response and won support to get a staff report “as soon as some certainty surrounds the waterfront development.”

 

Want to comment? Email [email protected].

 

Attribution: Council committee agenda & meeting, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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