Glenfern Sanctuary secured as conservation gateway to Great Barrier Island

By | Auckland Central, Environment, Great Barrier Island | No Comments

Hon Nikki Kaye, MP for Auckland Central, this morning attended the formal announcement of the purchase of Glenfern Sanctuary on Great Barrier Island, on behalf of Minister of Conservation, Hon Maggie Barry.

“After a lot of hard work it is fantastic that the purchase of Glenfern Sanctuary is now finalised, and it will therefore continue to be a critical part of the movement to achieve a pest-free Hauraki Gulf,” says Ms Kaye.

“As the local MP for Great Barrier Island, I am delighted that the Government has contributed $ 975,000 to the successful purchase.”

The purchase of Glenfern from the Bouzaid family is a combination of contributions from the Department of Conservation (DOC) through the Nature Heritage Fund, the Auckland Council and Great Barrier Local Boards and Foundation North.

“I want to specifically recognise the hard work and leadership of Councillor Christine Fletcher, for helping bring together the different agencies and organisations that made this possible,” says Ms Kaye.

The 83-hectare Glenfern Sanctuary was founded by the late Tony Bouzaid, who created the sanctuary to protect endangered native birds on the Island.

“I would like to acknowledge the Bouzaid family for making the property available for purchase and to Tony, who was tireless in his determination to have the sanctuary established.

“Glenfern is a significant gateway for the Island, providing both tourism and educational opportunities, making its acquisition into public ownership invaluable.

“Last week I was on the Island to open the redeveloped Aotea Track, and this sanctuary provides an additional conservation experience. I hope that many schools and families will be able to visit the sanctuary and walk the track in the future.

“The team at Glenfern is incredibly passionate about managing and protecting the local flora and fauna, with the help of local volunteers, and this announcement ensures this will continue.”

Glenfern will be placed under the ownership of Auckland Council and form part of their parks network.

 

Opening of Redeveloped Aotea Track on Great Barrier Island

By | Auckland Central, Environment, Great Barrier Island, Local Projects | No Comments

Hon Nikki Kaye, MP for Auckland Central, on behalf of the Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry, will this afternoon re-open the Kaiaraara Track (part of the Aotea Track), on Great Barrier Island.

The track suffered major damage during a storm in June 2014. Large sections of the DOC track were washed out and bridges and huts were extensively damaged. Since then, DOC has invested $353,000 in the redevelopment project.

“As the local MP for Great Barrier Island, it is fantastic to see the track re-opened today. In conjunction with the Aotea Conservation Park, the Aotea Track is a vital tourist attraction and economic asset to the Island, says Ms Kaye.

“I would like to recognise the hard work of DOC staff who worked tirelessly alongside the local community and Board members to repair the track during the last two years. Their commitment to the track redevelopment has ensured that New Zealanders and tourists alike can experience the beauty of the 25 kilometre track.

“I would also like to specifically acknowledge Ngāti Rehua, who has been working closely alongside DOC, and who have offered on-going support to the success of this project.

“Now that the Aotea Track redevelopment is complete, I am going to ask that consideration be given for the track to get greater recognition. I expect to seek advice from local and central Government over the coming months about how we can do this. “I would love to see more New Zealanders visit and experience Great Barrier Island. The Island is a special part of New Zealand and the Government’s investment in the track is an important boost for tourism on the Island.”
 

Changes to marine protection good for Hauraki Gulf

By | Auckland Central, Environment, Great Barrier Island, Waiheke | No Comments

The Hauraki Gulf will benefit from the new proposals put forward for protecting marine areas says Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye.

The Government has released a consultation document on the new Marine Protected Areas Act.

It puts forward four different options for looking after marine environments, and includes the draft proposal for the Hauraki Gulf Recreational Fishing Park.

“This is a really positive step for Auckland. The Hauraki Gulf is a fishing hotspot, and the initial announcement of a fishing park was widely welcomed by many recreational fishers.

“It’s proposed most commercial fishing is prohibited (dependant on the outcome of consultation, particularly around species in the draft boundaries of the park), which will enable better management of recreational fishing stocks. 

“I think the proposed Park is aimed to strike the right balance between protecting and managing this valuable area, while ensuring the Hauraki Gulf remains a fisherman’s playground.

The consultation document also gives four options for protecting marine environments, and includes: Marine Reserves, Species-specific sanctuaries, Seabed Reserves and Recreational Fishing Parks says Nikki Kaye.

“Great Barrier Island falls outside of the proposed fishing park. It is important that residents of the Gulf, including Great Barrier Island, have their say on the proposed plan and I encourage submissions from the public. I have been working with groups on Barrier who would like to see greater protection of their marine area, and it is my desire as the local MP, to ensure that this is achieved either through this process or a process in the future. Greater marine protection on the Island will also complement the Aotea Conservation Park.

“These new categories make available more options for preserving this unique part of the Hauraki Gulf.  I have raised this issue with Ministers, particularly the need to begin a collaborative process so we can discuss how this can be best achieved. I have seen first-hand through previous proposals on Waiheke and Great Barrier Island, that more focus and better tools for marine protection are needed.

“Auckland is a growing city, and it is very important that we have tools like the Recreational Fishing Park to ensure that the city has an environment that will be sustainable for Aucklanders in the future.

“I encourage all interested people and groups to give their feedback on the proposed changes, so we all have a hand in preserving and shaping the Hauraki Gulf”.

 

Proposed fine increase for littering needed in Auckland Central

By | Auckland Central, Environment, Local Projects | No Comments

Increasing the maximum fine for littering from $400 to $1000 would be a positive step to reducing the amount of waste on Auckland’s streets, says Auckland Central MP Hon Nikki Kaye.

 

The Litter (Increased Infringement Fee) Amendment Bill has been put in the Private Members’ Bill Ballot by MP Jono Naylor, and proposes the increase as a deterrent for littering.

 

‘I have long been concerned about the amount of waste in the CBD, and litter on our streets.  I spent a morning working as a rubbish collector a few years ago, and in just three hours I collected over three tonnes of rubbish from the CBD’ says Ms Kaye.

 

‘If the Bill is passed into law I would advocate for Auckland Council to impose the maximum fine possible for littering.  We are a world-class city, the first stop for many international tourists and our city streets should reflect this.

 

‘We don’t have to look far to see the effect litter has on our environment – all too often rubbish ends up in our harbour and on the sea floor.  Coxs Bay and the Pt Erin Coastline are home to litter, and all too often volunteers are left to clean it up.

 

‘I have always believed that our environment is the greatest gift we have as a nation.  While we live in an urban area, we all have to take greater care of how we dispose of our rubbish. 

 

‘This is why I’m so supportive of the Litter (Increased Infringement Fee) Amendment Bill, and if passed, the potential it has for deterring would be litterers.

 

‘The message is simple – put your litter in the bin or take it home.  Treat our city like you would treat your home or backyard.  We all want a city we can be proud of – one that is clean and free of litter’.

 

Great Barrier and Waiheke Islands to receive more funding to fight pests

By | Auckland Central, Environment, Great Barrier Island, Waiheke | No Comments

Three local conservation groups will receive more than $195,000 in funding from the Community Conservation Partnerships Fund to fight pests on Great Barrier and Waiheke Islands.

“These islands are the jewels in Auckland’s crown, and dangerous pests like rats, stoats, possums and other unwanted visitors are real threats to the natural environment,” Ms Kaye says.

“Waiheke and Great Barrier are home to native birds like kaka and kereru that are practically defenceless against these pests.

“Conservation-focused groups like the Windy Hill Rosalie Bay Catchment Trust and the Kotuku Peninsula Sanctuary team (Great Barrier), and the Hauraki Gulf Conservation Trust (Waiheke), are key to the future of conservation in the Gulf, and it’s wonderful this funding will help them fight back against pests.

“The Aotea Conservation Park was opened earlier this year on Great Barrier Island, and will be a significant tourism asset for the island.  It’s crucial we work to keep native birds, and the natural environment, safe.

“Nationwide, pests cost our economy more than $3 billion a year. This local funding will have a positive impact on Great Barrier and Waiheke Islands, “says Ms Kaye.

Government takes next step to help secure Great Barrier Island Sanctuary

By | Auckland Central, Environment, Great Barrier Island | No Comments

Nikki Kaye, MP for Auckland Central, has welcomed the government’s commitment to contribute to the purchase of Glenfern Sanctuary on Great Barrier Island.

“The Minister of Conservation, Hon Maggie Barry, announced the funding from the government’s Nature Heritage Fund while visiting the sanctuary today. I want to acknowledge the Minister’s conservation commitment to the island with this announcement.

“The government will contribute funding as part of a consortium, including the Auckland Council, Great Barrier Local Board and private donors, and this will potentially enable public ownership of the sanctuary.

Ms Kaye said that the possibility of public purchase will allow the sanctuary to be further utilized for the protection of many rare and endangered species that inhabit the Island.

“It’s fantastic that the protection of Great Barrier Island, and the Hauraki Gulf as a whole, is a strategic focus for the Department of Conservation.

“The Glenfern Sanctuary is a critical part of the movement to achieve a pest-free Hauraki Gulf in the near future.

“The team at Glenfern is incredibly passionate about managing and protecting the local flora and fauna, with the help of local volunteers.

“The sanctuary provides great opportunities for tourism and education, and it’s vital that it continues to function effectively.

“This is another great Conservation initiative to complement the new Aotea Conservation Park and Aotea Track on Great Barrier Island.

“Glenfern Sanctuary is the potential gateway or face to the extensive network of trails, tourism options, education opportunities and biodiversity on the island. It’s crucial we secure the sanctuary and all it offers, now and in the future.

Aotea Conservation Park Opens on Great Barrier Island

By | Auckland Central, Environment, Great Barrier Island | No Comments

Nikki Kaye, MP for Auckland Central, is delighted to be attending the opening of the Aotea Conservation Park on Great Barrier Island today.

The park will be officially opened by the Minister of Conservation, Hon Maggie Barry, in the presence of local community members and iwi.

“This is a great day for the people of the Barrier and New Zealand, as it means this land can now be protected and enjoyed for generations.

“The conservation park covers 12,282 ha or around 43% of the Island, making it the largest park of conservation status in Auckland and comparable in size to the Hunua and Waitakere Ranges parks.

“I would like to acknowledge the work that Ms Barry has done to enable the opening today.

“In September 2013, I put forward a proposal to establish the park, and after significant consultation it was confirmed by the Government last July.

“Since then, Ms Barry has worked quickly and collaboratively with the Department of Conservation to bring the park to fruition, and ensure the community and local iwi were at the heart of the project.

“The next steps will be to ensure a strong Aotea Conservation park advisory committee, with good iwi and community representation to ensure management of the park is world-class.

“There’s been a lot happening on the island recently, with the government investing more than $2 million towards repairing storm damage to the Aotea track. This is a great attraction for people who want to see first-hand the beautiful birds, flora and fauna the island has to offer.

“Over the last 5 years, the government has also invested more than $1 million in telecommunications, while the Auckland Council has made significant investments in local roads and the Community Arts Heritage Village has been developed.

“It will also be great to formally open the Great Barrier Island Community Olive press this afternoon with Ms Barry. This will be an important asset to help grow the island’s economy.

“Many of these initiatives are community projects driven by committed locals, who I have had the privilege to work with.

“With attractions such as the new Aotea Conservation Park, Great Barrier Island is a real treasure and I hope more people will visit to see some of the best of New Zealand.

 

 

 

 

New Aotea Conservation Park an Auckland treasure

By | Auckland Central, Environment, Great Barrier Island | No Comments

The new conservation park on Great Barrier Island will ensure greater protection for the island’s unique flora, fauna, birds and wildlife, while also increasing tourism opportunities for the local community and Auckland, says Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye.

“I am absolutely delighted that Minister of Conservation Nick Smith has accepted a proposal I put forward last year to establish a conservation park on Barrier – this means that more than 12,000 hectares will receive higher status and better protection,” says Ms Kaye.

“Since it was first proposed in September last year, I have talked with many locals and Aucklanders who are very supportive of having another park, along with the benefits of greater protection for Barrier’s precious wildlife and plants.

“The area included in this new park is home to some of New Zealand’s most special native plant and wildlife. The park is the largest park of conservation status in Auckland, comparable in size to the Auckland Council’s Hunua and Waitakere Ranges parks.

“In particular I hope that young Aucklanders will visit the new park in the years to come. I have met many who have never visited the islands in the Hauraki Gulf. The park will be a major draw card and great for enhancing conservation education.”

The Aotea Conservation Park also presents the community with increased recreation and tourism opportunities, which can only benefit the island, Ms Kaye says. 

“I welcome Minister Smith’s decision and look forward to working with residents on the next steps, which include ensuring strong island and iwi representation on the park’s advisory committee. I want to specifically acknowledge Ngati Rehua and the importance of ensuring it is an integral part of this committee.

“The estimated more than 50,000 visitors to the island each year are the main source of income for the island and local businesses.

“The Government has already invested around $1 million to ensure the island has better cellphone and broadband coverage. The $2.5 million announced today to help repair recent storm damage to island infrastructure, and ensure the Aotea track is in good shape, is crucial for the economic development of the island.

“The next project that I would love to see happen for the island is the designation of Aotea track as one of the ‘New Zealand Great Walks’. To have it recognised alongside the Milford, Tongariro, Heaphy and Routeburntracks would be an additional  boost for tourism for the island and Auckland.

“Finally, I would like to thank the Minister of Conservation for his work in considering the proposal and submissions.  This is a great day for Great Barrier Island and Auckland.”

Government welcomes NEXT Foundation $100 million

By | Environment, Press Releases | No Comments

Government Ministers attending today’s launch of the $100 million NEXT Foundation have welcomed its establishment and its commitment to New Zealand’s environmental and education projects at the Foundation’s launch in Auckland today.

“This new philanthropic foundation represents a huge commitment to New Zealand’s conservation and environmental challenges that Governments will never be able to fully fund. Its founders, through Project Janszoon and the Rotoroa Island Trust, have already shown a great commitment to New Zealand’s natural environment. This new foundation opens the door to other high impact conservation projects in other parts of our country,” Dr Smith says.

“This exciting development reinforces the merit of the Department of Conservation developing a new partnership approach to its work of protecting New Zealand’s flora, fauna and special places.”

“Education is the best investment New Zealand can make in its future. This new foundation will help drive innovation and excellence, and complement the work the Government is doing to raise standards and provide our children with a modern learning environment,” Ms Kaye says.

“We are committed to working with the NEXT Foundation to maximise the environment and educational gains from this incredible act of generosity towards New Zealand’s future,” the Minister say.