Big boost for community conservation in Northland

Nature in Te Tai Tokerau/Northland is getting a much needed boost thanks to additional funding for community conservation efforts announced the Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage at Puketi Forest today, alongside the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“Nature needs our help. Papatūānuku needs more aroha. Te Tai Tokerau/Northland is home to a diverse range of birds, bats, and bush that need our protection. $800,000 in grants to iwi, hapu and community conservation organisations will help with more predator and weed control and ecosystem restoration which helps nature thrive,” says Eugenie Sage. 

“Thanks to this Government’s largest ever boost to conservation funding in Budgets 2018 and 2019, $800k ($799,623) is being provided to 13 community conservation projects in Te Tai Tokerau this year.”

Puketi Forest Trust supports one of Aoteaora’s most diverse ecosystems including kiwi, pekapeka/short tailed bats, kauri snails and threatened plants such as a delicate creeping fern found only in Puketi Forest, and Para/King fern which is seldom seen further south.

“The Department of Conservation’s (DOC’s) Community Conservation funding of $144,000 will help the Trust expand its work on existing and new trap and bait station lines, replace infrastructure and expand monitoring of the kōkako population before the next breeding season.”

“The Fund is also supporting our national icon, with Kaitiaki Kiwi receiving $174,411. Since 2014 Kaitiaki Kiwi have taken action against the decline in kiwi numbers in Waipoua Forest and surrounding areas. Funding will be used to expand the trapping network on public conservation land and increase the number of hectares under management to keep mustelids and feral cats at low levels and increase kiwi recruitment.”

“Te Runanga o Taumarere ki Rakaumangamanga (on behalf of the Russell Forest Rōpu) have established draft a 20-year forest health strategy and funding of $114,000 to them will focus on trapping networks following the successful aerial 1080 operation in 2018.”

“The Russell Forest Rōpu have a long term goal of ‘returning what was lost’. This is how I see the DOC Community Fund working across New Zealand to restore our natural taonga.”

The DOC Community Fund has awarded $8 million to 168 groups across New Zealand in 2019/20 to support practical projects on public and private land.

“These projects are a great example of communities working together with Government to give nature a much needed helping hand to help restore the dawn chorus,” said Eugenie Sage.

The next round of DOC Community Funding opens on 24 February and more information can be found at https://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/funding/doc-community-fund/