Glenfern Sanctuary purchase finalised

  • Maggie Barry

Glenfern Sanctuary on Great Barrier Island has been bought for the public thanks to a joint bid backed by the Government, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.

“I’m pleased to announce that after considerable negotiations the sale of the Glenfern property has been completed and its future is now secure,” Ms Barry says.

“I acknowledge the hard work of local MP Nikki Kaye, who has been strong advocate for the project and its benefits for Great Barrier Island.”

The 83-hectare sanctuary was founded by sailing champion Tony Bouzaid in 1992, and has become a haven for native animals, including the rare chevron skink, black petrel and pateke/brown teal.

Together with three neighbouring properties on the Kotuku Peninsula, Glenfern is enclosed behind a 2km long pest-proof fence and covered by extended trapping networks, enabling native wildlife to thrive.

“Glenfern has the potential to be an outstanding gateway for visitors to experience all that Great Barrier has to offer,” Ms Barry says.

“Buying the sanctuary makes good sense for New Zealand conservation generally and the Great Barrier economy in particular - a superb conservation area in itself, it’s also a jump-off point for walks and other great tourist options on the island.”

“MP for Auckland Central Nikki Kaye has helped facilitate discussions that have ensured the creation of this important ‘conservation precinct’ in the northern part of Great Barrier, including the Kotuku and Mohunga Peninsulas, Motu Kaikoura, Motuhaka Island and the Broken Islands, all of which are significant sites.”

The sanctuary will be placed in the ownership of Auckland Council and form part of its network of parks, with governance details still to be finalised.

Auckland Council and the Great Barrier Local Board have contributed a combined $1.25 million, while the Minister, through the Crown’s advisory Nature Heritage Fund, will make a $975,000 contribution and Foundation North will put in $675,000.