Securing Glenfern Sanctuary’s future

  • Maggie Barry

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has announced the Government will contribute towards a joint bid to buy Glenfern Sanctuary on Great Barrier Island for the nation.

The Nature Heritage Fund, which is allocated at the Minister’s discretion, will put a significant amount of funding towards a consortium including the Auckland Council and Great Barrier Local Board looking to purchase Glenfern.

The sanctuary, in Port Fitzroy in the north of the island, was founded by the late sailing champion Tony Bouzaid in 1992 and is now for sale.

Behind a 2km pest-proof fence enclosing more than 200 hectares of the Kotuku Peninsula, Glenfern has become a haven for native animals, including the rare chevron skink, black petrel and pateke/brown teal.

It includes the historic Fitzroy House, which dates from 1901, and an impressive stand of mature kauri trees.

“If we are able to secure Glenfern’s future for its community it will be a tremendous boost for conservation, but also for Great Barrier’s economy,” Ms Barry says. “It is a beautiful place and an outstanding monument to Tony Bouzaid’s determination and vision.”

“The consortium would like the sanctuary to become a gateway to the many walking and eco-tourism opportunities on the island. Negotiations aren’t completed yet, but having spoken with the family this weekend, and with a willing seller and willing buyers, I remain optimistic we can come to a good conclusion in the next few weeks.”

Launched in 1990, the Nature Heritage Fund is a contestable source of funding aimed to protect the full range of New Zealand’s ecosystems.

Note to editors: As negotiations are ongoing, the amount of funding provided by the NHF cannot be disclosed at this point.