Nine community-led conservation projects in the Auckland area will receive funding this year to maintain and restore the diversity of the region’s natural heritage, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.

“These groups will continue the War on Weeds, protect historic Maori sites, complete kiwi transfers and carry out pest control work in several areas. More than $291,000 from the DOC Community Fund is going to these practical, locally-driven projects,” Ms Barry says.

“The DOC Community Fund was set up in 2014 to distribute $26 million over four years to inspire and enable these sorts of projects around New Zealand.”

$40,000 is going towards weed control on the Te Henga Track, part of the Hillary Trail in the Waitakere Ranges.

“Te Henga is popular with local, national and international visitors and sees a lot of foot traffic throughout the year.  The volunteers plan to reduce the spread of weeds near the track and repair parts where it has been severely eroded,” Ms Barry says.

“The work should improve access for visitors and encourage walkers to stay on the track.”

The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, locally based National list MP Alfred Ngaro says “the volunteer efforts on projects such as Te Henga track make such a difference to the conservation outcome. They do great work.”

DOC Community funding will also pay for a new iwi ranger on Motuora Island, fund the transfer of at least 16 Coromandel Brown kiwi to Motutapu Island and restore significant Māori and historic sites on Motuihe Island.

The projects are among 22 community led projects around the country to receive funding in the 2016/17 funding round.

The Auckland projects to receive funding are:

  • Motuora Island Restoration $14,000 to undertake weed control on the 80-hectare Motuora Island, including along the difficult to access coastal cliffs.
  • Nga Taonga o Kaipara- Management Plans $30,000 for restoration of 9 reserves and ex-conservation sites and work to enhance the natural and sensitive environment of South Head.
  • Coromandel Brown Kiwi Translocation to Motutapu $28,526 to transfer at least 16 more Coromandel Brown Kiwi to Motutapu to establish a genetically viable population of 40 to 50 birds. The project has translocated 24 birds to date.
  • Motuihe Island Invasive Weed Control Programme $49,000 to restore, enhance and protect the indigenous flora and fauna, and significant Māori and historic sites on Motuihe Island.
  • Te Henga-Hillary Trail, Ecological and Restoration Group $40,000 for weed control, pest control and track maintenance.
  • Restoring Mauri: Whenua Rangatira - Past, Present and Future $25,000 Whenua Rangatira is New Zealand’s first co-governed public park created under the Ōrākei Act 1991. It is an example of urban conservation that reflects tikanga Māori.
  • Te Matuku Bay Scenic Reserve Weed Eradication Project $20,000 to tackle invasive weed species. It is part of a wider landscape management approach to the control of pest plants and animals in the Te Matuku Bay catchment.
  • Motutapu Outdoor Education Camp Weed Eradication Project $35,000 to target invasive weeds and seed sources and will support supplementary planting so native flora species can regenerate.
  • Motuora Island Ranger $50,000 for a new iwi ranger on pest-free Motuora Island.  The role will also help coordinate weed control programmes, promote iwi-led conservation initiatives and maintain the bio-security of the island.

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