Conservation Minister Maggie Barry and Associate Primary Industries Minister Louise Upston say projects to help kokako in Bay of Plenty have been given more than $125,000 from the DOC Community Fund.

“Rotoehu Forest is home to 150 North Island kōkako (Callaeas wilsoni) but has the space to support at least 500 birds. Over three years, three groups will work together to carry out a combination of pest control, wilding pine removal and other weed control,” Ms Barry says.

“This will improve the natural forest habitat and local environment for these special birds.”

Kaharoa Kōkako Trust has been given $25,100 over 2016/17 for wilding pine control and improve access for contractors and visitors to an area of Kaharoa Conservation Area where there are kōkako.

“The Kaharoa kōkako population is one of the most accessible in the North Island. They are vulnerable to predators and their habitat needs tall standing trees in order for them to flourish. These organisations are doing their best to ensure kōkako have a fighting chance at survival,” Ms Upston says.

Both of these projects complement the War on Weeds and Battle for our Birds initiatives already underway.

“An extra $16m over four years was included in last year’s budget to control wilding pines as part of the War on Weeds.  More than $20m also came from Budget 2016 for the Battle for our Birds to help fight back against an explosion in predator numbers caused by heavy forest seeding, or mast.”

A third community grant will help the Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa Runanga Trust set up signs and interactive smart phone stations – or iPou - where people can access the story and images of Lake Ngahewa and Lake Ngapouri.

“It builds on other interpretive information projects underway in the area,” Ms Barry says.

Ms Upston made the announcements in Rotorua today.

“I’d like to thank Minister Upston for making the announcements for me today and National Rotorua MP Todd McClay for his support advocacy of conservation work in his local area.”

The funding recipients are:

  • Rotoehu Ecological Trust $102,209. This project is a collaboration between Rotoehu Ecological Trust, Kaingaroa Timberlands and Ngāti Mākino Heritage Trust for pest and weed control in Rotoehu Forest where about 150 kokako live.
  • Kaharoa Kōkako Trust $25,100. To clear and reform road access and control areas of wilding pines in the Kaharoa Conservation Area to improve the habitat and ecosystem where kōkako live.
  • Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa Runanga Trust - $8,600. Signage and IPOU at Lake Ngahewa and Lake Ngapouri, to share environmental, cultural and historical information on the two sites.

The DOC Community Fund will distribute more than $4 million in 2016/17 to organisations ranging from small community groups working across a single site to national partnerships.

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