Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says there’s been a more than thousand percent increase in the number of kokako in Kauri Coast forests since 1990 due to the continued use of 1080 and trapping.
“An aerial 1080 drop in 1990 is credited with saving the kokako from local extinction and its continued use along with trapping has seen the population grow from a low of 5 pair in 1990 to 60 pair today, as well as 29 single kokako,” Ms Barry says.
“Without the sustained predator control these birds wouldn’t survive in the Waipoua, Waima and Mataraua forests and the fact that population has grown to one of the most robust managed populations proves yet again the value of 1080 to knock down rats and possums.”
“The increase in kokako shows what’s possible when you keep predators down and proves how vital it is that we achieve the ultimate goal of Predator Free 2050.”
“Many kokako pair seen over the last breeding season had juvenile birds with them, indicating a good breeding season.”
“An 1100% increase represents significant success and is down to annual rat and possum control over 20 years. There’ve been 4 aerial 1080 operations just in Waipoua between 1990 and 2014 plus trapping.”
DOC has used a bait station network to control rats and possums and a stoat trap line that’s grown from 300 hectares in 2003 to 913 hectares today.
“No other bird evokes our ancient forest like the kokako. It has the most haunting birdsong in the New Zealand bush,” Ms Barry says.
“Research during the 1990’s identified key predators and how to manage them specifically for kokako and that information is still in use at Waipoua, Mataraua and Puketi.”
“We have the exciting and realistic opportunity to not only protect these kokako populations, but to grow them so that Northland is once again a national stronghold for this taonga of the forest.”
Arts, Culture and Heritage Maggie Barry has announced David Elliot’s book ‘Snark’ as this year’s winner of the New Zealand Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award.
“David Elliot, also winner of the Russel Clark Award for illustration, has made an outstanding contribution to children’s literature in this country and the award is much deserved recognition for his captivating compositions,” Ms Barry says.
“His books have universal appeal for all ages and in 2014 he was awarded the Margaret Mahy Award for lifetime contribution to Children’s Literature in New Zealand.”
“The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults have celebrated excellence in children and young people’s literature since the 1960s. The books have been on different topics and in a variety of styles but they’ve had a common thread – they’ve looked at life from a distinctively New Zealand point of view.”
“Recent research by the Book Council shows New Zealanders love reading New Zealand stories – almost half the adults reading at least one New Zealand book in the past year.”
“Encouraging young New Zealanders to read is at the heart of these awards, and the fact that sales of the finalist books consistently spike during the shortlist period is testimony to their success.”
The ceremony was held at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre and the Minister congratulated the 32 awards finalists and thanked all the authors, illustrators and publishers for getting children reading by creating great books and publishing them.
“I’m pleased the Government is able to support these awards through Creative New Zealand. My thanks to the sponsors, supporters and judges who help these awards to thrive,” Ms Barry says.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says Maungauika/North Head on Auckland’s North Shore Devonport Peninsula is to become predator free, a first step towards a predator free Auckland.
Making the announcement today at the historic DOC managed reserve, Ms Barry says the initial target is rats.
”They kill under cover of darkness, they’re cunning and tough and they’re prolific breeders. Rats are the most significant predator on the maunga and to stop them we’re installing a trap network starting with a ring of traps around the base,” Ms Barry says.
“They’ll be set 25 metres apart to form a predator barrier and we’ll install a network of rat traps on the rest of the maunga, 50 metres apart, alongside roads and paths. This is the local community’s chance to step up as DOC will need volunteers to check the traps.”
North Head is a first step along the path to a Predator Free Devonport and then a pest free Auckland.
“DOC, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Auckland Council are working together to make the whole Devonport peninsula pest free. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has provided 1500 rat traps for distribution to people living on the peninsula and is aiming for one trap in every five Devonport households. I also want to acknowledge and commend the efforts of hard working community volunteers involved with the Devonport Environmental Network (DEN) and the peninsula restoration project Te Manu Hopukia,” Ms Barry says.
“Strategically the Devonport peninsula is a good place to start the Auckland predator free journey because it’s isolated by water and it’s home to significant native and threatened bird populations. It’s also a point of entry to our gulf islands.”
“Controlling predators on the peninsula will help create a safe habitat and a corridor for native birds to return to the mainland. Eventually it’ll expand to cover the whole of Auckland and community by community, town by town, city by city, I’m confident that by 2050 we’ll have a rat, stoat and possum-free New Zealand.”
Auckland’s historic St James Theatre is receiving $1.5 million in government backing from the Heritage EQUIP fund for privately-owned, earthquake prone buildings.
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry says the money for seismic strengthening work will help secure this special building as a theatre venue for many years to come.
“Built in 1928, this almost 90 year old traditional theatre has significant cultural and heritage value – it’s a Category 1 building on the New Zealand Heritage List and Category A on the Auckland Unitary Plan. Its remarkable main auditorium has high quality acoustics, and the interior features statuettes and elaborate lighting,” Ms Barry says.
“The St James is very dear to the hearts of Aucklanders and it’s also significant for New Zealand as it’s one of the very few remaining buildings designed by Henry Eli White, in the Spanish colonial style, who created the St James Theatre in Wellington and the Municipal Theatre in Hastings.”
Ms Barry has acknowledged the tenacious support for the St James from Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye who has advocated tirelessly to ensure this Auckland landmark is saved for future generations.
“The independent expert advisory panel members who consider Heritage EQUIP applications report to the final decision-maker Ministry for Culture and Heritage Chief Executive Paul James. They’ve recognised the heritage value of the St James as well as its architectural merit,” Ms Barry says.
“The complex land ownership issues have taken some time to work through, however the St James owner is eligible to apply for Regional Culture and Heritage (RCHF) funding. The building’s owner is continuing to work with officials on an application.”
The Heritage EQUIP fund was setup in 2016 to provide support for privately-owned earthquake risk buildings so they can be preserved for future generations.
“Heritage buildings are a valuable part of the character of New Zealand, but the cost of strengthening can be prohibitive and unsustainable for private owners and that’s where this fund is intended to help,” Ms Barry says.
Today’s announcement from round two of Heritage EQUIP follows on from the announcement earlier this week, made jointly with Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith, of $94,700 in funding for Nelson’s Lambretta Café.
Further announcements will follow over the next few weeks.
A $94,700 Government grant from the Earthquake Upgrade Incentive Programme, Heritage EQUIP, will strengthen the historic building which is home to Nelson’s iconic Lambretta’s Café, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry announced today.
“Nelson is of similar earthquake risk to Christchurch and it is inevitable we will one day be hit with a significant quake. New building laws that came into effect on 1 July this year will require we either upgrade or replace those buildings that pose a significant risk to life. We do not want to lose all of our heritage, so the Government is providing assistance grants to help retain some of these iconic buildings that help give our cities character,” Dr Smith says.
“I am delighted this first grant from the latest funding round is going towards strengthening 204 Hardy Street, in the heart of Nelson. This 61-year-old former New Zealand Insurance building is recognised by both Heritage New Zealand and the Nelson City Council as an important part of the city’s architectural history. It’s great to be able to partner with the owners, the Van Dyke Family Trust, in this significant upgrade that will make the café and central city safer.”
“The Government recognises the very large cost of upgrading significant heritage buildings and established this fund to help retain some of the buildings that define the character of cities like Nelson,” Ms Barry says.
“This is the first of a number of announcements of strengthening projects in this funding round and with the third round closing on 21 August, building owners have further opportunity to make an application.
“Earlier this year the National Tobacco Company Building in Napier and the former Union Steamship Company store in Dunedin were the first recipients of the fund.
“The strengthening plan for this building was designed by structural engineers Andrew Melvin King-Turner Limited. Funding is for stage one of the work, including tying back the parapets and strengthening the upper floor columns. Construction work will not interrupt Lambretta’s café operations on the ground floor, and the strengthened upper floor space will be available to a new tenant.”
More information about Heritage EQUIP, including application forms and full criteria, is available at: www.heritageequip.govt.nz
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry has appointed Dunedin chartered accountant Stuart McLauchlan to NZ On Air.
“With his skills in business advisory and governance roles I am delighted Stuart is joining the board,” Ms Barry says.
“A partner for 30 years in G S McLauchlan, including as managing partner for 29 of those years, Stuart is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. He is an Accredited Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a former national president.
“Currently he is chair of Scott Technology, Dunedin International Airport, Pharmac and the Management Committee of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. He has also been on the boards of the Otago Festival of Arts, Hills Radio Trust and the Otago Community Hospice Trust.”
Stuart McLauchlan took up his appointment on 1 August replacing Ross McRobie.
“My sincere thanks to Ross, also a chartered accountant, who brought a strong sense of community engagement and experience in the radio industry to his six years on the board,” Ms Barry says.
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister, Maggie Barry and Pacific Peoples Minister Alfred Ngaro have today announced several appointments to the Board of the National Pacific Radio Trust.
From 1 August the Board will have a new Chair and Treasurer, and two new Board members.
“The National Pacific Radio Trust is responsible for maintaining the national Pacific Radio Network which exists to empower, encourage and nurture Pacific cultural identity and economic prosperity in New Zealand and to celebrate the Pacific spirit,” Ms Barry says.
“The Board’s role is to provide governance and oversight to ensure this mission is met.”
Minister Ngaro says the new Chair, Tiumalu Peter Fa’afiu of Waiuku, is very experienced in governance, management and in providing quality leadership to a range of organisations.
“As interim CEO of the Tamaki Regeneration Company in 2014 Tiumalu was one of our youngest Crown company chief executives at age 36. He is well respected within the business community and has strong connections beyond the Pacific communities,” Mr Ngaro says.
“I am confident he has the skill and understanding to lead the Board through the next three years.”
The new Treasurer is Sholan Ivaiti who has board and public service experience in the Cook Islands including chairing the Cook Islands Fuel Pricing Committee, and serving as a director of the Bank of Cook Islands and the Cook Islands Superannuation Fund.
“I’m sure Tiumalu and Sholan, with the support of the rest of the Board, will ensure a bright future for the National Pacific Radio Trust,” Ms Barry says.
The Ministers also announced the appointment of new Board members Jody Jackson-Becerra and Sara-Jane Elika and the reappointments of Board Secretary Dr Lesieli MacIntyre and current member Martha Samasoni.
The reappointments are from 1 August to 31 July 2019 and the new appointments are from 1 August to 31 July 2020.
“This is great news for Pacific broadcasting. These appointments will complement the excellent work the Trust is already doing and will continue to move that work forward. The new appointments also signal a generational shift in Pacific governance for the Trust,” Mr Ngaro says.
The Ministers also thanked and acknowledged the considerable service given by retiring board chair Ulu Aiono, Treasurer Willy Johnston and Board member Taualeo’o Stephen Stehlin.
“These three men have given many years of service to NPRT and have all made a very valuable contribution to the work of the Board, the wider Trust and in service to Pacific people.”
Tiumalu Peter Fa’afiu of Waiuku has considerable experience of Crown connected organisations and Governance. He is of Samoan ancestry. A former New Zealand diplomat and trade negotiator, he was the Head of Government and Community Relations for NZ Post and is a former interim CEO and General Manager of the Tamaki Regeneration Company. He currently operates his own consultancy, Navigator Limited. He chairs Amnesty International New Zealand and the First Foundation Trust. He is a board member of the Pacific Business Trust, a panel member of the New Zealand Press Council and a member of the Institute of Directors. He is the business representative on the Auckland Airport Community Consultation Group. As well as English, he speaks Samoan and Indonesian.
Sholan Ivaiti of Auckland is of Cook Island Māori heritage. As Treasurer he will chair the finance and audit committee. He is currently a partner in Integrity Audit Ltd. He has considerable board and public service experience in the Cook Islands including, previously, being Chair of the Cook Islands Fuel Pricing Committee, a director of the Bank of Cook Islands and the Cook Islands Superannuation Fund. He is also a former head of the Cook Islands Ministry of Finance and Economic Management. He has a Masters in Commerce and is completing a LLB degree.
Jody Jackson-Becerra of West Auckland is of Samoan heritage. She is currently the AUT external engagement manager based at their South Auckland campus. She was previously the Pacific stakeholder and engagement adviser for the University of Waikato. She holds a Master of Management Studies from the University of Waikato. She is currently the Chair of the Pacific Island Leader of Tomorrow programme and is the Alumni representative for the NZMFAT Pacific Scholars network.
Sara-Jane Elika has considerable experience of Pacific music and is also an experienced governor. She is a qualified barrister and solicitor. She currently operates a consultancy that specialises in music education and event management. She is a board member of the Greenlane Care and Education Trust, the Greenlane Christian Fellowship Trust board and is the Chair of Mata’aga A’oga Amata board. She is of Samoan heritage.
Dr Lesieli MacIntyre of Palmerston North is a current board member and the Secretary. She is a leading member of the Tongan community. She has extensive experience with, and deep knowledge of, young Pasifika persons through her roles as a senior lecturer in Pacific Education and as a Pasifika advisor at Massey University, Palmerston North, where she is currently based. As well as her extensive academic achievements, including a PhD in Education, Dr MacIntyre has worked with Volunteer Service Abroad and was co-director of a language and culture training programme for the US Peace Corps. Dr MacIntyre has published extensively in her specialist area of research into and the teaching of Pasifika students, and is currently serving on the board of the NZ Journal of Educational Studies and on the Early Education Journal Advisory Board.
Martha Samasoni, a Tokelauan of Wellington, has many years in the entertainment industry and has worked as a reporter and director in television, and as an announcer in radio. She is sought after in the music industry as a consultant. She has served as chair of the Wellington Pacific Artist network and represented the Tokelauan community on advisory committees for the Wellington City Council. She is a current board member and works as a human resources consultant in Wellington.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says this year’s Battle for our Birds pest control operations are now underway to protect our most vulnerable native wildlife from the scourge of rats and stoats fuelled by widespread forest seeding.
“Work at 34 sites covering more than 800,000 hectares of high value conservation land has begun and DOC field staff are monitoring another seven sites to see if rodents are at damaging levels,” Ms Barry says.
“We’ll be using aerial 1080 at around 29 sites to knock down rat, possum and stoat numbers and using traps and other ground-based methods at other more accessible sites.”
“Battle for our Birds will protect a dozen priority species of birds, bats, frogs, lizards and snails at risk of serious decline or local extinction and the predator control will also benefit many common native species and whole ecosystems.”
Battle for our Birds supports the Government’s ambitious Predator Free 2050 goal by controlling predators over large areas and also contributes to the interim goal to suppress rats, stoats and possums over a further million hectares by 2025.
“We’ve committed $21.3 million from Budget 2017 to fund Battle for our Birds to enable DOC to safeguard our vulnerable wildlife. It’s the second year running a programme of this scale has been undertaken and the third time since 2014,” Ms Barry says.
“This year’s beech mast affects mainly North Island forests as well as the northern South Island and western Otago areas. The plentiful seed is a food source that fuels rat populations and causes stoat numbers to explode if the rodents are not controlled.”
“Aerial 1080 is the most effective pest control method across large areas and difficult terrain and our monitoring shows it’s a very successful way of protecting vulnerable species and allowing birds to produce more chicks to sustain and grow their populations,” Ms Barry says.
“Without predator control only 1 in 20 North Island Brown kiwi will make it to their fourth birthday, when they are old enough to breed. With 1080 and trapping 12 chicks hatched in the wild survive to breeding age.”
“The story is similar for our river surfing blue duck, the whio – two ducklings from 3 breeding pair increases to six ducklings per 3 pair once predator control’s in place.”
“Our ground trapping work complements the aerial 1080 programme and will protect weta and native frogs in the King Country, orange-fronted parakeet in Canterbury, Haast tokoeka kiwi in Haast, takahē in the Murchison Mountains and the Stewart Island Dotterel.
A new round of pest control operations has just started and runs through to 2018.
- 25 million native birds are killed each year by predators like possums, rats and stoats.
- Battle for our Birds 2017 follows large-scale programmes in 2016 and 2014 after significant mast events in those years, largely in South Island forests.
- The 2016 BFOB programme controlled predators across about 820,000 hectares (about 770,000 aerial 1080 and more than 50,000 ground control) where it prevented rodent and stoat plagues and controlled possums to protect priority at-risk populations of threatened birds, bats and other native species.
- Results from long-term monitoring at Tongariro Forest Kiwi Sanctuary in the central North Island show that the survival of kiwi chicks to six months of age doubles in the two years after 1080 use compared to other years.
- The research shows that use of 1080 in a three-yearly cycle allows the kiwi population to grow at 4% per year.
- A recent five year study on the effects of 1080 on South Island kākā in South Westland showed that on average 55% of kākā nest were successful up to a year after 1080 treatment but less than 2% of nests produced chicks in a comparison area. This resulted in 30 times as many kākā chicks in the 1080 areas compared to where it wasn’t used.
- DOC is working closely with OSPRI in their TB-free possum control programme, as well as iwi and community-led nature projects, to maximise areas where predators are suppressed and benefits to wildlife.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has paid tribute to the work of Department of Conservation rangers as part of events to mark World Ranger Day today.
“DOC has more than a thousand rangers working across the country from the sub-tropical Raoul Island to the subantarctic islands. They’re out there year round, in all conditions, working hard to safeguard our unique wildlife and special places on behalf of all New Zealanders,” Ms Barry says.
“Rangers do vital work in DOC’s key programmes of Battle for our Birds and War on Weeds and play a vital role in Predator Free 2050 – the Government’s ambitious goal to rid New Zealand of possums, rats and stoats”
“There are now 9 new Predator Free Rangers across the regions who’ll work with local communities and volunteer groups to scale up predator control efforts. Backed by a $300,000 fund they will help get community-based initiatives started, provide advice to existing groups and be the point of contact to co-ordinate DOC rangers in every district to set up trap libraries and provide whatever help is needed.”
DOC rangers look after 13 national parks and many other conservation areas, 44 marine reserves, more than 14,000 km of tracks and over 300 campsites, 500 picnic areas and 900 huts.
“They do it all - rearing chicks, monitoring marine reserves, fighting wildfires, clearing tracks, trapping predators, spraying weeds, servicing huts, connecting kids with nature – it’s all in a day’s work for DOC rangers,” Ms Barry says.
“Our dedicated rangers are committed to making a difference for our natural environment. As the front-line of DOC they are important ambassadors and New Zealanders as well as overseas visitors consistently rate highly their contact with rangers.”
World Ranger Day is observed annually on the 31st of July to celebrate the work rangers do to protect the world’s natural and cultural treasures, as well as commemorate rangers killed or injured in the line of duty.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has congratulated the sixth Porirua suburb to join the predator free movement, boosting the number of city residents actively trapping rats to more than 500.
“Today Titahi Bay joins the fold and adds its efforts to the hundreds of Porirua residents who’ve already joined the Predator Free 2050 cause and been converted to rat killers over the past year,” Ms Barry says.
“The predator-free momentum in Porirua is tremendous, symbolising how far we’ve come since New Zealand’s Predator Free 2050 goal was announced just a year ago.”
“Backyard trapping is a huge part of making New Zealand of rat, possum and stoat free. Yet another predator-free suburb kicking off shows just how much enthusiasm there is from communities to get behind the idea.”
Titahi Bay locals follow residents in Plimmerton, Mana/Cambourne, Pukerua Bay, Papakowhai and Golden Gate who already have traps in their backyards.
“If we can make the Porirua harbour edge predator free native birds and lizards will return to people’s gardens where it’ll be safe for them,” Ms Barry says.
“The initiatives in Porirua are a great example of communities picking up the predator-free vision and running with it.”
“DOC has set up a team of nine Predator Free Community Rangers, backed with a contestable fund of $300,000. Their job is to use their expertise and skills to help communities like Titahi Bay scale up efforts, commit people to the cause and coordinate plans.”
With support from local DOC and Porirua City Council staff, community organisers supply traps and advice to their neighbours to control pests in their backyards.
“The number of predators caught is recorded centrally and residents see the rewards of fewer rats around their properties,” Ms Barry says.
“Up to 70 Titahi Bay residents will be supplied with free traps at today’s launch at the Titahi Bay Baptist Church at 10.”