Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says successful breeding results for several of our most vulnerable native birds come as a result of using 1080 to kill predators.
“New results from a five-year study of South Island kākā nesting at Lake Paringa in South Westland show 30 times as many kākā chicks were produced and survived in the area after 1080 treatment to control stoats and possums compared to the area where no 1080 was used,” Ms Barry says.
“Put another way - 55% of kākā nests were successful up to a year after 1080 treatment but only 1.75% were successful where the compound was not used. 97% of adult kākā survived in 1080 treated areas."
“Results just in for the reclusive rock wren are also showing very high nesting success following aerial 1080 treatment last spring in Kahurangi National Park. Over summer we monitored 40 nests at three site and none were lost to stoats, and only 1 to rats,” Ms Barry says.
Last year DOC began a new study of great spotted kiwi in Kahurangi National Park to look at the benefits aerial 1080 pest control.
“It’s encouraging to see a significant proportion of the kiwi in our study are young birds – 10 of the 32 are juveniles that would have hatched since the Battle for our Birds (BFOB) aerial 1080 operation there in 2014. That’s a higher proportion of young birds than we’d normally see suggesting they are already benefitting from 1080 use,” Ms Barry says.
“Also in Kahurangi National Park as part of this year’s BFOB programme DOC is monitoring the kea population. So far all radio tagged kea have survived and 3 out of 6 monitored nests have successfully produced young kea with another nest still on the go.”
“DOC carefully tracked more than 20 kea during predator control operations in the park last year and none were lost to 1080 poisoning.”
The Government has committed $28 million over four years towards Predator Free 2050 - and momentum is growing as communities sign up to help make our ambitious plan a reality," Ms Barry says.
Background:Since August 2016 DOC has undertaken aerial 1080 and ground trapping operations at 23 sites in the North and South Island. There is just one 1080 pest control operation to go in the central North Island (30,000 ha) in May this year. The Battle for our Birds pest control programme is targeted at protecting some of our most vulnerable native species from introduced predators. They include kiwi, kākā, kea, whio/blue duck, mohua/yellowhead, kākāriki/orange-fronted parakeet, rock wren, long and short tailed bats and giant snails. Scientific monitoring from 2014 showed that mohua, rock wren, kea, robin and rifleman all had better nesting success and raised more young in areas with 1080 treatment than areas without. Monitoring has also shown the benefits of 1080 pest control to both long and short-tailed bats with bat colonies growing after pest control.
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry says applications for the third round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund (RCHF) are now open.
“The Fund was established to ensure people in regional areas have greater access to a range of enjoyable cultural experiences in quality venues. I’m committed to as many communities as possible having access to this multi-million dollar fund,” Ms Barry says.
“Round one saw $13.8 million dollars go to regional venues such as $10 million to the Sarjeant Gallery in Whanganui and $110,000 towards Gore’s Eastern Southland Gallery project to establish a Muka Studio Wing for its arts centre.”
“Applications for the second round of funding closed last month and the successful venues will be announced by mid-June.”
The fund is for regional cultural institutions, including performing arts venues, opera houses, art galleries, museums and whare taonga.
“Local and international tourists seek out heritage buildings. By offering distinctive cultural experiences in these buildings regions can help drive economic benefits for their communities,” Ms Barry says.
“Applications for new building projects, renovations and additions to these important institutions and venues in our communities will be considered in this third round.”
The RCHF is a contestable fund of last resort - to qualify applicants are required to show they have already secured funding from local government and community sources.
Round Three closes at 5pm on Friday 28 April with decisions made by mid-June.
Round one recipients:$10 million to Wanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery - tagged towards the redevelopment and seismic strengthening of its heritage-listed Queen’s Park building; $400,000 to the Whanganui Museum for its redevelopment; $368,000 towards Hamilton’s Meteor Theatre redevelopment; $1.5 million towards the restoration of the Nelson School of Music’s auditorium; $1.5 million towards Whakatane’s Museum and Research Centre redevelopment; $110,000 towards Gore’s Eastern Southland Gallery project to establish a Muka Studio Wing for its arts centre.
More information on the criteria and application process can be found at: www.mch.govt.nz/RegionalCultureHeritageFund
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has announced the temporary closure from today of the track leading to Tāne Mahuta, to install a footwear cleaning station as extra protection against kauri dieback for New Zealand’s largest kauri.
“Kauri dieback is the single biggest threat kauri have ever faced. It slowly starves a tree to death, infecting the roots and destroying tissues that carry water and nutrients,” Ms Barry says.
“People walking through a kauri forest can unknowingly spread through their footwear the microscopic spores that cause the disease. Nearly all infected kauri die and there is currently no cure.”
“It’s vital we keep the spores away from Tāne Mahuta. The track from State Highway 12 to the giant kauri is already all fenced boardwalk to prevent anyone leaving the track and the cleaning station is an additional protection measure.”
“The cleaning station will have brushes to remove mud and spray bottles with Trigene disinfectant to apply after all mud has been brushed off footwear. Trigene will kill kauri dieback spores on footwear, but only if the shoes are mud free,” Ms Barry says.
Te Roroa Manawhenua Trust Board Chairman, Sonny Nesbit, says kauri dieback is a very serious issue.
“The spread of this disease is a major threat to the health and wellbeing of kauri in the Waipoua Forest and throughout New Zealand. It will impact heavily on iconic trees such as Tāne Mahuta and Te Iwi o Te Roroa who have had a cultural and spiritual connection to this Ngahere for hundreds of years,” Mr Nesbit says.
The Tāne Mahuta track will be closed for a week - from today until Friday April 7 while the footwear cleaning station is installed, in time for the busy Easter holidays.
The Government is committed to ensuring the disease is met and beaten and in 2014 put $21.6 million towards preventing the spread of kauri dieback.
“26 high priority DOC tracks in the Bay of Islands, Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Tauranga and Waikato regions have already been upgraded. Boardwalks or plastic honeycomb cells filled with bark and gravel have been installed on 56 kilometres of track to make them dry and mud-free,” Ms Barry says.
DOC is planning upgrade work on a further 150 km of track and more cleaning stations in other kauri forests.
Background:Kauri grows in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, the Coromandel Peninsula, Great Barrier Island and the Bay of Plenty. Kauri dieback has been detected in Northland, the Waitakere Ranges, Great Barrier Island and on the Coromandel Peninsula. Kauri dieback has been in New Zealand since the 1950s, but was not formally identified until 2008. The multi-agency Kauri Dieback Management Programme (KDMP) was established in 2009 to combat the disease. The partners in the programme are: Tāngata Whenua, MPI, DOC and the councils in the regions where kauri grows. The Kauri Dieback Management Programme continues research into the origin of the kauri dieback, its spread and new ways to detect its presence.
Nominations for the 27th annual Green Ribbon Awards are now open, giving New Zealanders the chance to honour our environmental leaders, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry say.
“These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by individuals, communities and organisations to protect and enhance the environment. Previous years have showcased an impressive array of initiatives making a difference to our natural assets and wildlife,” Dr Smith says.
“The 10 categories include biodiversity, resilience to climate change, waste minimisation, caring for fresh water, coastal and ocean protection, leadership, philanthropy and partnerships, and the Supreme Winner category.”
Last year’s Supreme Winner as well as taking home the Community Leadership category was Te Whangai Trust.
“The Trust continues to change lives through its work with long-term unemployed, youth and people at risk, centred around conservation principles,” Ms Barry says.
“Every year Te Whangai provides half a million eco-sourced native plants and more than 156,000 volunteer hours and has made significant environmental gains in the Waikato region, restoring ecosystems, wildlife corridors and waterways."
“We will also be awarding the prestigious Loder Cup for outstanding contributions to the protection of our unique flora and fauna. The ornate cup gifted by Gerald Loder was first awarded in 1929.”
“The names engraved on the cup reflect a who's who of New Zealand conservation - Duncan and Davies, Dr Gerry McSweeny who was closely involved in the creation of DOC now celebrating its 30th birthday, and Clive Paton to name a few."
“There are many individuals and groups around the country fighting the War on Weeds and working towards Predator Free 2050 and we encourage them to nominate for the biodiversity category of the Green Ribbon Awards," Ms Barry says.
“We welcome the opportunity to raise the profile of environmental initiatives by communities, organisations and workplaces through these awards, and want people to share stories about what they've learned. We invite all the finalists to an awards night banquet at Parliament and for many who work in isolation, they relish the chance to celebrate conservation achievements and network with people who share their enthusiasm for protecting our nature," the Ministers say.
Entries for the Green Ribbon awards close on 10 May with the finalists to be announced at Parliament on June 8.
See more details at www.greenribbonawards.org.nz
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry congratulates the Department of Conservation (DOC) on its 30th birthday and three decades of protecting our natural heritage.
“DOC can be rightly proud of its many achievements and successes with vulnerable species since April 1 1987. The recovery of the kakapo from the brink of extinction is one example. Numbers have gone from 50 birds in the early 1990s to now beyond 150, including a record breeding season this past year,” Ms Barry says.
“From the outset DOC has been bold, innovative and a world leader in protecting our natural heritage and providing places for New Zealanders to live, work and play.”
“The department manages nearly a third of New Zealand’s public land or 8.5 million hectares, 44 marine reserves, 14,000 km of tracks and more than 950 huts. 48% of New Zealanders or 1.6 million people enjoy these spaces.”
“The current Director General, Lou Sanson, has ‘DOC in his DNA’ and he personifies our conservation values. With the support of his strong senior management team - Mervyn English, Bruce Parkes, Mike Slater, Kay Booth, Christeen Mackenzie and Tata Lawton - he leads a dedicated and enthusiastic department and the staff do an outstanding job.”
“The past 30 years have been a major team effort resulting in outstanding conservation gains across communities, iwi, public and private sectors.”
“Predator Free 2050, War on Weeds and Battle for our Birds are major government initiatives led by DOC and we know we can rely on more of that great teamwork in the years ahead. That’s why I’m so confident we will be able to deliver the massive benefits of Predator Free 2050 for our threatened native species.”
“DOC will be 63 by the time New Zealand is predator free and I’m sure its rangers will still be the frontline heroes fighting for our natural heritage and vulnerable species.”
“Celebrations won’t be lavish and will be low key in the time honoured DOC tradition. We begin with a small lunchtime gathering at North Head in Devonport today for current and former staff members, friends and local community supporters. That’ll be followed by a BBQ at Lou’s place over the weekend.”
Key milestones for DOC over the last 30 years:There is more conservation work being done in New Zealand that at any time in our history DOC has more work programmes across ecosystems (about 500) and threatened species (about 300) than ever before. DOC leads the Government’s Predator Free 2050 goal and the scientifically proven, successful use of 1080. Management of threatened species has reduced the level of threat for many species and has brought some back from the brink of extinction. Vast improvements in recreation management and the establishment of the Great Walks as popular outdoor experiences. Solid relationships with Treaty partners have been developed and maintained. The addition to the conservation estate of land 3 times the size of Stewart Island and the expansion of the Marine Reserves Network to encompass 44 diverse marine reserves.
Note: The Department of Conservation was formed by bringing together the conservation parts of the Forest Service, the Department of Lands and Survey and the Wildlife Service.
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry says New Zealand’s First World War stories have been brought to life through a series of short animated videos, with the first released today.
“The videos highlight the different perspectives and experiences of New Zealanders during the war - from willing participants and conscientious objectors, to the destruction seen on the Western Front, to the longing for home and loved ones,” Ms Barry says.
“In the lead up to Anzac Day, WW100 – the First World War Centenary Programme - is releasing five animated videos exploring personal stories from Ngā Tapuwae (the footsteps) New Zealand First World War Trails.”
“I offered to narrate the captivating personal stories for Ngā Tapuwae Western Front in memory of my grandfather - as I did for Ngā Tapuwae Gallipoli trails. More than 12,400 New Zealanders lost their lives in the horrific conditions of the Western Front and the new video series brings another dimension to these moving stories.”
“The first video introduces us to the men and women whose experiences are explored in the video series and encourages us to follow in their footsteps.”
Through the videos we meet:James Williamson and Mark Briggs. This video highlights the contrast in experiences between those soldiers who were determined and willing to fight and the hardship endured by the conscientious objectors who were forced to go to war. John A Lee and Vieira Currie. While destruction surrounded those at war, this video shows the glimmers of beauty that shone through in the landscapes and architecture of foreign lands. Ellen Knight (a mother of soldiers) and Chaplain Hēnare Te Wainohu. This video expresses the absence felt by all during the war - both people at home and those serving offshore.
The final video wraps up the series and invites viewers to delve deeper into New Zealand’s First World War story.
To watch the first video in the series, visit facebook.com/NgaTapuwaeNZ
To explore Ngā Tapuwae New Zealand First World War Trails visit ngatapuwae.govt.nz
To find out more about the WW100 programme, visit WW100.govt.nz
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry congratulates DOC’s Takahē Recovery Programme, Ngāi Tahu and Fulton Hogan, who are celebrating the best ever breeding season for the critically endangered takahē.
“For the third year running chicks have been produced in record numbers, both in the wild and predator-controlled sanctuaries. 50 takahē juveniles were produced this year across the captive breeding population and a further 16 birds by the wild population in the Murchison Mountains,” Ms Barry says.
“With 66 chicks hatched, the programme has seen an unprecedented 40 per cent increase on last year’s record of 47. Takahē were once thought extinct, but their numbers are growing all the time and the population reached a milestone 300 birds last year.”
“Outside of the wild population and DOC’s Burwood breeding centre, takahē are located at 17 sanctuaries around the country. It’s the dedication and hard work of staff and partner organisations that makes a real difference to the success of the Takahē Recovery Programme,” Ms Barry says.
“Fulton Hogan signed up as the national partner for the Recovery Programme in July 2016 and with their support the Programme is on track to establish a second wild population on the mainland.”
“In preparation for life in the wild 12 of this season’s juveniles from Orokonui EcoSanctuary, Te Anau Wildlife Sanctuary, Cape Sanctuary and Mana and Tiritiri Matangi islands will be transferred to the Burwood breeding centre in April. The young birds will learn vital skills such as tussock feeding from established birds.”
“We’re hoping that in a year’s time these birds will be ready to go into the wild either joining those in the Murchison Mountains or into an as yet undetermined new second site.”
“The Murchison birds are protected by New Zealand’s largest stoat-trapping network. Every three months 2,500 traps are checked, cleared and reset. It’s an example of the dedication and team effort needed to make New Zealand Predator Free by 2050.”
“As well as Fulton Hogan, DOC has strong and ongoing support from Ngāi Tahu and Mitre 10, the programme’s official supplier. This partnership a successful network of scientists, veterinary support, and public and private organisations all working towards increasing takahē numbers,” Ms Barry says.
“Today, Fulton Hogan staff and their families get to see first-hand at Orokonui EcoSanctuary near Dunedin the work bringing these critically endangered birds back from the brink of extinction. “
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry says two industrial buildings will receive the first funding from a new grant specifically for earthquake strengthening privately-owned heritage buildings.
“The National Tobacco Company Building in Napier and the former Union Steamship Company store in Dunedin will receive grants from the new Heritage EQUIP fund,” Ms Barry says.
The Heritage Earthquake Upgrade Incentive Programme (EQUIP) and Retrofit Funds can be applied for at any time, with an expert panel assessing applications three times a year.
“A $12,000 grant for the Union Steamship store will be used to strengthen one of its floors as part of a major refit to apartments and offices. With a rates relief package from the Dunedin City Council, this building and others are part of the revitalisation of Dunedin’s warehouse precinct.
“The National Tobacco Company building is one of Napier’s most distinctive art-deco structures and a major tourist attraction. The $10,000 will be used for parapet strengthening.
“Faced with seismic strengthening work, heritage building owners often face challenges finding technical advice, skilled labour and money. Heritage EQUIP is designed to help and a web-based information package will be rolled out soon to support owners.
“I encourage building owners considering earthquake upgrade work to visit the Heritage EQUIP website, www.mch.govt.nz/heritageequip,” Ms Barry says.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says DOC is on the brink of eradicating the invasive weed Spartina in the Marlborough Sounds and Golden Bay.
“Spartina, one of the Dirty Dozen weeds targeted in the War on Weeds 2017, clogs waterways. It’s a prime example of an introduced plant brought in to reclaim land for grazing that has run rampant and is badly affecting waterways,” Ms Barry says.
“It’s changed the natural flows of rivers and tidal channels and impacted shellfish, fish and wading birds.”
“Congratulations to the staff who’ve waged war on this this particular weed for more than 40 years – your tenacity and dedication has paid off. Recent surveys indicate it’s eradicated from the Wairoa River, Muddy Creek and Farewell Spit in Golden Bay, and from Queen Charlotte Sound.”
Spartina is well controlled in Canterbury, where the Department of Conservation, the Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury are close to wiping it out.
“We still have work to do to eradicate it from Southland, Motueka and Otago, but we are confident that given these successes we will get rid of it there as well,” Ms Barry says.
“We can all help protect our natural areas from these invaders by joining the War on Weeds, disposing of any weeds sensibly and by choosing their plants carefully.”
The DOC Community Fund will distribute more than $4 million in 2016-17 to organisations ranging from small community groups to national partnerships for the War on Weeds.
The fund was set up in 2014 to distribute $26 million over four years to inspire and enable these sorts of projects around New Zealand.
For more on the War on Weeds and the Dirty Dozen for 2017, visit www.doc.govt.nz.
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry says the ties between New Zealand and Turkey were strengthened further today with the unveiling of the Turkish Memorial at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.
“It’s fitting that the second memorial to take its place at the park is Turkish as it was Gallipoli where the ANZAC tradition was born. Designed by New Zealand artist Captain Matt Gauldie it features Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s 1934 words of reconciliation, and a Turkish red pine (pinus brutia) descended from the original Lone Pine at Gallipoli,” Ms Barry says.
“The lone pine and the new cast-iron memorial will be illuminated every night and complements the existing Atatürk Memorial in Seatoun, which was installed in 1990.”
“This week also marks the 102nd anniversary of the Dardanelles naval campaign, which prompted the assault on Gallipoli.”
Ms Barry says the Turkish memorial is one of four planned for Wellington War Memorial Park this year.
“British, Belgian and American memorials will be unveiled gradually through the year – their designs are still under wraps. A French memorial will be installed early next year in time for ANZAC Day 2018.”
“Each is a testament to our international relationships, and the shared values, the freedoms and the quality of life our countries have fought for and continue to support today.”
The Australian memorial was the first to be installed at Pukeahu before ANZAC Day 2015.