Conservation Minister Maggie Barry today announced an eco-sanctuary will be created on Farewell Spit in a partnership between DOC and natural health and wellness retailer HealthPost.
Ms Barry says Collingwood-based HealthPost aims to raise $100,000 a year to fund ecosystem restoration and native species protection on Farewell Spit and adjoining public conservation land.
“Farewell Spit is internationally important as a wetland and sanctuary for migrating wading birds and it has the highest level of protection as a Nature Reserve. More than 90 bird species live in its diverse habitats that include salt marshes, mudflats and sand dunes,” Ms Barry says.
“The new partnership will enhance the exceptional Farewell Spit ecosystems and its pest control will also contribute to our goal of making New Zealand predator-free by 2050.”
“The initial phase of the project will focus on 900-hectare area at the base of Farewell Spit. It includes forest and wetlands and takes in the cliffs around Cape Farewell which are home to colonies of seabirds, including fairy prions, petrels and shearwaters.”
“Trapping will control pests including possums, rats and stoats and small fenced pest-free areas for seabirds will also be established on the cliffs, particularly to protect the birds from wild pigs.”
“Once predators have been reduced, it is aimed to reintroduce species such as brown teal/pāteke and the rare Nelson green gecko,” Ms Barry says.
HealthPost staff have already begun planting native species such as spinifex and sand coprosma in the dunes near Triangle Flat.
“The Wharariki and Triangle Flat area attracts an estimated 70,000 plus visitors a year and this ecosystem enhancement will give them the thrill of seeing thriving native wildlife on the coast and in the forests and wetlands,” Ms Barry says.
“It’s expected to be able to extend the project to Farewell Spit itself within five years to the cover 3,000 hectares.”
51 black stilt, the world’s rarest wading bird, are being released at Mount Gerald station in the Mackenzie basin today.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the birds will add to the 60 released into the Tasman valley earlier this month, significantly boosting the wild population.
“DOC works really hard on black stilt (kakī) recovery, controlling predators in their braided river habitats and hatching and rearing chicks in aviaries before releasing them into the wild. This programme has helped build numbers in the wild from a low of 23 to more than 106 adult birds today,” Ms Barry says.
“The release is a textbook example of collaboration between DOC, the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust and a private landowner for the benefit of this extremely rare bird.”
“DOC’s been working with Mount Gerald Station over the last two years to use the area’s highly-suitable habitat for the release. The station owner has been hugely supportive, letting DOC trap predators on station land, allowing daily access to the release site, and providing accommodation for onsite feeding and monitoring staff.”
“The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust bred all the birds released today at its chick-rearing facilities in Christchurch,” Ms Barry says.
Additional support for the birds has recently come from Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) which is funding a replacement aviary for one destroyed in a snow storm in 2015, in time for this year’s breeding season.
Almost all the Black stilt’s wild population is restricted to the South Island’s Mackenzie basin.
“They are so vulnerable to being killed by feral cats, stoats and ferrets that only about 30% of captive-reared young birds survive to breeding age in the wild so their only viable long-term future is to make their habitat predator free and clear from invasive weeds,” Ms Barry says.
“The survival rate has increased to 49% in the past three years since DOC stepped up its predator control work in the Tasman valley.”
“While it’s not yet feasible to control predators over the entire area where black stilt range, DOC is exploring a wider partnership opportunity to introduce landscape-scale predator control in the Mackenzie.” Ms Barry says.
“This initiative would directly contribute towards New Zealand’s goal of becoming predator-free by 2050 and would completely change the future for black stilt (kakī) and other at-risk species in the area.”
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 Minister Maggie Barry has announced government funding for Masterton’s Shear History Trust.
“The Trust has developed a museum dedicated to the national story of sheep and shearing and this almost $23,000 will complete the final electrical fit-out stage of its new building at the Woolshed heritage centre in Masterton,” Ms Barry says.
“Its new building will enable the museum to better care for its valuable collection of exhibits telling the interesting stories of New Zealand’s shearing industry and rural life.”
“This is a small museum, run by dedicated volunteers, and it attracts about 8000 visitors a year. I am pleased the electrical fit-out will see further exhibition space developed.”
“The Woolshed heritage centre is also an active supporter of the annual Golden Shears Competition and this grant recognises the positive regional impact the close association provides,” Ms Barry says.
The funding is the sixth and final allocation from round two of the 2017 Regional Culture and Heritage Fund (RCHF).
Previous announcements include $4m for the Hawke’s Bay Opera House, $3m for Whangarei’s Hundertwasser Art Centre, $1m for Foxton's Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, $900,000 for the ASB Theatre Complex in Blenheim and $1.08 million to the Rakiura Heritage Centre Trust in Stewart Island.
“I established $29.5m fund in 2016 for capital projects benefitting regional arts, culture and heritage institutions,” Ms Barry says.
“They make an important contribution to the national economy by helping communities to attract the economic and social benefits of new visitors, businesses and residents to New Zealand’s smaller towns and cities.”
For further information: www.mch.govt.nz/RegionalCultureHeritageFund
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.