Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report on saving New Zealand’s native birds and her endorsement of Predator Free 2050.
“Dr Jan Wright identifies a broad range of important matters that are key to saving our treasured native birds, and reinforces DOC is on the right track with its species protection work,” Ms Barry says.
“Species protection is a battle for all New Zealanders and the report highlights the scale of the challenges we face. That’s why we launched Predator Free 2050, the Threatened Species Strategy, Battle for our Birds and the War on Weeds, and why we’re putting more money in to conservation than ever - $107 million extra in this year’s Budget.
“There are some valuable suggestions as to where efforts should be focused and I have asked officials to look further at the recommendations around translocations and community groups, to see where improvements could be made to existing programmes, or new initiatives assessed.
“Dr Wright has suggested a nature levy on overseas visitors but we think that’s a blunt instrument. A tax on tourists could deter people from visiting New Zealand and as a Government we are not in favour of it.
“What we do support, and what we are planning to implement, is a user-pays approach, with differential charging for huts, tracks and other conservation facilities.
“Through a new booking system we can ensure overseas visitors will pay higher fees than New Zealanders who already contribute to DOC through their taxes. The revenue will be reinvested in biodiversity protection, as well as upkeep and development of facilities.
“There is more conservation work being done in New Zealand than ever and progress is being made on biodiversity issues, as evidenced by the announcement next week of a new Deputy Director-General position to oversee all DOC’s biodiversity work.
“By the end of the year the independent crown company, Predator Free 2050, will announce its first large-scale predator control project and announce its first research funding decisions.
“We’ve also leveraged $100 million from partnerships over the past 6 years for species protection, and DOC is also working across Government to develop a well-coordinated plan for Predator Free 2050 including how we target predator control to best effect.
“I am confident we can save our threatened species if we all work together and as a Government we are committed to doing that and achieving our goal of a Predator Free New Zealand by 2050.”
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the Whio Recovery Programme has made considerable progress towards securing the future of the species.
“Through a $4.5 million partnership with Genesis Energy going back to 2011 we have effective predator control at eight sites and some protection at 17 other sites. There is a network of 5000 new stoat traps protecting 599 pairs of whio across the country,” Ms Barry says.
“In the Kahurangi National Park the number of whio has increased by 48 per cent from 29 pairs, when the last full survey was carried out five years ago, to 43 pairs today.”
“These results take us closer to our goal of Predator Free 2050 by proving that outstanding outcomes are achieved when you kill predators by using aerial 1080 over large areas of inaccessible landscapes to knock back stoat numbers, backed up with traps.”
The Battle for our Birds operations in 2014 and 2016 resulted in high duckling numbers of 65 and 40 respectively in Kahurangi, compared to less than 25 in years where there was no predator control.
“The 2017 Battle for our Birds will be the largest predator control operation in New Zealand history and is an integral part of DOC’s strategy to protect our vulnerable species and enhance our biodiversity,” Ms Barry says.
“The whio population is increasing in areas where there is predator control and the total population is estimated to be around 3000,” Ms Barry says.
Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry today announced the 2017 Green Ribbon Awards finalists, recognising exceptional environmental and conservation initiatives throughout New Zealand.
“These national awards, now in their 27th year, play an important role in celebrating and raising the profile of outstanding contributions by individuals, communities and organisations to protect and manage New Zealand’s environment,” Dr Smith says.
“The standard of nominations this year was particularly high and it’s great to see so many people and organisations stepping up to care for our environment. We received close to 150 nominations, from all corners of the country.”
Ms Barry says the finalists are doing exceptional work to conserve New Zealand’s unique environment and species for generations to come.
“What particularly stands out from the stories of our finalists this year is the leadership they have shown to deliver significant, tangible outcomes for the environment and conservation,” Ms Barry says.
“Many of the finalists have achieved remarkable results through community involvement and collaboration with others. They are examples of New Zealanders working together for the common good.”
The Green Ribbon Awards will once again include the presentation of the Loder Cup, which was first awarded in 1929.
“This is one of the country’s oldest conservation awards and recognises outstanding work to protect our native plants. The Green Ribbon Awards is a fitting opportunity to congratulate the winner of this special award,” Ms Barry says.
All Green Ribbon Awards finalists will be invited to attend a ceremony at Parliament on 8 June. Winners will be announced for each category, including the overall supreme winner. Read the finalists’ stories on the Green Ribbon Awards website www.greenribbonawards.org.nz
Finalists for 2017:
Minimising Our Waste: Webstar | Xtreme Zero Waste | Department of Corrections
Resilience to Climate Change: New Zealand Post | Post Nelson Ltd | Sustainability Trust
Protecting our Coasts and Oceans: Whaingaroa Harbour Care | Moana New Zealand and Sanford Ltd | Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand | South Taranaki Underwater Club
Protecting our Biodiversity:
Gisborne District Council | QEII National Trust and its covenanters | Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society | Stewart Island/Rakiura Community and Environment Trust
Caring for our Water: Whangawehi Catchment Management Group | Discover Waitomo | Wharekopae Catchment Group
Business Leadership: Air New Zealand | Nelson Mail, Fairfax Media | Countdown (Progressive Enterprises)
Community Leadership: Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust | Polhill Protectors | Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust
Leadership in Communication and Education: The Project Crimson Trust | Zealandia | Dargaville Intermediate School
Kaitiaki Leadership: Para Kore Marae Inc. | Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu
Philanthropy and Partnership: Taranaki Mounga Project Ltd | Genesis Energy | The Project Crimson Trust
Budget 2017 includes a significant investment in Radio New Zealand, as well as new funding to support the understanding of our most important national stories, Ms Barry says.
Radio New Zealand will receive an additional $11.4 million of operating funding over the next four years to allow for investment in new modern technology and improved capability.
“RNZ provides a high quality, responsive service. The new funding will ensure it remains an accessible and sustainable public broadcaster,” Ms Barry says.
“Like many New Zealanders, I was acutely aware of the importance of RNZ during the 2016 earthquakes. In times of pressure and emergency we look to certain organisations to help us through – RNZ is one of those organisations.’’
The Government will also provide a further $5 million of operating funding over the next three years for the Encounters 250 programme.
“Encounters 250 will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the first meetings of Māori and Europeans when James Cook and the Polynesian navigator Tupaia first circumnavigated and landed in 1769,” Ms Barry says.
“This new funding, which takes the total Government investment to $8.5 million, will ensure a special and accessible commemoration across the landing sites in 2019 that acknowledges the impact of that first meeting for all New Zealanders.”
Budget 2017 also provides $4.8 million of operating funding over the next four years for the operation of Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, the Queen Elizabeth ll Education Centre and for continued investment in newly found Māori heritage treasured objects taonga tuturu.
“British, Belgian and American memorials will be unveiled gradually through the year and a French memorial will be installed early next year at Pukeahu in time for ANZAC Day 2018,” Ms Barry says.
Our unique natural heritage is set to inspire New Zealand artists through an initiative announced today by the Minister of Conservation and the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Maggie Barry.
“Wild Creations will offer a range of opportunities to connect New Zealand artists with the people, stories and challenges of our distinctive natural culture - from spending time alongside a threatened species recovery team and tracking native bird predators, to accompanying volunteers on conservation projects,” Ms Barry says.
The programme is a collaboration between the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Creative New Zealand. The Minister made the announcement at Fort Takapuna, an historic DOC site near Auckland.
“Creative New Zealand will invest up to $36,000 (excluding GST) to support the initiative which will be used for artist stipends, travel and agreed costs associated with up to three proposals over one year. It’s likely to represent a particularly good return on investment when cost is measured against outcomes.”
“Wild Creations also represents a good return on investment for DOC, which is not making a direct financial contribution but is supporting artists with accommodation at DOC sites and transport to get there. The artwork produced will directly support several key objectives, including bringing our history to life, and connecting New Zealanders to conservation.”
“Not only will this programme inspire some of our most talented artists, the work they produce will help promote a wider understanding and awareness of conservation issues with New Zealanders.”
Up to three artists will get access to a range of DOC experiences between November this year and June 2018.
Wild Creations is a revitalised version of an earlier collaboration which ran between 2002 and 2012. The new programme offers a much wider range of opportunities for artists.
Minister Barry spoke alongside artist and previous Wild Creations recipient, Fiona Pardington, who talked about the value of her six-week experience in Central Otago.
“I have one of Fiona’s artworks at home – huia feathers – to remind me of the cost of extinction. Once something is gone, it’s gone forever,” Ms Barry says.
“Through the works produced by artists like Fiona, this programme will showcase the natural heritage of some of the wild places that many of us can’t or don’t get the chance to visit.”
The range of experiences on offer include:Experience of a place of particular significance to Māori A community group/volunteering/immersion experience An iwi engagement experience related to sites important to Tangata Whenua An experience involving a historic icon site managed by DOC A threatened species experience, such as working alongside the Kakapo recovery team An experience involving an island, such as being involved in tracking and trapping predators A coastal experience, such as being exposed to marine mammal monitoring An urban explorer experience, which brings people to the natural environment A remote experience such as staying in a warden’s hut over the winter.
More information on Wild Creations can be found on the Creative New Zealand website.
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry announced today the appointment of two new members to the board of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO), as well as the reappointment of the chair and two members.
“The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is world-class and is going from strength to strength with exciting programmes of performances. These appointments continue the orchestra’s strength of governance,” Ms Barry says
The two new board members are Sue Paterson of Wellington and Laurence Kubiak of Auckland.
Sue Paterson was the executive director of the NZ Festival from 2009 to 2017 and previously general manager of the Royal NZ Ballet.
Laurence Kubiak is the CEO of the NZ Institute for Economic Research and has performed as a professional musician in Europe.
The NZSO’s board chair Donald Best, and two current board members Dame Bronwen Holdsworth and Peter Biggs, have been reappointed for one year.
Minister Barry thanked retiring board member Lisa Bates for her contribution to the NZSO as a board member for six years.
Laurence Kubiak’s appointment commenced on 1 May for a three-year term. All the other appointments take effect from 1 August 2017 and last one year.
Donald Best, reappointed Chair and member
Donald Best is the current Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He has a broad range of commercial governance experience and has chaired other performing arts organisations. He has held a variety of commercial positions including partner, company secretary, director and managing director in a range of chartered accounting firms, property and asset management businesses.
Dame Bronwen Holdsworth DNZM, reappointed member
Dame Bronwen Holdsworth DNZM, a current board member, is the managing director of Pultron Composites Ltd. A keen musician and accomplished pianist, Dame Bronwen has been involved with a large number of music, visual art, education and business organisations. She is a strong supporter of the nationally recognised Gisborne Music Competition.
Peter Biggs CNZM, reappointed board member
Peter Biggs CNZM, a current board member, is chief executive of Assignment Group New Zealand. He was formerly chief executive of Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne and Wellington. A strong advocate of the arts, he was chair of the Arts Council of New Zealand (Creative New Zealand) from 1999 to 2006, and has been a member of numerous public and private sector boards.
Sue Paterson, new board member
Sue Paterson, a new board member, has more than 30 years’ experience in senior and general management roles in the cultural and government sectors. She was executive director of the New Zealand Festival from 2009 to 2017 and has worked with a number of different arts organisations including as general manager of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. She has significant experience serving on boards and will bring her commercial acumen, experience in marketing and fundraising, and knowledge of the cultural sector to the NZSO board. She is the 2017 Kiwibank Senior New Zealander of the Year.
Laurence Kubiak, new board member
Laurence Kubiak, a new board member, is currently the CEO of the New Zealand Institute for Economic Research. Previously he held a variety of roles with BT Global Services – the ICT partner for most of the world’s large multinational corporations. He is a regular commentator on economics, technology, innovation and market development. Mr Kubiak has had a lifelong passion for music and performed as a professional musician in Europe.
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry has announced the appointment of four new members to the Heritage New Zealand Board and to the Māori Heritage Council.
“The new members of the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Board are Bryce Barnett, Chris Cochran, Kim Ngārimu and David Nicoll and the new members of the Māori Heritage Council are Chris Cochran, Rebecca (Liz) Mellish and Paul White,” Ms Barry says.
“I’m pleased with the depth and breadth of experience on these two bodies which ensures the best of governance. Some members serve on both Board and Council.”
“I’d also like to thank outgoing Heritage NZ board members Wayne Marriott, Brian McGuinness and Storm McVay and Māori Heritage Council members Richard Bradley, Antoine Coffin and Wayne Marriott for their contribution over their three-year term.”
Minister Barry also announced the reappointment of four members to each organisation.
Heritage New Zealand’s responsibilities include protecting archaeological sites, identifying and recording heritage places and managing a portfolio of heritage properties.
The Māori Heritage Council’s responsibilities include listing Māori sacred sites and historic places of particular interest to Māori.
Biographies of all Board and Council members:
Rt Hon Wyatt Creech
Rt Hon Wyatt Creech is the Chair of Heritage New Zealand Board. He is a former Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand (1998–1999). Mr Creech was a cabinet minister for nine years and held a wide range of portfolios including Health, Education, Employment, Revenue and Deputy Finance. He served as an MP for 14 years, remains a Privy Councillor and has been awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. He was also the Chair of Healthcare of New Zealand Holdings Ltd (HealthCare NZ), and the New Zealand Fire Service Commission.
John Clarke (Ngāti Porou and Ngāpuhi) is a conjoint member of the Board and Council, and is the Chair of the Council. He is a former chief executive of the Ministry of Māori Affairs, Race Relations Conciliator and Human Rights Commissioner. He has also been a mediator contracted to the Crown Law Office, the Office of Treaty Settlements, Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Justice. He was also a member of the former Māori Heritage Council.
Sir Pita Sharples
Sir Pita Sharples (Ngāti Kahungunu) is a conjoint member of the Board and Council. Sir Pita brings a wealth of experience in governance and working with community organisations. He was a Member of Parliament from 2005 to 2014. He served as the Minister of Maori Affairs from 2008 to 2014 and was Co-Leader of the Māori Party from 2003 to 2014. Before entering Parliament, he had a wide- ranging career in education, including as a Visiting Associate Professor and Professor of the International Research Institute for Māori and Indigenous Education at the University of Auckland. He was Chief Executive of the Office of Race Relations from 1981 to 1990.
Bryce Barnett, a new member of the Board, is an experienced Chair, CEO and board member with diverse interests covering property, community and philanthropic support. His specialisation and passion is within the property industry, and manages Augusta Capital Ltd with a commercial property portfolio worth $1.6 billion. He is currently restoring a heritage property in Northland and is a Trustee of the National Military Heritage Charitable Trust which runs the Great War Exhibition. He is a trustee of Puke Ariki Development Trust and Chairman of the Taranaki Helicopter Trust.
Chris Cochran MNZM, a new member of the Board and Council, is one of New Zealand’s most experienced conservation architects, having worked for the Ministry of Works in an advisory role to Government on heritage buildings and then practised on his own account since 1988. Among the buildings he has worked on are Old St Paul's, Parliament Buildings and Futuna Chapel in Wellington, the Sarjeant Art Gallery in Whanganui, and the Scott and Shackleton huts in the Antarctic. In 2007, he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the conservation of historic buildings.
Naida Glavish (Ngāti Whatua), a member of the Council, has had an extensive career in Māori health services as a general manager. She has been a senior Te Reo Māori teacher. She lists 19 iwi, government and community organisations that she contributes to as a patron, chairperson, or member. She also represents the Auckland and Waitemataā District Health Boards on the Tāmaki Makaurau Regional Leadership Group for Whānau Ora. She has been a conjoint member of the Board and Council since 2011.
Patrick McGarvey (Tūhoe) is a Council member. He is a consultant on Māori issues, tikanga, Te Reo Māori, post settlement governance and the Treaty of Waitangi. He was the project leader in the development of a Tūhoe representation framework for the Tūhoe Trust. He is the Chair of the Te Komiti o Runga Tribal Authority and the Ohotu Marae Te Whānau Pani Hapū. He is a board member of the Tūhoe Trust, Tūhoe Fisheries Charitable Trust and Tāwera Bi-lingual School. Highly knowledgeable in the mechanics of local government and regional councils, he has provided advice to many local government agencies.
Rebecca (Liz) Mellish
Rebecca Elizabeth (Liz) Mellish (Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngāti Ruanui) is the current Chair of the Palmerston North Maori Reserve Trust (since 2012). A new member of the Council, she has held Trustee roles in the Ngahuru Charitable Trust, Wharewaka o Poneke Charitable Trust and Matiu Island Charitable Trust. Liz is also an adviser to the Lion Foundation, Director of Wharewaka o Poneke Enterprises Limited, member of Ara Tahi (committee of Greater Wellington Regional Council), Chair of the Roopu Tiaki and Chair of the Card Reserve Artificial Surface Trust.
Mary Neazor is a Board member. She is the former chief executive of Catholic Schools Board Ltd and has considerable experience with property issues. She is a former director of the Catholic Church Underwriting Agency (CCUA).
Kim Ngārimu (Te Aitanga ā Mate, Ngāti Porou) is a Council member and a new Board member. She was the Chair of the Officials Committee that supported the Cabinet Committee on Treaty of Waitangi negotiations. She is the director of consulting company, Tāua Limited, which provides public policy and management advice. She was deputy secretary at Te Puni Kōkiri for seven years and the acting chief executive of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs for six months in 2012. She was recently appointed to the Te Māngai Pāho board.
David Nicoll, a new member of the Board, is an Auckland lawyer with experience in governance and fundraising in the heritage and cultural sectors, including being a founding Trustee of the Auckland Museum Foundation. He is also associated with the Melanesian Mission and other Auckland heritage projects.
Paul White (Te Rarawa) of Northland, a new member of the Council, has been involved in Māori development for over 25 years and has wide experience in the public sector. He is currently a self-employed management and development consultant. He was the Chief Executive of Ngāi Tahu Development Corporation, regional director for Te Puni Kōkiri in Tai Tokerau, and branch manager for the Housing Corporation in Northland. He is a director of Top Energy Board, Chair of Te Rarawa’s asset holding company, a Te Rarawa representative on Te Hiku o te Ika Leadership Forum, and an elected negotiator for Te Rarawa’s Iwi Research and Development Group, which coordinates and integrates research at an iwi and hapu level.
A $3.4 million investment into the Taranaki Crossing is part of the Government’s plan to boost growth in Taranaki, Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry say.
The investment will over time form part of Taranaki’s Economic Action Plan as part of the Government’s Regional Growth Programme.
This week, Minister Bridges welcomed the launch of Make Way for Taranaki. The project, led by the region, will prepare an economic strategy and plan of action for Taranaki for the next 10 years.
“This is the first step in working towards an economic action plan for the Taranaki region,” says Mr Bridges.
“Taranaki performs well in sectors like dairy and energy, but there is significant scope to diversify products and investment, and build long-term resilience in the region.
“Tourism is one sector which has the potential for significant growth, having grown steadily over the last three years,” says Mr Bridges.
Ms Barry says the investment in the Taranaki Crossing forms part of a $76 million DOC tourism infrastructure package announced through Budget 2017.
“The Government’s announcement of $3.4 million towards enhancing the infrastructure on this crossing will support the development of what will be a truly world class experience in Taranaki,” says Ms Barry.
“We are developing a network of Great Short Walks and Great Day Walks because of increasing demand for activities that can be done in a day or less. Great Day Walks and Great Short Walks will give people more choices.”
“The DOC estate is our biggest and best-known tourism asset and the new walks networks will ensure we can maximise the tourism benefits for biodiversity and threatened species protection.”
“Overseas visitor numbers are set to reach 4.5 million in just five years and we need to be ready.
“Since 2013 DOC, with partners including Te Atiawa and Taranaki Tuturu Iwi, New Plymouth District Council, Taranaki Regional Council and Venture Taranaki Trust, has been examining options for improving access on what is now being called the ‘Taranaki Crossing’.
“Although much of the detail is yet to be worked out, including through further consultation with Iwi and hapū, the broad plan involves upgrading existing tracks, adding new bridges, toilets, signage and interpretation at an estimated $1.8 million. A further estimated $1.6 million will be required for on-going operating and maintenance, and other associated costs.”
The work is expected to be completed over a two to three-year period.
“We would also like to acknowledge the work of New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young who has worked tirelessly on this project over the last three years,” Mr Bridges says.
The Outdoor Recreation Consortium, which has been lovingly restoring and maintaining huts and tracks in the remote backcountry, is being given certainty of funding for the next two years.
The Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry has announced that the Consortium, led by Federated Mountain Clubs, New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association and Trail Fund New Zealand, will be granted $350,000 a year for the next two years from the DOC Community Fund.
“This group has done an excellent job of coordinating volunteers to paint and renovate huts that are off the beaten track, but are still hugely valued by hunters and trampers across the country,” Ms Barry says.
“A large portion of the funding goes towards flying materials into remote areas, while volunteers carry out the work on the ground. The work has encouraged volunteers to take ownership of the places they care about and it’s helped increase awareness of conservation issues.”
“Knowing they won’t need to apply for funding for the next two years should give the Outdoor Recreation Consortium space to look at a new self-sustaining funding model. DOC will work with them with this transition.”
The Outdoor Recreation Consortium has received approximately $1.2 million over the past three years to help maintain and enhance remote back country facilities that they value and enjoy.
“As a result the Consortium has maintained or enhanced 60 huts and 500 kilometres of track with 869 volunteers working in total for nearly 21,000 hours,” Ms Barry says.
DOC has more than 950 huts and 14,000 kilometres of track to maintain around the country and the partnership with the Outdoor Recreation Consortium contributes to the programme of developing these facilities so more people take advantage of the outdoors.
Further updates and examples of projects can be found at http://hutsandtracks.org.nz/project-blog