Excellence in Parks - Environmental Winner:
Department of Conservation, NZ for the Rangitoto/Motutapu Pest Eradication project
Project Overview: The Rangitoto and Motutapu pest eradication project aims to enhance the ecological, recreational and cultural values of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park by removing seven pest species from the two islands (3,842ha). For the first time five pest species were eradicated from a large area and prevented from reinvading highly accessible and intensively visited islands.
While led by the DOC the project is a collaboration between a number of stakeholders and presents an unrivalled opportunity to engage the community in conservation.
Judging Panel Overview: The judges felt that this was an extremely high quality application which clearly articulated the goals and planning process. There was excellent community involvement and the project provides ongoing monitoring and learning opportunities.
Comment from Brett Butland, Auckland Area Manager, Department of Conservation
I am delighted to convey news that the Rangitoto/Motutapu pest eradication programme has received the Parks Forum's Excellence in Parks - Environmental award.
The programme has been, and remains, a team effort under the design, guidance and project management of Richard Griffiths and Fin Buchanan. Contributions by Departmental staff, Ngai Tai, Ngati Paoa, Ngati Whatua o Orakei, Te Kawarau a Maki, RIHCT, RIBCA, MOEC, MRT, MFL, POAL, Fullers and ARC, to name a few, have been significant and contributory to this success.
Recognition by the Forum is significant and this is a very proud moment for us to collectively reflect on. The Parks Forum is a body for park management organisations, with members across the UK , Australia and New Zealand involved with wilderness and protected areas and parks.
Comment from Chris Fletcher, Chairperson of the Motutapu Restoration Trust
As the chairperson of the Motutapu Restoration Trust, I wish to thank Brett Butland for bringing this award to our attention.The award conveys a strong sense of honour and achievement for the collective efforts of all of the voluntary organisations that serve the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
The pest eradication project for Rangitoto and Motutapu was hard fought for. It does now convey a sense of significant achievement for everyone associated and for the opportunities it opens up within the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
It has been a pleasure for our Trust to have been involved from the beginning. We have enjoyed supporting the team with advocacy to the Auckland Regional Council for consenting purposes. I want to thank iwi particularly for their support and acknowledge the work of Mary Flaws and her courageous submissions in the light of much opposition on behalf of our Trust. I know too, that the resource consents would not have been granted without the support of and careful advocacy by Councillor Dianne Glenn. I wish to pay tribute to their work with the Auckland Regional Council.
l also need to acknowledge the generosity of our farmer and trustee, Rick Braddock. It was not an easy task for him to agree to destock the island and bring forward his right of concession to farm the island. He chose to embrace a greater vision for the island and Gulf over his personal finances. Rick could see the broader picture for Auckland and conservation and I want to thank him for his generosity of spirit.
Lastly, I know nothing would have happened without the skills and leadership of Brett Butland at the Department of Conservation and his support for Richard Griffiths. On behalf of the Motutapu Restoration Trust, thank you Brett and Richard for your professionalism and profound commitment to conservation.