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  • Writer's pictureForest Lifeforce

Hawke’s Bay conservation know-how spreads south to the Fiords

A Hawke’s Bay-based conservation trust is sharing experience and insights with the residents and land-owners of a remote Fiordland valley to help restore native plant and animal species to remote tracts of South Island bush. The move is part of the spread of private conservation initiatives across New Zealand, encouraged and supported by the Department of Conservation (DOC).

The Forest Lifeforce Restoration (FLR) Trust runs eight regeneration and restoration projects on inland Hawke’s Bay properties in the Maungataniwha Native Forest south of Te Urewera National Park, and at Pohokura between Rotorua and Taupo. It is sharing expertise and lessons from 13 years of operation with a newly-established community conservation trust in Fiordland called The Hollyford Conservation Trust, set up by landowners and the community of Martin’s Bay, near Lake McKerrow.

The aim of the South Island venture is to work in partnership with DOC to rid the Lower Hollyford Valley of rats, stoats and possums in order to halt the decline of native species and, ultimately, to re-introduce species now locally extinct.

FLRT Chairman Simon Hall is a Trustee and financial backer of The Hollyford Conservation Trust. He and FLRT forest manager Pete Shaw are working with the Fiordland group in an advisory capacity, helping to develop an operational plan and sharing experience and insights to help make the initiative a success.

Mr Hall encouraged the landowners around Lake McKerrow to set up the initiative and representatives from the South community spent some time at Maungataniwha to see what the FLRT had achieved in the areas of predator eradication and forest and species restoration, particularly with kiwi, whio and the spectacular kakabeak shrub.

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