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Grants continue to enhance natural environment

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL MEDIA RELEASE

29 May 2006

Grants continue to enhance natural environment

Projects that will help to re-establish native flora and fauna in the Hauraki Gulf Islands have received a boost through Auckland City's natural area conservation grants.

The Environment, Heritage and Urban Form Committee has approved grants totalling $50,000 for 16 different projects across the Hauraki Gulf Islands.

The committee chairperson, Councillor Christine Caughey, says the grants help to fund weed and pest control, re-vegetation and the protection of wildlife on the gulf islands.

"These projects are making a real difference to protect and enhance the native flora and fauna in some of the most ecologically precious areas of our city.

"This is hugely important work and some of these projects are making great steps forward in re-establishing native wildlife, such as the pateke or brown teal and the North Island robin.

"I'm thrilled that Auckland City is playing its part in helping to get valuable projects like this off the ground," Ms Caughey says. The natural area conservation grants were established in 2001 to encourage private landowners to manage their land in such a way as to halt the decline of native species.

The successful applicants include:

Recipient Amount Purpose Margaret Mills and Trevor Darvill Waiheke $1000 Planting edges of existing open water habitat.

Guy and Joyce Camilleri Waiheke $1000 Weed control in bush areas, and establishing and maintaining rat and rabbit bait stations.

Max and Judy Woodcock Waiheke $1000 Rat and other predator control and planting.

Ian Simpson Waiheke $600 Planting buffer zones for forest and stream protection, replanting areas cleared by weed control and pest control.

John MacGregor Waiheke $1500 Wetland fencing and planting. Great Barrier Island Charitable Trust Great Barrier Island $5000 Operations funding. Mulberry Grove School Great Barrier Island $1400 Brown teal habitat improvement education package.

Windy Hill Rosalie Bay Catchment Trust Great Barrier Island $8000 Pest management and species reintroduction (North Island robin).

Tony Bouzaid (Glenfern Sanctuary) Great Barrier Island $8000 Maintaining 604 pest control traps to protect reintroduced North Island robin and monitoring of brown teal.

The Orama Christian Community Trust Great Barrier Island $3000 Plant propagation, replanting, predator control, fencing and pine removal.

Awana Catchment Trust Great Barrier Island $7500 Predator control, managing brown teal and variable oyster catcher breeding grounds, education programmes and signage. Karen Walker Great Barrier Island $1400 Extending planting and pest management in brown teal and banded rail habitat.

Emma Waterhouse Great Barrier Island $1000 Native tree planting along a wetland. Noises Islands Family Trust $7500 Weed control to remove pampas infestation on Motuhoropapa and searching for phoenix palm seedlings and stinking iris on Otata.

Golden Heights Estate Ltd Rakino $600 Rhamnus and boxthorn eradication from native revegetation. Kevin Brennan Rakino $1500 Revegetation for bellbird and little blue penguin habitat

Applicants for the grants are assessed on how projects will improve the natural environment of land. The criteria include:

* significance - quality, rarity and the presence or absence of threatened species

* improvement - the anticipated improvement in the natural values that will result from the project

* protection - preference is given to existing protected areas.

ENDS

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