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ARC supports Motutapu Restoration Trust's Work

The ARC supports the work of the Motutapu Restoration Trust

15 November

The Auckland Regional Council chairman Michael Lee, is urging people across the Auckland region to support the work of the Motutapu Restoration Trust.

Speaking, at the launch of the Motutapu Foundation this morning, Mr Lee said the ARC fully supports the Trust's work.

Motutapu Restoration Trust chair Christine Fletcher says the Foundation's funding will allow the Trust to get on with the island’s restoration.

The Foundation will help fund projects such as the important ecological restoration programme, developing Reid Homestead into a visitor centre, reopening the Home Bay wharf and creating the educational centre for sustainability.

Mr Lee told the gathering that the ARC actively supports the total restoration initiative for Motutapu and Rangitoto recently announced by the Prime Minister Helen Clark and Minister of Conservation Chris Carter, and is committing staff, resources and expertise to the restoration and protection project.

This new initiative will see the removal of all animal pests from both Motutapu and Rangitoto islands and reintroduction of wildlife.

Auckland Regional Council Parks and Heritage Chair Sandra Coney says: “Rangitoto is the dominant landscape form which defines the Auckland region. It has major historic, cultural and natural significance. We all want to see the islands flourish and restored to their natural state.”

Mr Lee says Motutapu and Rangitoto Islands together will create a wildlife sanctuary about twenty times the size of Tiritiri Matangi, twice the size of Kapiti Island and significantly larger than Hauturu (Little Barrier Island) – New Zealand’s other major island wildlife sanctuaries. The sanctuary, which will be restocked with indigenous birds and wildlife, will have major benefits for biodiversity, tourism, education and Aucklanders’ quality of life, he says.

The scale and close proximity to Auckland, the country’s major population centre, makes the ecological restoration of Motutapu and Rangitoto a project of international significance, says Mr Lee.

“It will breathe life into the Hauraki Gulf marine park," says Mr Lee.

ends

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