Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Fire risk triggers part closure of Matiu/Somes Is.

Fire risk triggers partial closure of Matiu/Somes Island

Heightened fire risk resulting from a dry, hot start to summer has triggered the restriction of public access to Matiu/Somes Island in Wellington harbour from Christmas Eve.

DOC Wellington Conservancy fire officer Rachael Thorp said the fire risk was rising daily as high temperatures dried out the grass and the regenerating forest on the island. Occasional showers were having little effect.

To protect public safety and conservation values the island will be closed to the public daily from 1pm to 8am the following day from 24 December 2007 until further notice.

“By 1pm the vegetation becomes so dry that it wouldn’t take much to ignite,” Ms Thorp said.

“A fire would spread rapidly in the current weather conditions posing a risk to public safety and having a devastating impact on historic and ecological conservation values. Twenty-five years of restoration effort could be lost in as little as 30 minutes in these conditions.”

Ms Thorp said the isolation of the island would also make evacuation extremely difficult and create problems for fire fighters. A continuation of the dry weather could see the island completely closed to visitors.

“We are aware of the inconvenience that closures may cause but we must put the safety of people and protection of the plants and animals first. The situation will be monitored daily and the partial closure will be reassessed if conditions change. ”

The warm days and calm seas have also led to an increase in the number of kayaks and boats landing on the island, prompting a reminder that landings are only permitted on the northwestern jetty.

“We have these rules in place so we can protect the special biodiversity values of the island, says island ranger Jo Greenman.

“A fire or other biosecurity risk, such as a rat, could cause huge devastation on the island,”
Matiu/Somes Island is home to tuatara, kakariki, North Island robin, giant weta and species of seabird such as oyster catchers, which are currently nesting. The island also provides habitat for geckos and skinks and is an important historic site.

While access has been restricted to Matiu/Somes Island, there are many other conservation areas to visit in the Wellington region. Information about places to visit in Wellington can be found on the Department of Conservation website :www.doc.govt.nz/parks and recreation/places to visit/wellington or from the Wellington Visitor Centre in Manners Street, Wellington. Phone: 04 384 7770


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election