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Aotea Conservation Park huge boost for Great Barrier

Aotea Conservation Park huge boost for Great Barrier

Auckland Mayor Len Brown is describing the establishment of the Aotea Conservation Park on Great Barrier Island as a huge boost for the island, particularly in the wake of recent damaging storms.

The establishment of the 12,109 hectare park was announced today (Sunday) by Conservation Minister Nick Smith, and the Mayor was represented at the ceremony on the island by local ward councillor, Mike Lee.

Len Brown says: “The June storms were the worst in memory for many islanders, with the heaviest rain in more than half a century in some places.

Auckland Council has already spent $750,000 on the clean-up, repairing roads and replacing infrastructure, with the total cost likely to be $6-8 million.
I want to thank the people of the island for their resilience and their patience and most of all, their can-do attitude during this process.

The announcement of the conservation park is very timely in the wake of the storm damage.

The park makes up almost 44 percent of the land area of Great Barrier Island and is a similar size to Auckland Council’s regional parks in the Hunua and Waitakere Ranges.

I have no doubt that over time, the establishment of the park will see more people from Auckland, New Zealand and internationally visit Great Barrier Island, and will be a big boost to the island’s tourism industry.”

Waitemata and Gulf Islands Councillor Mike Lee says: “The new park will provide greater protection and showcase one of the greatest areas of kauri forest in northern New Zealand. I and look forward to being back on the island for the formal opening of the park over the summer.

It proves the commitment of central and local government to the future of the island and is also a great example of the partnership between Auckland Council and the Department of Conservation.

The partnership signed two years ago strengthens the management of open spaces, natural heritage and wild places on the Barrier and across Auckland.

I can think of no better example of that partnership in action than what is happening on Great Barrier Island in the wake of last month’s storms and as we work together towards the creation of this conservation park.”

Ends

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