Bold predator-free vision for Whangarei city
A new conservation project to create a predator-free urban environment for Whangarei’s central city is underway.
Tiakina Whangarei is a community-led project with the backing of two key partners, NorthTec and Northland Regional Council, and the support of many other environmentally-focused organisations. Tiakina, meaning ‘to look after’ or ‘care for’, was chosen as the project name to encourage everyone living, working or playing in Whangarei to get involved.
NorthTec Environmental Management tutor Dai Morgan believes more and more people are looking for opportunities to connect with, and care for, the environment.
“Tiakina Whangarei is the perfect way for people to get involved in what’s happening in their own backyard. We want to empower people to learn more about the natural biodiversity in their environment and know how they can make positive change.”
Similar projects in other cities, such as Wellington and New Plymouth, are proving very successful, and Dai says the effects are amazing.
“People are really noticing the changes. Bird numbers are increasing significantly, new species are returning to the city and native flora and fauna in local parks is flourishing.”
Dai says Whangarei city has the benefit of being surrounded by other successful conservation projects such as Matakohe Limestone Island, Dragonfly Springs Wetland Sanctuary, Parihaka Community Landcare and Pukenui Western Hills Forest Charitable Trust.
“There are many people who have been actively managing predators in their own backyards and local reserves for years. Tiakina Whangarei gives these people a chance to be acknowledged and to join forces with their neighbours, to increase the impact of their efforts.”
Tiakina Whangarei representatives are available to come and talk with anyone interested in the project.
“We’ve already met with a number of school and community groups and the response has been fantastic. We’re really keen to hear from anyone who would like to learn more, whether it be a community group, school, sports club, or simply a group of neighbours from your street. Essentially, we want to identify the barriers that are stopping conservation action, and remove them.”
Tiakina Whangarei is selling $10 rat trap kits, as an easy way for everyone living or working in the city to get involved. Kits are available from the Northland Regional Council in Water Street, and there will also be a special information stand at Whangarei Quarry Gardens this Saturday from 10am-2pm.
“We hope the rat trap kits will be a great learning tool for the whole family, as well as starting more conversations about conservation and how we can all get involved.”