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Ports of Auckland formerly hands over Pollen Is

Friday 9 December 2005

Ports of Auckland formerly hands over Pollen Island

Today Ports of Auckland formally handed over Pollen Island to the Department of Conservation who will manage it as a protected scientific reserve within New Zealand’s conservation estate.

Gathered to mark the occasion were the Minister of Conservation, the honourable Chris Carter, and representatives of Ports of Auckland, DOC, Auckland Regional Council, Auckland Regional Holdings, Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society, Friends of the Whau and Pollen Island Care Group.

Pollen Island is a 29 hectare wetlands area located in the inner Waitemata Harbour and is an important feeding ground for several endangered birds, home to a rare moth (scientific status yet to be confirmed) and a species of beetle.

Ports of Auckland is transferring the island to the Crown as part of an agreement on the vesting of land reclaimed for an extension of Axis Fergusson, the container terminal at the eastern end of the Port of Auckland.

Conservation Minister Chris Carter said Pollen Island would be a valuable addition to the conservation estate. “It’s a special place with one of the last bits of largely unmodified habitat left in the Waitemata Harbour and rare birds surviving only metres from a busy motorway in the middle of New Zealand’s most urban marine reserve.”

Ports of Auckland Chief Executive Geoff Vazey said: “Handing over Pollen Island in exchange for title to the Axis Fergusson extension is a win-win for the people of Auckland. We all get to enjoy a new scientific reserve with unique flora and fauna and we all benefit from a modern, efficient and sustainable port.

“The extension to Axis Fergusson means Ports of Auckland is able to meet the needs of customers and the requirement for extra container handling space into the future.”

The Auckland Harbour Board earmarked Pollen Island for future port development in the 1960s. Ports of Auckland bought the island when it purchased the assets of the former Harbour Board in 1988.
Pollen Island

Pollen Island is an area of saltmarsh and mangroves between Te Atatu and Point Chevalier beside the North-Western Motorway. It is considered to be one of the best remnants of native coastal vegetation around the Waitemata Harbour.
Together with the nearby Traherne Island and surrounding intertidal mudflats, it forms an important habitat for thousands of international migratory and New Zealand endemic wading birds, as well as a variety of threatened secretive coastal birds.

Among these is an important population of the regionally threatened fernbird. Pollen Island is also the home of the small Batrol moth.
Motu Manawa (Pollen Island) Marine Reserve, which surrounds the island, was established in 1995. It is the closest marine reserve to Auckland city and is unique in that it has a motorway running through it
Axis Fergusson extension

The Axis Fergusson container terminal is being extended by 9.4 hectares using marine silt dredgings from the deepening of the commercial shipping lane in the Rangitoto Channel. The first two hectares of the reclamation are now in use, with a further three hectares due to be completed within a year. The rest of the extension will be reclaimed over a period of time using port maintenance dredgings.

The deepening of the commercial shipping lane to 12.5 metres chart datum (lowest of low tides) will allow fully laden large containerships to enter the port at nearly all states of the tide. The deepening will be completed next year.

ENDS

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