Establishment Of Rakiura National Park
Forest and Bird welcomes the establishment of Rakiura National Park.
“A great day for New Zealand conservation - Forest and Bird congratulates this Government and previous Governments for their work to create this national park, New Zealand’s 14th national park” said Mr Chapple, President of Forest and Bird.
“Rakiura – Stewart Island – is a special national park, being New Zealand’s first island national park, predominantly covered in indigenous vegetation and in a relatively healthy state. It has significant populations of kaka, kakariki, seabirds and wonderful forests and wetlands” said Mr Chapple. “Rakiura is also very special for its 20,000 plus kiwi population, especially the Stewart Island brown kiwi. This is a relatively safe population as it is not being hounded by stoats and ferrets as do kiwi on the mainland. The Stewart Island brown kiwi has some notable features, one of which is that it forages in daylight hours and goes down to the beach at night to feed” said Mr Chapple.
“As with most protected areas, there are ongoing pest problems. Forest and Bird hopes there will be sufficient funding to control these pests” said Mr Chapple. “Because it is an island, the problems of reinfestation are not as great as in other areas. Kapiti Island is a shining example of what can be done toward creating pest-free protected areas” said Mr Chapple.
“One of the other notable features is the speed at which this park went through the system, about two years from initial discussion to its announcement. This highlights the importance of political support. I would like to congratulate the Government, and the former Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Jenny Shipley, and Dr Nick Smith for their enthusiastic support of this project” said Mr Chapple.