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DOC satisfied with Marc Ellis apology

20th March 2008

DOC satisfied with Marc Ellis apology

The Department of Conservation (DOC) says it is satisfied with the outcome of a situation involving Marc Ellis simulating an eruption on Rangitoto last year.

Mr Ellis today issued a public apology, and has offered to pay the costs of the damages caused on the island ($2000). He has also donated $10,000 to the Motutapu Restoration Trust to support their ongoing restoration of adjoining Motutapu Island.

DOC’s Auckland Conservator, Sean Goddard, said the stunt caused concern and disappointment for not only DOC, but many members of the public, because it showed a reckless disregard for Rangitoto and posed a potential fire risk.

“Rangitoto is not only nationally, but also internationally significant, and it is an extremely fragile environment. A fire on the island could have had a devastating impact on the island’s unique vegetation and would have undermined the restoration effort that is currently underway, including plans to remove remaining pests and create a pest-free island sanctuary,” he said.

“The Department took this incident seriously and carried out a full investigation, which included seeking an explanation from Mr Ellis and the others involved. After hearing DOC’s concerns, Mr Ellis offered to make a public apology, and to cover the costs of any damages as well as making the donation to the Motutapu Restoration Trust.

“I am pleased that Mr Ellis has taken these concerns seriously and taken steps to apologise not just to the Department but to the public who were alarmed and disappointed by the stunt. The fact that Mr Ellis has made a donation to support the work of the Motutapu Restoration Trust is a positive outcome."


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