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Major Taranaki conservation project partners launched

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Science and Innovation
Hon Maggie Barry
Minister of Conservation

29 September 2016
Media Statement

Major Taranaki conservation project partners launched

The announcement of four major founding partners for Project Taranaki Mounga is a significant step on the road towards a Predator Free New Zealand, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry say.

The Ministers announced the new support for the $24 million project, which will have substantial conservation and economic benefits for Taranaki, at a ceremony in New Plymouth today.

Shell New Zealand, the TSB Community Trust, Landcare Research and Jasmine Social Investments will join DOC, the Taranaki Iwi Chairs Forum and the NEXT Foundation in the project.

“Taranaki Mounga is a flagship example of the kind of large-scale conservation projects we want to drive through the Predator Free 2050 programme,” Ms Barry says.

“It follows Wellington announcing it intends to become the country’s first predator-free city, another project made possible by collaboration between NEXT and local councils. There is no doubt Predator Free 2050 has captured the imagination of New Zealanders and it’s fantastic to see these projects begin.”

“It’s great to see strong and growing private sector involvement in the predator-free mounga project. Achieving a Predator Free NZ is truly our moonshot as a country. We will need everyone working together in Taranaki in a true public-private partnership to achieve this goal,” Mr Joyce says.

“One of the aims of the government's business growth agenda is to improve our economic performance while also lifting our environmental performance. Having businesses support this massive project is a tangible illustration of the work that’s being done to achieve this goal.”

Stretching across 34,000 hectares - the entire Egmont National Park and nearby Ngā Motu/Sugar Loaf Islands - the project aims to expand pest control, reintroduce and replenish native species like the kiwi.

The first goal of the project is to eradicate goats from the park, which would make it the first in the country to be rid of all ungulate species.

Next year, native robins will be reintroduced to the mounga, having last been seen there in the 1950s.

“Other species like the whio have been successfully brought back to the mounga in recent years. There’s good reason to believe Mt Taranaki can be predator-free and become a vast habitat where our native taonga can survive and thrive,” Ms Barry says.


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