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New DOC base opened on Great Barrier

Hon Maggie Barry

Minister of Conservation
28 October 2016

New DOC base opened on Great Barrier

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has officially opened the new DOC base on Great Barrier Island, rebuilt and redeveloped following damage in the June 2014 cyclone.

“The base at Okiwi is a modern, fit-for purpose facility which will mean DOC staff have the support they need to maintain Great Barrier’s unique environment and wilderness experiences,” Ms Barry says.

In total redevelopment and expansion of the Okiwi base has cost $1.5 million, with construction completed in August.

The old DOC office at Port Fitzroy was cut off from the rest of the island for six weeks in the aftermath of the storm of June 10, 2014.

Heavy rain and cyclone strength winds caused major damage on Great Barrier with slips, landslides and flooding blocking roads and closing all DOC tracks and campsites on the island.

“Initially, DOC staff had to work from the kitchen in their manager’s house and required a helicopter to get around the island,” Ms Barry says.

“A decision had to be made to rebuild the base at Port Fitzroy or move it to the existing DOC site at Okiwi, which offered room to expand and easy access to an airstrip and a major island road.”

The base features a new office - with improved space for community meetings and visitors - an expanded workshop, and new garage, loading bay and LPG storage buildings. There are also new water supply and waste water systems.

Following the 2014 storm DOC has invested more than $2.5 million in total repairing tracks and facilities on Great Barrier, with the last section of track reopening in May.

“The Government is committed to developing tourism opportunities on the island through the new Aotea Conservation Park and the purchase of Glenfern Sanctuary as a conservation and tourist drawcard at Port Fitzroy harbour.


“I acknowledge the hard work and advocacy of Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye who has been a major supporter of conservation initiatives on Great Barrier and its recovery from the cyclone.”


ends

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