News from NZ Govt
The Government today announced a $70,000 Community Conservation Partnership Fund grant for the Rimutaka Forest Park Trust to ensure the survival of its kiwi population.
“This wild kiwi population which exists so close to the nation’s capital in the Rimutaka Forest Park is very special and we must ensure it survives. The greatest threat is stoats, which are responsible for over 50 per cent of kiwi deaths. This grant will enable the Trust to treble its network of stoat traps to 7000 hectares, and provide a sufficient area for a long-term sustainable population of kiwi. It will also open up a longer-term opportunity for the reintroduction of kaka and whio,” Dr Smith says.
“There is an irony in this Government grant for kiwi protection in the Rimutaka with Labour MP Trevor Mallard’s calls this month for recreating the moa in the same area. National’s focus on kiwi protection in contrast to Labour’s on recreating moa illustrates the difference between a Government that is focused on the real and practical, and an Opposition that is focused on distractions and pipe dreams. The priority needs to be ensuring kiwi do not go the way of the moa, particularly with scientists advising that kiwi will be extinct in the wild for our grandchildren outside of special sanctuaries like Zealandia and Kapiti Island without additional pest control.”
The Community Conservation Partnership Fund was announced in March this year and provides $26 million over the next four years to community organisations undertaking natural heritage and recreation projects. The Fund will support hundreds of projects on public and private land and is particularly focused on helping the survival of the large number of New Zealand’s threatened wildlife, like the kiwi.
“I commend the work carried out by the Rimutaka Forest Park Trust since it was established in 1998. The park is visited by thousands of people each year for walking, tramping, camping and hunting. The Trust’s commitment to protecting and ensuring the indigenous wildlife in the area means visitors are able to enjoy an even more enhanced experience in our great outdoors,” Dr Smith says.