Wellington Scoop

Native birds helping house sales – VUW survey of TradeMe listings

News from WCC
Native birds are being used as a lure to sell property in Wellington according to a survey of auction website TradeMe.

Dr Heidy Kikillus (Postdoctoral Fellow – Cities and Urban Nature) from Victoria University’s Biological Sciences department says the study involved searching TradeMe property listings every day from June 2013 to June 2015.

“I found that wildlife and the city’s natural environment are being used as an incentive to get people to purchase property at certain locations across the Capital,” says Dr Kikillus.

Not surprisingly the majority of the properties advertised using nature, wildlife and birds in their listings were around the Zealandia wildlife sanctuary – with Karori in the lead. However close behind were properties in Ngaio, Khandallah and Tawa.

Property listings were analysed based on the incorporation of nature, birdlife or biodiversity into their sales advertisements.

Key words included in the search were native birds, birdsong, urban oasis, tui, kākā, kereru, morepork, fantail, Zealandia, nature, korimako and bellbird. The general search key words ‘bird’ and ‘sanctuary’ were not used as they generated many irrelevant listings.

A total of 666 listings were recorded during the specified time frame. This was made up of 224 sale listings, 266 rental listings and 176 flatmate-wanted listings.

Amber Bill, Wellington City Council’s Open Space and Parks Manager, says the research, jointly funded by the University and the Council, shows how urban biodiversity can provide various economic benefits to the city.

“Heidy’s research shows how nature in the city holds much more potential for the Capital beyond just tourism. Money and economics are intrinsically tied to nature and by tapping into this notion we can hopefully work to take better advantage of this selling opportunity.”

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says: “Harmony between the built and natural environments shows a good economy is highly compatible with caring for our biodiversity. Wellington is a truly biophilic city.”

Cr Helene Ritchie, the City Council’s Natural Environment Portfolio Leader, says the survey results “back up what most Wellingtonians have figured out over the past few years – that the renewed presence of tui, kereru, kākā and other native birds in our suburbs is making Wellington an even more attractive place to live.”

“But let’s not forget Zealandia exists as a restoration of our natural environment , not for real estate sale prices or sales!”

Zealandia Chief Executive Paul Atkins says: “Zealandia’s impact and value is increasingly being experienced well beyond our unique predator proof fence and we are delighted that this study recognises this significant contribution to the quality of life in our city.”

TradeMe was the sole site analysed to avoid recording duplicates of properties listed on multiple sites.

The Council hopes more robust analysis of the data will be carried out in coming years. A comparison of property sales would show whether properties promoted with ‘natural’ values were associated with higher financial return, says Amber Bill.

1 comment:

  1. Sekhmet Bast Ra, 16. February 2016, 15:18

    Alright, I’m putting Laibach on the stereo to get me in warrior mode before I even begin. Another piece of spin from the Green eco-extremists at WCC backed up by that ratepayer-funded doyen of pseudoscience, Dr Kikillus. Are there any peer reviews of this study? if so let’s have some links. I have not been able to find any peer reviews of Dr Kikillus’ sidekick Mya Gaby’s council-funded paper “A Report On Free Roaming Domestic Cat Activity In Urban Areas” either. Celia, Heidy and Mya et al, if you are reading this: if there are no peer-reviews, it’s not science, it’s pseudoscience, pure and simple.

    Quote Cr. Ritchie: “renewed presence of tui, kereru, ka-ka- and other native birds in our suburbs” This confirms the cats aren’t catching them, now doesn’t it? Therefore the Council must immediately remove all reference to cats from the Animal Bylaw Review, we will not settle for anything less.

    The only people who benefit from increased house sales are property speculators and the council. All this means for those of us who own a single home in which we live, is increased rateable value which amounts to increased rates. I doubt wages or benefits are about to raise to match the increased cost of living in the city, so quality of living is going to go down each time these people bung up our rates to fund their agenda of eco-idocy. Real Greens would be concentrating on sustainability, and a balanced approach. Citizens, keep this in mind come next local body election, guard yourselves against the influence of ‘Green’ propaganda like this fine piece of WCC ‘spin’.