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Source: Auckland Council

A number of environmental projects on Aotea / Great Barrier Island are set to receive funding from the island’s local board. 

The projects address ecological and biosecurity challenges on the island and will see improvements to freshwater systems. 

Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board chair Izzy Fordham says despite the financial impact of COVID-19 on Auckland Council, local board operational spending hasn’t been reduced, meaning that boards can still support local projects. 

“Protecting and enhancing Aotea’s environment is a key part of our island working towards climate change resilience. This means it’s crucial that our local board continues to fund environmental work on the island,” she says.

Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board has committed to funding:

  • Argentine ant and plague skink surveillance – $19,000
  • A contribution towards a conservation advisor role – $33,750
  • A coastal weed survey – $10,000
  • Ecology Vision – $30,000
  • An Ōkiwi pest coordinator – $15,000
  • Management of pest pathways – $15,000
  • Rabbit and feral cat control – $26,000
  • A freshwater management programme – $30,000
  • Waterways Protection Fund – $20,000.

“We’re excited about the pest pathways project, which will encourage people to buy local and educate about greenhouse gas emissions associated with freight to the island, which also presents a biosecurity risk. 

“And the continuance of Ecology Vision means on-going support for community initiatives like beach clean-ups, planting days and backyard pest trapping.”

In addition, a regionally funded emergency water supply project, providing residents with water during times of extreme shortages, has been included in the local board’s environmental workstream. 

“Climate change means extreme weather events and water shortages are expected to happen more frequently. So if we can achieve emergency water security on the island, that’s another step towards a resilient Aotea.”

The board is also continuing support for restorative planting underway around Mulberry Grove Reserve.