Three big, bold moves for conserving nature and expanding our awareness of it were announced inn the last week.
All of them led by Minister Eugenie Sage.
First off, the Hump Ridge Track is going to be upgraded from a two day to three day experience. Those tiny Southland towns like Tuatapere and Riverton will benefit as Te Anau has from the Milford and the Kepler, and Glenorchy has from the Routeburn. And its important that there’s another option for adventurous tourists to book since many of the others are just increasingly Instagrammed out.
Notably, the Minister pointed out that it’s impossible for a walk to be “great” without fulsome local iwi support.
It’s not until you get out on a ridge well above the clouds, the cars, and and the crowds, that you can once again inhale how special this country is; why all those calendars and images crowd the internet about us. I’ve done the Great Walks except Rakiura, and now the challenge of the one will pull my friends and I toward the southern edge of Fiordland.
The support from iwi for the Hump Ridge Track extension was continued in Minister Sage’s second move of the week.
That was the big hairy audacious goal of making the whole of Rakiura Stewart Island completely predator free. Plenty of partners on board for this one both local and governmental.
Predator Free Rakiura will aim to remove rats, possums, feral cats and hedgehogs from the mainland and islands of Rakiura. The islands are already free of stoats, weasels, ferrets, pigs and goats. The predator free concept has been around for some years. The MOU signing is the culmination of several years of substantive discussion and conversation, including the rejection by locals of a predator-proof fence concept around the little settlement.
I would so be in to help out on that one.
The MOU was signed by Awarua Rūnanga, Oraka-Aparima Rūnanga, Waihōpai Rūnanga, Hokonui Rūnanga, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Rakiura Māori Lands Trust, Rakiura Tītī Islands Administering Body, Rakiura Tītī committee, Department of Conservation, Southland District Council, Southland Regional Council, Real Journeys and the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association.
The third was announced a few days ago, and it’s happening fast.
That one is the full-on operation to wipe out all pests in Wellington’s Miramar Peninsula – by the end of the year. 3,000 households have already signed up to host a trap or bait station. Predator Free New Zealand and all its thousands of local volunteers intend to have his area rat-free and full of native birds again within 6 months.
Way to be inspired.