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Reclaiming the Mountain

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, June 1st, 2018 - 19 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, greens - Tags:

The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, through Predator Free 2050 Ltd, have awarded $11.7 million of funding to controlling pests across Taranaki.

This is a contribution to protecting 4,500 hectares of farmland surrounding Egmont National Park. That will create a virtual barrier by a network of intensive trapping.

It will be matched by local governments and other funders to get to $47 million.

This is the first large-scale project in New Zealand aiming to remove introduced predators from an entire region. The intent is to restore the sound and movement of wildlife, and rejuvenate native plants across Taranaki.

It complements several other massive Taranaki pest-eradication projects now underway.

Check out this video for one very proud Taranaki farmer, and what he hopes to see as a result of participating.

The biggest of these parallel projects is the Taranaki Mounga Project.

Taranaki Mounga is a collaboration between the Department of Conservation (DOC), Taranaki iwi, and philanthropic investor NEXT Foundation which is supported by founding sponsors Shell NZ, Jasmine Social Investments, TSB Community Trust, and Landcare Research. It intends to control to very, very low numbers all invasive rodents, mustelids, and rats, mice and possums across 34,000 ha of the national park encompassing Taranaki, Pouakai, Kaitake and the Sugar Loaf Islands.

They are also going for a zero possum project from the Kaitake Range to the coast.

A further, smaller Taranaki project is the 234 hectare fully fenced reserve around Lake Rotokare.

For those of you who haven’t done the over-the mountain track, or gone around the massive swamp, or seen the great moss-covered forests on its flanks, it’s simply an honour to be there and you will see why so much effort is going into protecting it.

This is exactly what I was hoping for from a change of government to a Labour-Greens-New Zealand First team, and I hope to see more.

19 comments on “Reclaiming the Mountain”

  1. DB 1

    This is fantastic. Taranaki is an amazing place I’m so happy to hear it is being looked after.

  2. Anon 2

    A mountain. Yeah ok, election promises all done and dusted are they, we can move on to nice-to-haves? So when can I afford to see a doctor, then???

    • Ad 2.1

      Doctor’s fees were addressed in last month’s budget.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/103993899/budget-2018-free-and-cheap-doctors-visits-for-vulnerable-and-children-but-is-the-health-funding-enough

      Community Services Card holders will have their GP fees lowered to same amount that patients experience in highly-subsidised “Very Low Cost Access” practices.

      The Government will widen the access to Community Services Cards to:
      – any person in a Housing NZ home
      – anyone receiving an income-related rent subsidy and
      – anyone receiving an accommodation supplement.

      Extending the free doctors visits from under 13-year-olds to under 14-year-olds had been allocated $3.7m in the first year and $22m over four years.

      Under a Labour-led government, it is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time.

      • Anon 2.1.1

        But not actually addressing the core inaccessibility of the community services card – if you don’t receive any benefits now, maybe you just don’t want to deal with winz or maybe you’re not entitled to any but still earn under the threshold for com card, well then the com card is basically impossible to get.

    • Doogs 2.2

      Do you belong to or could you join a government subsidised community practice? I belong to one and pay $18 a visit. Ad hoc patients pay nearer to $60 so you can see the savings, eh?

      I don’t know your situation Anon, but I’m sure with a bit of asking around you could find a doctor where you would pay a lot less than whatever you are paying now.

      • Anon 2.2.1

        The sign your life (or at least privacy/data rights) away scheme? The one that takes months to kick in, prohibiting a first visit in the first place??

        • Doogs 2.2.1.1

          Look. all I know is that I have belonged to the same practice since 1993 and in all that time fees have only gone up about $5. I don’t know the ins and outs of how the scheme works. When I joined I was earning a good salary and now as a pensioner and part time worker, without a community services card, I can afford medical treatment through this scheme. I need regular visits and regular prescriptions because of 2 chronic and debilitating conditions.

          Look I shouldn’t really be continuing this conversation on this thread. It’s better placed under Open Mike.

  3. Antoine 3

    Suspect most of the locals would rather have the oil and gas industry back

    A.

    • AB 3.1

      Suspect most of the locals would rather have the oil and gas industry back
      Has it left?

    • miravox 3.2

      Suspect most of the locals would rather have the oil and gas industry back

      I suspect the sale of Shell’s NZ assets earlier this year will have more of an impact on job losses in the short-term than the halting of offshore block offers. Efficiency and all that.

      It seems to me that by halting offshore block offers, that rather than this being a radical move, the government had confirmed what’s been happening in offshore exploration anyway – a reduction in offshore permits awarded since 2014

      • Antoine 3.2.1

        > I suspect the sale of Shell’s NZ assets earlier this year will have more of an impact on job losses in the short-term than the halting of offshore block offers.

        Very likely but I think the reverse is true in the long term, yes?

        > It seems to me that by halting offshore block offers, that rather than this being a radical move, the government had confirmed what’s been happening in offshore exploration anyway – a reduction in offshore permits awarded since 2014

        Can’t agree with you there, sorry. And I think you would struggle to find many NZers (especially from the Naki) who say that a sudden end to offshore block offers was not radical.

        See e.g. https://thestandard.org.nz/government-blocks-off-shore-oil-and-gas-drilling/ where it is presented as a radical change.

        A.

        • miravox 3.2.1.1

          Very likely but I think the reverse is true in the long term, yes?

          No. I think Taranaki offshore oil exploration & production is already declining (maybe the current exploration permits will reverse the production trend). Unless something radical internationally happens (e.g. shale gas and tarsands ceased to exist). NZ had a high offshore exploration cost and companies have put their money elsewhere.

          “sudden end to offshore block offers was not radical.”
          You looked at the numbers, right? Heavily promoted block offers and only one buyer in the last 2 years.

          The ‘transformational’ energy policy is radical, no doubt, when compared with the last government (internationally not so much). But the cancellation of offshore block offers is not radical, imo, given companies had practically stopped buying. Perception doesn’t change the reality.

    • Incognito 3.3

      False dichotomy.

      I.

  4. miravox 4

    …The intent is to restore the sound and movement of wildlife, and rejuvenate native plants across Taranaki.

    I’m so happy about this, and it’s not before time. A beautiful mountain, but I found when I went on a few walks last summer, parts of the forest are eerily silent.

    Fantastic initiative.

  5. Puckish Rogue 5

    Good to see

  6. Incognito 6

    An excellent test bed that will hopefully lead to many more similar projects throughout the country.

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