2014 media releases

Take care outdoors after storm damage

Date:  23 April 2014
The Department of Conservation is asking the public to be extra careful when heading outdoors, with widespread storm damage affecting many tracks and facilities in particular in the west and north of the South Island.

A splash of colour for Huka Falls kiosk

Date:  17 April 2014
A fresh colour and fresh coat of paint for the volunteer kiosk at the Huka Falls car park came about thanks to Dulux donated paint and painters, and locals volunteering their time.

Kākāpō nestcam streams live to the world

Date:  17 April 2014
Source:  Kākāpō Recovery
For the first time ever, the global public will be able to watch kakapo nesting activity live, thanks to a special partnership between Telecom NZ and Kākāpō Recovery.

Rare bittern rehabilitated

Date:  17 April 2014
A nationally endangered wetland bittern found in a weak condition on a Taupō farm paddock late last month has undertaken a circuitous three-week journey back to more familiar surroundings.

Community contributes towards good news for Mokoia Island

Date:  17 April 2014
The Department of Conservation and Mokoia Islannd Board of Trustees thank the community for their contribution towards the recent pest incursion response.

Public invitation to nominate Director of Queen Elizabeth the second National Trust Board

Date:  14 April 2014
Interested agencies and organisations are invited to submit nominations for the position of Director of the Queen Elizabeth the second National Trust Board.

Better survival chances for Wanaka skinks

Date:  11 April 2014
Eighty five endangered grand and Otago skinks have been collected near Wanaka in an operation led by the Department of Conservation (DOC) aimed at increasing their numbers.

Kiwi release on farm a major step towards 10,000 hectare kiwi sanctuary

Date:  11 April 2014
The Prime Minister John Key today joined Kaipara farmers Gill and Kevin Adshead in welcoming eight more Northland brown kiwi to the Gardner family farm, 65 km north of Auckland.

Funding available for Northland community conservation projects

Date:  09 April 2014
The Northland Conservation Board welcomes the new Community Conservation Partnership Fund announced by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on 30 March 2014.

A new reserve in the Long Gully Terraces

Date:  08 April 2014
Mata-au Scientific Reserve was part of Bendigo Station, but has been retired from farming after recent tenure review, and now is managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) as a scientific reserve.

New conservation fund to boost local projects

Date:  04 April 2014
The new Community Conservation Partnership Fund is a much needed boost to on-the-ground projects. DOC is holding a funding workshop in Gisborne on Tuesday 15 April to assist community groups complete their applications.

Call to plant cover crops that don't attract pest butterflies

Date:  03 April 2014
The Department of Conservation is asking Nelson gardeners to consider planting cover crops that don’t attract the great white butterfly to their garden.

Motutapu Island provides a second home for Coromandel brown kiwi

Date:  02 April 2014
Eleven Coromandel brown kiwi have this week been relocated from the Moehau Kiwi Sanctuary on the Coromandel Peninsula to predator free Motutapu Island in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

DOC appoints services managers in South

Date:  04 April 2014
Three Conservation Services Managers have been appointed by the Department of Conservation in the southern South Island.

Rat caught on pest-free Urupukapuka Island

Date:  03 April 2014
A large male Norway rat was caught and killed in a DOC 200 trap on Urupukapuka, one of the Project Island Song islands in the Bay of Islands, on 31 March 2014.

DOC thanks quick fire respondents

Date:  03 April 2014
Early detection and rapid response to fires on Central North Island DOC land by adjoining rural fire authorities, has prevented large fires in the current extreme fire conditions.

Rifleman birds heard again at A’Deane’s Bush

Date:  31 March 2014
A’Deane’s Bush in the Central Hawkes Bay is now home to a population of the threatened native species titipounamu (rifleman).

Departments work together for nature and nurture

Date:  31 March 2014
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Department of Corrections and the Department of Conservation which will see increased work by offenders to improve and maintain the Central Region’s natural environment.

New conservation fund announced

Date:  30 March 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
A Community Conservation Partnership Fund to support the work of voluntary organisations undertaking natural heritage and recreation projects was launched today by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith at the opening of the new Hoddy Estuary Park in Nelson.

Kauri dieback detected in Coromandel

Date:  25 March 2014
Source:  Joint release from the Minister for Primary Industries and the Minister of Conservation
Test results showing the presence of Phytophthora taxon Agathis (PTA) or Kauri dieback disease in the Whangapoua Forest just north of Whitianga is a major concern, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy say.

Threatened geckos to find sanctuary on Motuihe Island

Date:  25 March 2014
On Sunday 30 March 2014 one hundred Duvaucel's geckos are to be released on Motuihe Island in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

‘Encouraging’ blue duck numbers in inland Hawke’s Bay

Date:  23 March 2014
Endangered whio, or blue duck, continue to thrive in the mountainous rivers and streams of inland Hawke’s Bay, according to a survey conducted by the Department of Conservation.

Minister signs new conservation accord

Date:  22 March 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
An accord between the newly established $100 million NEXT Foundation and the Government was signed in Nelson today by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith.

Rare duck numbers on the rise

Date:  21 March 2014
It's good news for New Zealand's rarest duck, the pāteke, or brown teal, with recent flock counts in Northland showing the biggest population since surveys began in 1988.

DOC urges hunters to think safety this ‘roar’ season

Date:  19 March 2014
As the days become shorter and morning and evenings cooler, hunters throughout New Zealand will be looking forward to the annual deer ‘roar’ or ‘rut’.

Rare parakeets flown to safe island home

Date:  19 March 2014
Eighteen rare native parakeets are today winging their way from Christchurch to a Bay of Plenty island sanctuary to build a self-supporting population there as this species faces the ongoing threat of predators in Canterbury.

Zero tolerance to dumping in public reserves

Date:  18 March 2014
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is right behind the crackdown on rubbish dumping in the East Coast region and strongly supports plans to catch or trace offenders.

DOC vaccinates West Coast kiwi chicks

Date:  18 March 2014
DOC has begun a precautionary programme of vaccinating West Coast kiwi chicks in response to the death of seven young birds on Rona Island crèche in Lake Manapouri.

Final kākāpō eggs hatch

Date:  17 March 2014
Source:   Kākāpō Recovery
A kākāpō chick has hatched in the wild on Hauturu o Toi/Little Barrier Island, less than two years after a small adult population was re-introduced to the island.

New marine protected areas for Kaikoura

Date:  16 March 2014
Source:  Joint release from the Minister for Primary Industries and the Minister of Conservation
The Government today announced a new marine reserve, whale and fur seal sanctuary, five customary fishing areas and amateur fishing regulations to improve the management of Kaikoura’s coast and ocean.

Membership of Otago Marine Protection Planning Forum announced

Date:  15 March 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced the appointment of a 14-member community-led forum to consider marine protection for the Otago coastline.

Ministers welcome DOC’s health and safety pledge

Date:  13 March 2014
Source:  Joint release from the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Conservation
DOC today became the first Government department to formally join the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith and Labour Minister Simon Bridges announced.

Arthur’s Pass Walking Track opens as part of 150th celebrations

Date:  13 March 2014
The new Arthur’s Pass Walking Track will be officially opened this Saturday (15 March 2014) as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the first European discovery of Arthur’s Pass.

Captive bred whio to be released back into wild

Date:  12 March 2014
The Battle for our Birds continues with the release of more than 40 captive bred whio back into the wild over the next week.

Fourth World Wetlands Day celebrated at Lake Ngatu

Date:  10 March 2014
Six local primary schools joined a group of homeschool pupils to celebrate World Wetlands Day for the fourth year in a row at Lake Ngatu on 27 and 28 February 2014.

Catlins mōhua increase after pest control

Date:  07 March 2014
An important mōhua or yellowhead population in the Catlins is on the increase after a successful joint agency pest control programme last spring.

New Zealand Army and the Department of Conservation join forces

Date:  07 March 2014
Building work began yesterday in an exciting partnership between the Department of Conservation and the New Zealand Defence Force. New Zealand Army engineers and builders are constructing a new hut at Maropea Forks in the Western Ruahine Forest Park.

Low count triggers new plan for endangered New Zealand sea lion

Date:  06 March 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
A Threat Management Plan for the New Zealand sea lion is to be developed in response to this season’s low pup count on the Auckland Islands, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today from the HMNZS Wellington at Port Ross in conjunction with Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

New subantarctic research station proposed

Date:  05 March 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Nick Smith today inspected the site of a proposed new research station to be named after the late Sir Peter Blake on the east coast of the main Auckland Island in the subantarctic.

Northland Conservation Board wants better planning for future power boat races in the Bay of Islands

Date:  05 March 2014
Following the Bay of Islands Power Boat Race held in Paihia on 1 March 2014, the Northland Conservation Board is seeking improvements to planning for next year's race to ensure better measures to protect marine mammals in the Bay area.

Red vented bulbul $1,000 reward ends

Date:  04 March 2014
The reward period for sighting information leading to the capture of an invasive pest bird – the red-vented bulbul – has ended without anyone qualifying for the payout.

First kākāpō chick hatches

Date:  03 March 2014
Painstaking repairs to a crushed kakapo egg have paid dividends with the arrival of the first kakapo chick since 2011.

Pureora hunting competition roars to life again

Date:  03 March 2014
The 26th annual Pureora Hunting Competition for red deer is due to begin from 17 March to prizegiving day on 27 April.

New subantarctic marine reserves established

Date:  02 March 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today formally established three new marine reserves covering 435,000 hectares of ocean surrounding the Antipodes, Bounty and Campbell Islands from Perseverance Harbour, Campbell Island.

Sea what a difference you can make!

Date:  28 February 2014
The Dunedin Coastal Clean-up and Seashore Survey this Sunday 2 March will get Seaweek off to a great start.

Permits to be required for shark cage tourism

Date:  28 February 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Tourism businesses viewing great white sharks will be required to have a permit in the same way as for whale, dolphin and seal watching, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

Green Flag awards for Timber Trail and Waitomo Ruakuri walk

Date:  28 February 2014
The Pureora Timber Trail and Ruakuri Walk at Waitomo were celebrated recently for receiving the internationally-recognised Green Flag award, which marks good quality public parks and green spaces that are managed in environmentally sustainable ways.

National battle to protect whio ramps up

Date:  28 February 2014
The Whio Forever partnership is adding another tool to its arsenal of protection this year with funding to build a new whio rearing facility at the Tongariro National Trout Centre near Turangi.

First New Zealand storm petrel egg found by scientists

Date:  28 February 2014
Researchers studying the New Zealand storm petrel on Te Hauturu-o-Toi (Little Barrier Island) in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park are the first scientists to find a New Zealand storm petrel egg.

Restoring the Skippers landscape

Date:  26 February 2014
The Department of Conservation in conjunction with the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group, is undertaking the spraying and removal of all remaining douglas fir and larch trees on public conservation land around the Skippers township.

Community snorkelling days on again at Tasman Bay marine reserves

Date:  26 February 2014
The opportunity to put on a snorkel and find out what’s under the water near the Tasman Bay marine reserves is happening again this year as part of Seaweek.

A dog’s breakfast in Motueka

Date:  25 February 2014
Motueka dog owners are being invited to a free breakfast while taking their dogs for a walk on the Motueka foreshore, at the first ‘Dog’s Breakfast’ to be held in New Zealand.

East Coast kiwi returns home

Date:  24 February 2014
The kiwi injured in a possum trap a month ago was released at Opato in the Waioeka Gorge near Gisborne last week. The kiwi was released in a Punga forested gully and hung around for a few minutes sniffing the ground and ignoring staff then disappeared into nearby punga fronds.

Historic Southland viaducts saved in funding deal

Date:  22 February 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Four giant timber viaducts built nearly a century ago in the rugged Waitutu Forest on the south coast of the Fiordland National Park are to be restored in an agreement between the DOC, the Southland District Council and the Port Craig Viaduct Trust.

Conservation Minister visits subantarctic islands

Date:  21 February 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith departs Bluff tomorrow afternoon on the HMNZS Wellington on its annual service trip to the Bounty, Antipodes, Campbell, Auckland and Snares Islands.

Historic Ruapekapeka Pā gets digital makeover

Date:  21 February 2014
Historic Ruapekapeka Pā, located outside of Whangarei, will receive a digital makeover with the launch of the Ruapekapeka website.

Kākāpō successfully breed on Hauturu/Little Barrier Island

Date:  20 February 2014
Source:  Kākāpō Recovery
One of three female kākāpō released onto Hauturu o Toi/Little Barrier Island in 2012 has been discovered nesting with three fertile eggs, bringing unexpected joy to the Kākāpō Recovery programme team.

DOC celebrates 25 years of conservation volunteer programme

Date:  20 February 2014
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is celebrating 25 years of its Southland and Otago Conservation Volunteer Programme.

Fish needed for starving penguin chicks

Date:  18 February 2014
The Department of Conservation (DOC), Penguin Place, the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and volunteers are supplementary feeding starving yellow-eyed penguin chicks during one of the most disastrous breeding seasons in recent years.

DOC rejects claims anglers at risk from 1080

Date:  18 February 2014
The Department of Conservation says it is concerned by unsubstantiated claims from a freshwater fishing lobby group that anglers are at risk from 1080 poisoning.

Deadline approaches for submissions on Aotea/Great Barrier Island Conservation Park

Date:  17 February 2014
Submissions on the proposed Aotea/Great Barrier Island conservation park close on 28 February 2014.

Celebrate Children's Day in nature

Date:  14 February 2014
Visit Ivon Wilson Park in Te Anau on Sunday 2 March and celebrate national Children's Day with the biggest ever 'Play Date with Nature' and fun for the whole family.

Multiple killer whale stranding at Blue Cliffs Beach, Southland

Date:  12 February 2014
The Department of Conservation responded to the killer whale stranding at Blue Cliffs beach near Tuatapere in Southland in the early hours of this morning.

Northland Conservation Board welcomes extension of Kauri Dieback Management Programme

Date:  09 February 2014
Enjoy Northland's stunning natural areas, but please do your bit to protect our great kauri from the deadly kauri dieback disease and devastation by wildfires is a message from the Northland Conservation Board.

Brown is the new green

Date:  11 February 2014
Brown foliage marks the success of the recent round of poisoning of juvenile wilding pines on the Tongariro River.

Four wheelers trim track back

Date:  04 February 2014
Trimming three kilometres of the 42 Traverse track of weeds and bush clears the way for multi-users of the popular recreation track in the Tongariro Forest.

First kākāpō eggs in three years

Date:  03 February 2014
Source:  Kākāpō Recovery
Kakapo Recovery has discovered two kakapo mums nesting on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island – the first time in three years - but it will be another week before it’s known whether their eggs are fertile.

Waipoua Forest fire

Date:  03 February 2014
A fire began in the early hours of this morning (Monday 3 February 2014) near Lookout Road, Waipoua Forest, Northland. At this stage, the fire is under control.

DOC marks World Wetlands Day

Date:  31 January 2014
World Wetlands Day (Sunday February 2) provides an opportunity to highlight the important role wetlands play in our environment and to spotlight work being done to protect them.

Reflection on the Mahi Aroha summer programme

Date:  31 January 2014
The 50th anniversary of the Tongariro summer programme, rebranded as Mahi Aroha: Doing it for Conservation, has now come to a close, leaving great memories and inspiring people to get back out and continue to enjoy the natural treasures of the Central North Island.

‘Battle for Our Birds’ launched to save native species

Date:  29 January 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith tonight launched DOC’s largest-ever species protection programme called ‘Battle for Our Birds’ at his annual speech to the Rotary Club of Nelson.

DOC to protect species at risk from predator plague

Date:  29 January 2014
The Department of Conservation is preparing a major new pest control campaign to protect vulnerable native species from an expected surge in rat and stoat numbers later this year.

Dart Valley re-opened for tramping

Date:  27 January 2014
Tramping access through the Dart Valley has now been restored with the completion of a new walking route that detours around the massive landslide and newly formed lake.

Injured East Coast kiwi being treated at Massey University

Date:  22 January 2014
An injured kiwi, handed in to the Department of Conservation (DOC) in Gisborne by a member of the public, has been transferred to Wildbase at Massey University for treatment.

Hope lost for stranded whales on Farewell Spit

Date:  16 January 2014
The Department of Conservation says eight pilot whales it has spent two days trying to get safely back out to sea have been found stranded again on Farewell Spit this morning, a ninth whale with them and all in poor condition.

Largest private stoat trapping network nears completion

Date:  15 January 2014
Source:  Project Janszoon
The largest stoat trapping network undertaken by a private trust in New Zealand is about to be completed, enabling the reintroduction of birds like pateke and kakariki back to the Abel Tasman National Park.

Whales stranded in Golden Bay

Date:  14 January 2014
Media releases and updates about the whale stranding in Golden Bay.

Shark fin ban confirmed and timetable tightened

Date:  09 January 2014
Source:  Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today confirmed the Government’s decision to ban shark finning.

First Project Island Song Urupukapuka Island Fun Day

Date:  09 January 2014
Bay of Islands' Urupukapuka Island campers and visiting boaties enjoyed the world's first Project Island Song Fun Day on 4 January 2014.

New research confirms benefits of marine reserves

Date:  08 January 2014
Significant increases in the abundance and size of marine species in Tasman Bay marine reserves confirm their conservation benefits, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith said today while publicly releasing a new research report at the Horoirangi Marine Reserve.

Winter mountain biking on Heaphy Track permanently approved

Date:  07 January 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced at Karamea on the West Coast the permanent approval of mountain biking on the Heaphy Track from 1 May to 30 September each year.

Five DOC sites receive renowned ‘Green Flags’

Date:  06 January 2014
Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today welcomed the awarding of the international Green Flag to five DOC sites around New Zealand from the Lake Matheson Walk in South Westland.

Stranded whales on Farewell Spit unable to be saved

Date:  06 January 2014
Thirty-nine pilot whales are unable to saved after stranding on Farewell Spit overnight.