February to May updates
May meeting highlights
Northland Conservation Board members being briefed on the dune lakes by DOC Ranger Andrew Knock. Left to right: Willie Wright, Luana Pirhi, and Alan MartinImage
Photo: Hamish Eglinton | DOC
The Northland Conservation Board met in Dargaville for a site visit to the Pouto dunes lakes on 4 May and held their formal meeting at the Dargaville Museum and Lighthouse Function Centre on 5 May. The Pouto dunes lakes are one of the rarest and most threatened aquatic habitats in the world. Northland has more than 400 dune lakes, found within old sand dune systems mostly on the west coast.
- On the morning of the site meeting Board Chair, Willie Wright had the unpleasant task of conveying a message that myrtle rust had been confirmed on New Zealand’s mainland for the first time. The further news that the confirmed site was in Northland added to the melancholy mood.
- Colin French, Te Uri o Hau, treated the Board to a fantastic tour of the dune lakes in Pouto and Andrew Knock provided a briefing on the health of the lakes. Dune lakes are home to a wide range of native plants and animals, including the rare freshwater fish, the dune lake galaxias and dwarf inanga, which are only found in some Northland dune lakes. On return to Dargaville the Board received a personalised guided tour of the Lighthouse Museum in Dargaville.
- The formal meeting on 5 May was held the following day in the function room at the Lighthouse museum. The Board received an update on kauri dieback from Project Manager Richard Balm, as well as a briefing on regional tourism and Maori economic development initiatives from Paul Davis and George Riley of Northland Inc.
- Other attendees included Kauri Coast Acting Operations Manager Laree Furniss, Northland Regional Council councillor Penny Smart and Rex Nathan of Te Uri o Hau.
February meeting highlights
- The Board held their February meeting on 10 February at the Memorial Hall in Kaitaia.
- Key issues discussed:
- Kauri dieback - Dr Karen Verdurmen spoke to the Board about a practical on-the-ground approach to implementing kauri dieback hygiene protocols. Dr Verdurmen was invited to present to the whole Board following a site visit to Bream Head. The Board was extremely impressed by Dr Verdurmen's practical approach to a complex problem.
- The Board recognised Darren Edwards resignation from the Board and it was expressed that he will be missed.
- The Board will make a submission on the 2017 draft TB Free Pest Control Programme.
- The Northern North Island (NNI) draft Tourism Strategy was presented to the Board.