Date: 11 November 2009
The Hon Kate Wilkinson, Associate Minister of Conservation opened the new public shelter and display building on Matakohe/Limestone Island on Tuesday 3rd November.
During the opening ceremony, the Associate Minister Wilkinson acknowledged the work of the Friends of Matakohe/ Limestone Island, together with the financial support from the ASB Community Trust and the Whangarei District Council, which had enabled an idea to be transformed into reality. She said it is a great example of a local community supporting a worthwhile conservation project.
The new shelter will provide a venue for talks to visiting schools and groups as well as island events such as welcoming on translocated species and fundraising. The static display in the shelter provides information to visitors about the island’s history, geology, restoration and species, and the structure provides protection from the weather.
The shelter was designed by Felicity Christian Architect, engineered by Richardson Stevens Consultants, who also assisted with consents, and was built by Homeworld, who rose to the challenge of building on an island with no power. The project was also supported by many local businesses, individuals and volunteers.
A Pou has also been commissioned from Te Warihi Hetaraka, local master carver, and will mark the entrance to the shelter area.
After the opening ceremony, Minister Wilkinson planted a tree and had an enjoyable tour around the island looking at revegetated areas, weta houses, the petrel station and Pa.
During the tour, the history of the island and the ongoing work of weed eradication, plantings and introduction of birds, lizards and invertebrates was explained.
“It is an excellent example of what can be achieved when everyone works together and I have been amazed at the number of treasures on the island from a cultural and natural heritage viewpoint” said Minister Wilkinson.
She wished the Friends of Matakohe-Limestone Island well saying the “hard work of the ‘Friends’ over the years combined with strong community support was making, and will continue to make a positive difference to this special place”.
Lynnie Gibson, Community Relations
DOC Whangarei Area Office
+64 9 470-3367
+64 21 476 6982