Rio Tinto land gifted at Punakaiki
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionA block of land gifted by Rio Tinto at Punakaiki will help to protect the significant values of forest in the adjoining Nikau reserve.
Date: 11 March 2010
A block of land gifted by Rio Tinto at Punakaiki will help to protect the significant values of forest in the adjoining Nikau Reserve.
The gift will create an ecological corridor spanning the mountains to the sea which includes the only nesting ground of the Westland black petrel. The coastal area is also home to the little blue penguin and remnant sand plain forests that bear mature nikau palms, and rata trees that are hundreds of years old.
Over time, the existing open pastures will be transformed into dense native forest, linking the existing Nikau Scenic Reserve with Paparoa National Park.
This will be achieved by the combined efforts of business, community and government. Bruce Kelley, Rio Tinto Global Practice Leader for Environment, says "This has been a true partnership from the start. It will restore the biodiversity of the area, and bring lasting benefits to the community".
Kate Wilkinson, Minister of Conservation,
and Ryan Cavanagh, Rio Tinto, plant at
tree after the gifting ceremony on 12
March, 2010 at Punakaiki
Conservation Volunteers New Zealand are coordinating the revegetation project, recruiting visitors and locals to do the replanting of the 80 hectare coastal block.“
West Coast Conservator Mike Slater says that the regenerating forest will serve as a buffer zone for the existing forest and petrel colony. “I am confident that in 100 years this area will be full of tall trees. That is great news for all of the unique species in this area” he says.