Introduction

Auckland company, Blacktop Construction, is assisting conservation work on Motuihe Island. The company has spread five truckloads of recycled bitumen chips on sections of the island’s roads.

Auckland company, Blacktop Construction, is assisting conservation work on Motuihe Island, a pest free wildlife sanctuary in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. The company has today (23 May 2011) spread five truckloads of recycled bitumen chips on sections of the island’s roads.  

Trucks with full loads of roading chips arriving at Motuihe Island.
Trucks full of road chips arriving at Motuihe Island by barge

The 179 hectare island is managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) which is working in partnership with the Motuihe Trust to restore native forest. The forest is providing a home for rare native birds, lizards, insects and plants.

DOC has eradicated rats, mice, feral cats and rabbits from Motuihe and works to keep the island pest free. This is enabling the native forest to grow and for endangered species such as little spotted kiwi, kakariki, saddleback, bellbirds and shore skinks to be moved onto the island.

“We have four to five kilometres of unsealed road on the island that enable DOC and the Motuihe Trust to carry out our ongoing conservation work,” says John Mills, the DOC ranger based on Motuihe. “It gets pretty wet here over winter and we need a good covering of roading chips to keep the roads in a useable condition.”

“We’re grateful that Blacktop Construction has provided the recycled road chips free of charge,” says John Mills.

Spreading road chips on Motuihe Island's roads.
Spreading road chips on Motuihe Island's roads

Motuihe Trust chair John Laurence also appreciates the contribution Blacktop Construction makes to the trust’s conservation work on the island. “Winter is our main tree planting season. We need to keep the roads passable as we have a constant stream of volunteers coming to the island to plant native trees,” says John Laurence.

Blacktop Construction Ltd managing director, Simon Everett, says the company is committed to using recycled materials promoting sustainable resources and running environmentally friendly manufacturing facilities.
        
The company has used recycled pavement material since 1992. Its asphalt manufacturing plant at Wiri, in south Auckland, and its portable plant are both equipped with bag house dust extraction systems to ensure a minimum of contaminants are discharged into the air.

“We reclaim and recycle pavement materials as much as possible and are providing recycled product for Motuihe Island,” says Simon Everett.

The roading material barged to Motuihe consists of loose chips of recycled bitumen that binds together and consolidates over time “It’s ideal for Motuihe as it produces no dust and is low maintenance,” says Simon Everett.    
 
Blacktop supplied the recycled chips for Motuihe roads last year. It’s also supplying roading chips for two kilometres of road in the Kaharoa Conservation Area, managed by DOC, north of Rotorua. The area is home to endangered kokako and the road work is needed to enable DOC and Kaharoa Kokako Trust volunteers to continue improving the health of the native forest which has seen an increase in kokako numbers.

Simon Everett says Blacktop Construction supports the conservation work on Motuihe and at Kaharoa. Last year its staff and their families spent a day planting native trees on Motuihe Island under the supervision of Motuihe Trust volunteers. “Our social club is planning another planting day on Motuihe this year,” says Simon Everett.     

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