Northland Conservation Management Strategy (CMS) and Kauri National Park proposal
Opportunities to be involved in the development of conservation strategies for Northland are happening during June, both with the development of the Northland Conservation Management Strategy (CMS) and the proposal to establish a Kauri National Park at Waipoua.
People can complete online surveys and attend drop-in meetings and workshops on the CMS review or to hear about the National Park proposal.
Conservation Support Officer, Piet Nieuwland reported on progress with the CMS review at the Dargaville meeting of the Northland Board, and Board chair Kevin Evans encouraged the people of Northland to get involved and nominate their favourite plants, animals and places to help shape future conservation planning.
Chris Jenkins, DOC Conservator Northland, outlined steps on the Kauri National Park proposal based on the forests of Waipoua, with the area also including the Trounson Kauri Park Scenic Reserve and the Maitahi Wetland Scientific Reserve.
Chris Jenkins told the Board an important aspect is how the governance of the park will be proposed, with a critical matter being the role of the Te Roroa iwi, whose ancestral home is based in Waipoua. Power-sharing and ownership are of importance to Te Roroa, and the iwi is looking forward to a co-governance model which may be ground-breaking in the post-Waitangi Treaty settlement environment.
Postcards have been sent to households in Northland inviting people to share their views on conservation planning.
Northlanders are being asked to nominate 10 native plants or animals and 10 places in New Zealand that they think are `Quintessentially Kiwi’.
The Northland Conservation Board meeting at Dargaville on 3 June heard that the Department of Conservation wants the people of the region to contribute to the list, which will define New Zealanders and help DOC identify its priorities.
Conservator Chris Jenkins told the Northland Board that the Department had seen as a significant test case, the recent hearing in Mangawhai of an application by the Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society to remove all mangroves within the Mangawhai Harbour.
The Department had provided considerable technical evidence at the hearing to support its opposition to the application, and the application was declined by the hearing commissioners.
DOC reported to the Board that there was an indication at the hearing that a smaller, more refined proposal may have more merit.
The Conservator was questioned at the Board meeting as to whether the Department was prepared to work with the community on a more balanced proposal. He said the Department was available to do that and saw the merit in the removal of mangroves from some areas including waterways.
Board members were divided in their view on the removal of mangroves, with some stating they were a natural part of the environment and their proliferation was a symptom of other developments, including run-off from farmland, while others said mangroves were taking over large parts of harbours and beaches and should be controlled.
The Board heard from DOC that the Northland Regional Council is preparing smaller mangrove removal applications for groups under its Mangrove Support Programme. The areas for which applications are being prepared are Ruakaka, Pataua, Whananaki, Tauranga Bay, Totara North Whangaroa, Mangonui Harbour, Chucks Cove and Rangaunu Harbour. The proposals are expected to be publicly notified in June or July.