Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


A partnership between DOC, Te Arai and Mangawhai Shorebirds Trust, Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust, and Boffa Miskell will protect the endangered fairy tern.

Date:  14 December 2017

A partnership has been formed between the Department of Conservation (DOC), Te Arai and Mangawhai Shorebirds Trust, Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust and environmental consultancy Boffa Miskell to protect critically endangered tara iti or fairy tern.

"The parties have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to protect fairy tern at their breeding sites at Te Arai and Mangawhai," says DOC Operations Director for the Northern North Island, Sue Reed-Thomas.

"I'm very happy that we're expanding our work together to help protect our native wildlife, and the habitat that they rely upon.  The partnership brings together DOC and the Shorebirds Trust with iwi and private business  and underpins the work done by many dedicated locals and community groups in the past at Mangawhai and Te ­Arai.  The work by Te Uri o Hau has been invaluable in getting to this point." says Sue Reed-Thomas.

Group on beach.
Left to right: Troy Makan (DOC), Deborah Harding (Te Uri o Hau), Peter Hall (Boffa Miskell), Sue Reed-Thomas (DOC), Ewen Henderson (Shorebirds Trust)
Image: Boffa Miskell ©

The projects under this initiative will support the recommendations of the DOC's Biodiversity Group which has provided scientific advice for the recovery plan for the fairy tern.

The Te Arai and Mangawhai Shorebirds Trust was established in 2014 by the owners of the Tara Iti golf course at Te Arai to provide financial, technical and research resourcing to organisations and volunteers committed to the preservation and conservation of fairy terns and other at-risk shorebirds.

DOC, Te Uri o Hau and Boffa Miskell have each been working with the Te Arai and Mangawhai Shorebirds Trust since the Trust's inception. The Memorandum of Understanding between the four parties will provide funding and expertise to provide additional research in support of the DOC's work.

"These are long and effective relationships," says Chair for Te Uri o Hau, Russell Kemp. "This partnership formalises and strengthens them, and provides a framework for moving forward."

"Importantly, it builds upon the tremendous work done by local volunteers who have looked after the endangered Fairy Tern for decades, and maintained the numbers of the existing population through their own time and effort. We're inspired by their dedication, and very pleased to be able to build upon their accomplishments through the considerable resources that this partnership puts into place."

The fairy tern is the most threatened of New Zealand's endemic birds. A small population of around forty birds survives between Whangarei in the north and Auckland to the south, with fewer than a dozen breeding pairs. 

Chair of the Shorebirds Trust, Linda Guzik: "Our role is to provide funding, technical resources and equipment in support of the Fairy Tern recovery programme. Our focus is primarily on the scientific underpinnings and through cooperative efforts with our partners, we will initiate several research projects this field season and in successive years."


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