Date: 30 March 2022
DOC received an application for a Wildlife Act Authority from the developers of a new floating marina being built near Waiheke Island. The Authority allows for two approved handlers to catch, handle and release kororā during construction activities on the breakwater where the kororā nest.
DOC Director of Planning Permissions and Land Natasha Ryburn says DOC’s responsibility is to ensure the protection of the kororā and granting the Wildlife Act Authority is in the best interests of kororā welfare.
“When analysing the risks this activity would have on the kororā in the area we concluded that the Wildlife Act Authority will in fact ensure the physical safety of the penguins, support the population with the addition of new nesting boxings and would be in the best interests of their welfare.
“We have also considered the fact that without the Wildlife Act Authority, the works could proceed and instead would require the use of ‘passive eviction’ where the developer would need to wait for the kororā to move out of the way as rocks were removed.
“This method is considered a higher risk to the kororā and we have an obligation to require the safest method to protect them.
“As the development is going ahead, with or without DOC’s consent on the Wildlife Act Authority, our decision to grant the permit allows conditions to be imposed to ensure the penguins’ welfare.”
The conditions include construction activity only occurring when the kororā are not nesting or moultinghe developer informing DOC staff so they can advise during any handling of kororā and only two approved handlers working with the kororā.
“In coming to a decision, we have taken into account advice from technical experts, the views of iwi and the implications of not granting the Wildlife Act Authority. Our conclusion is the welfare of the kororā is better protected by the granting of the Wildlife Act Authority than not,” says Natasha Ryburn.
Kororā are protected under the Wildlife Act and are classified as at risk – declining. They are commonly found on islands throughout the Hauraki Gulf. The greatest risk to the population is predators such as stoats, ferrets, feral cats and dogs.
For media enquiries contact: