New partnership to benefit kiwi population
North Island brown kiwi and kōkako populations in the Kaimai region are set to benefit from a newly formed partnership.
Trustpower will provide funding to support surveys of local kiwi and kōkako numbers, as well as pest control efforts to protect and establish the populations, for the next three years.
The work will be undertaken by Ngamanawa Incorporation, which manages the land interests of hapū in the area, together with the Department of Conservation.
The partnership builds on surveys undertaken between 2016 and 2019, which identified a dwindling remnant population of North Island brown kiwi near Waitaia Lodge.
Ngamanawa Incorporation general manager Tim O’Brien says the funding will allow the group to increase the scale and effectiveness of the ground based pest control operation. “Ultimately, we have areas that hold significant ecological value, being held back by limited resources.
“As kaitiaki, putting the environment and our taonga species first encourages us to react with more focus and urgency.
“We currently need help reversing a desperate situation – rapidly declining relic populations of kiwi and kōkako within the Kaimai hydro catchment. Therefore, the ability to achieve sustainable outcomes within our shared areas is only possible through partnership.
“We are looking forward to working with Trustpower in a collaborative effort alongside the Department of Conservation to protect both our resident kiwi and kōkako populations. We also look forward to sharing some of the history of the land with Trustpower staff, in relation to certain areas of where the Kaimai Power Scheme draws water from.”
Tim says the organisation is grateful for the support from Trustpower and is encouraged by the hands-on partnership approach, with Trustpower staff taking part in survey and monitoring activities from later this year.
Trustpower environmental and regulatory services manager Ryan Piddington says the partnership is representative of a wider desire to work collaboratively with groups who shared a passion for ensuring New Zealand’s ecosystems and biodiversity are thriving for future generations.
“Trustpower has identified mahi tahi (collaboration) and tiaki (to care for people and place) as values that are important to us and how we operate.
“Supporting Ngamanawa Incorporation in their aspiration to protect kiwi and kōkako populations right here in our own back yard brings us all closer to our shared goal of sustainability.”
Ngamanawa Incorporation has a broad environmental strategy which includes native seed collection to ensure long-term biodiversity, biosecurity work including kauri dieback prevention, and working to eradicate pest and plant species including wilding pines.