Coastal Otago has
secured $675,000 out of the $4.5 million allocated this year
by the Government for community conservation work.
Yesterday Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner was in
Dunedin to announce $475,000 in grants from the Community
Conservation Partnership Fund to four projects, adding to the
$200,000 announced last month for the Yellow-eyed Penguin
''It's all about the people on the ground and you cannot get
a better example than here, how absolutely passionate people
are about this area,'' she said at Glenfalloch.
Orokonui Ecosanctuary's wildlife and that of its immediate
area was the biggest winner, with $278,000 granted to the
ecosanctuary itself and $52,000 for the Landscape Connections
Trust which hopes to restore and enhance the area surrounding
Chairman of the Otago Natural History Trust (which runs
Orokonui) Neville Peat said it had always been part of the
dream that the achievements of the ecosanctuary extended
outside of its predator-proof enclosure.
''Hopefully, it is contagious and will inspire local
communities. So we are delighted ... the Community
Conservation Partnership Fund support us to this extent.''
The funding would mainly go help secure staff who were the
cornerstone of the ecosanctuary's success, he said.
Landscape trust chairwoman Jinty MacTavish said the funding
came at a critical time for the project, which aimed to
restore and enhance biodiversity on 55,000ha of land across
north Dunedin and East Otago, extending the ''halo'' effect
of the ecosanctuary.
The funding would assist with planning and research into the
distribution of bird life in the area and outreach with
Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group received $135,000 towards
its continued work to eliminate possums from the peninsula.
Ms Wagner said the group led the way in removing pests and
was a role model for other parts of the country.
''It's very easy to remove pests when no-one lives there but
it's a challenge when you take pest management into where
Group chairman Brendon Cross said it would enable the group
to start work on sector four - Portobello to Dunedin - 4500ha
covering Department of Conservation and Dunedin City Council
land, farmland and residential homes.
''We're very encouraged. This enables us to carry on the
project. We have taken 7000 possums off the Otago Peninsula
The Herbert Heritage Group received $9000 for the restoration
and enhancement of the Waianakarua River Mouth Wetlands
Group representative Barbara Wing said it was a wonderful
amount of money which would help the community and its
volunteers of all ages continue its replanting work.
Doc conservation partnerships, eastern and southern South
Island director Barry Hanson said applying for the funding
had been a long and ''arduous'' process for the groups.
''For most groups this is the difference between surviving