Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith addresses trustees and
supporters of the Hollyford Conservation Trust in Martins
Bay in the lower Hollyford Valley yesterday. Photo by Dave
The Government will provide $200,000 over three years to
help the Hollyford Conservation Trust carry out pest control
across 2400ha of the lower Hollyford Valley in Fiordland.
Conservation Minister Nick Smith announced the funding
yesterday to about 50 trustees and supporters of the project
at Martins Bay, and also signed a memorandum of understanding
between the trust and the Department of Conservation (Doc).
Dr Smith, who flew to the area from Codfish Island, where he
released kakapo chicks, said he hoped kiwi and kakapo could
be released in the lower Hollyford Valley some day.
It was an area of ''stunning natural beauty'', but rats,
stoats and possums posed a threat to its flora and fauna such
as beech, podocarp and southern rata, and mohua, blue duck
(whio), saddleback, kaka and the Fiordland penguin.
The grant would help the trust set up rat and possum poison
bait stations and a stoat trap network to stop the decline of
the area's bird populations, while the Department of
Conservation would support the project by dropping 1080 on
the hills surrounding the area, he said.
The area, which is north of Milford Sound and accessible only
by air or three to four days' walk, extends from Martins Bay
inland along the shores of Lake McKerrow.
It contains 19 freehold sections - many with cribs - that
date back to a failed settlement in the late 19th century.
Trustee Peta Carey, of Queenstown, told the Otago Daily Times
last week the trust was formed after the landholders
responded with ''overwhelming support'' to a suggestion by
Doc they collaborate in pest control work.
Ground operations are expected to begin this spring.
Dr Smith said the collaborative approach of the group, which
involves private landowners, tourism operators and iwi, was
''This display of community spirit reflects the new direction
by Doc to partner with more local volunteer organisations on
recreation and conservation projects.''
Trust chairman Ron Anderson, of Dunedin, said the presence at
the launch of children from families with a long association
with the area was significant.
''Our vision for the restoration of the flora and fauna of
the Hollyford Valley is 10, 20 years into the future.
''It's not necessarily for us - it's for our children, for
future generations of New Zealanders.''
The $200,000 funding will come from the Community
Conservation Partnership Fund announced in March.
The fund provides $26 million over the next four years to
community organisations undertaking natural heritage and