Kiwi Coast plan doubles in scope

By Lindy Laird

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Eastern Northland is better off without 100,000 animal pests that have been removed in the past three years along Northland's "Kiwi Coast". It has made a safer environment for this kiwi on the Far North's east coast.
Eastern Northland is better off without 100,000 animal pests that have been removed in the past three years along Northland's "Kiwi Coast". It has made a safer environment for this kiwi on the Far North's east coast.

In only three years, the Kiwi Coast project has doubled to involve 71 community groups, iwi, government agencies and organisations and extends 195km along Northland's east coast.

A total of 120,293 hectares are now under active pest control along the Kiwi Coast, although with some gaps, now extending from Bream Head in Whangarei to the Aupouri Peninsula in the Far North. With a further 52,091 animal pests removed by Kiwi Coast-connected groups and projects in 2015, more than 1000 pests are now removed from eastern Northland on a weekly basis.

It is made possible through a partnership with the Reconnecting Northland programme and the unflagging determination of people on the ground, working hard to ensure kiwi populations increase in eastern Northland, said co-ordinator Ngaire Tyson. Priority has been given to reducing threats to kiwi survival, especially within an initial area between Bream Head and Whananaki.

"Once again, this involved the deployment of new predator traps, more time spent on trap servicing and holding events and workshops to engage people in caring for kiwi protection and improving dog control," the Kiwi Coast 2016 Annual Report said.

An extra 540 predator traps were bought in the past year - reducing predators that threaten kiwi and closing gaps between trapping areas.

"The result is that the kiwi populations of Whangarei Heads, Mt Tiger, Whanui and Tutukaka are now close to being linked by a continuous trapping network across a series of different projects that have formed a collective called the 'Kiwi Link'."

Fourteen projects in the wider Bay of Islands area form the Mid North Alliance, assisted by Kiwi Coast.

Crucial baseline monitoring was completed this year with the first Kiwi Listening Blitz and the NorthTec Kaka and Bellbird Distribution Survey.

During the past year, 2027 people attended Kiwi Coast-supported events, workshops and "kiwi experiences". The over-arching programme - developing shared environmental goals and a collaborative approach to help communities deliver priority projects - is Reconnecting Northland (RN).

The RN programme, backed by the Tindall Foundation, ASB Community Trust, WWF-New Zealand and NZ Landcare Trust, is the first of its kind in New Zealand.

- Northern Advocate

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