Fifteen years of hard work has led to Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust being named as a finalist for a prestigious national award.
Sanctuary manager Simon Collins says being nominated for the award is all thanks to the work from volunteers and the community.
"We were thrilled to hear the trust was nominated. The most important thing is to recognise the community, volunteers, partners and friends of Rotokare."
The trust is one of 27 finalists for the Biosecurity Awards. They were chosen from a pool of 70 entries to be one of the three finalists for the Department of Conservation Community Kahiwi Award for established projects and initiatives. The trust is the only Taranaki based initiative featured in any of the category finals.
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The Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust is a community-led conservation-based charitable trust, started in 2004 after concern for the decline for the Reserve. As the community began to care for the area, the attitudes towards the Reserve changed, says Simon.
Initially the trust aimed to raise $30,000 for pest control, but within four years the predator proof fence was successfully funded and built, he says.
"In 2008 we completed the predator proof fence. We have successfully eradicated 12 pests species within the fence which has lead to the return of rare threatened species including the kiwi, tieke/ saddleback and hihi/ stitchbird."
Simon says the recent success of the Taranaki Kōhanga Kiwi at Rotokare project was an key moment for the trust.
"The project is a partnership between us and Taranaki Kiwi Trust. It was the first translocation from the sanctuary to a community led restoration site nearby. It was a big milestone. We're also working on the Halo project where we will be completing pest control outside the sanctuary."
He says it is exciting for a Taranaki project to be recognised in the awards.
"I want to congratulate all finalists particularly the community lead initiatives that have achieved great success in their local environments."