A partnership for protection

Boffa Miskell joins iwi, private business and the Department of Conservation to protect at-risk shorebirds

Boffa Miskell has joined a partnership between the Department of Conservation, Te Arai and Mangawhai Shorebirds Trust and Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust to work together to help protect the critically endangered Tara iti or Fairy Tern at Mangawhai north of Auckland. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by all parties in early December.

The Te Arai and Mangawhai Shorebirds Trust was established in 2014 by the owners of the Tara Iti golf course at Te Arai to provide financial, technical and research resourcing to organisations and volunteers committed to the preservation and conservation of Fairy Terns and other at-risk shorebirds. Boffa Miskell has been working with the Te Arai and Mangawhai Shorebirds Trust since its inception.

Boffa Miskell planners and ecologists prepared various resource consents associated with the golf course, created a range of management plans to ensure the environmental benefits are delivered, and our ecology team led by Leigh Bull has an ongoing role monitoring the shorebird populations.

“All four parties in this MoU have been working together for years,” said Auckland-based planner Peter Hall. “This expands the scope of what we’re doing to protect the fairy tern and other birds in the area.”

Sue Reed-Thomas, the DoC operations director for the northern North Island, said, “We’re bringing together the Department of Conservation and the Shorebirds Trust with iwi and private business and this underpins the work done by many dedicated locals and community groups in the past at Mangawhai and Te Arai.”

“These are long and effective relationships,” said Russell Kemp, Chair for Te Uri o Hau. “This MoU formalises and strengthens them, and provides a framework for moving forward.”

Future projects under this initiative will support the recommendations of the Department of Conservation’s Biodiversity Group which has provided scientific advice for the recovery plan for the Fairy Tern.

The Fairy Tern is the most threatened of New Zealand’s endemic birds. A small population of around forty birds survives between Whangarei in the north and Auckland to the south, with fewer than a dozen breeding pairs. The first chick of this year’s season was hatched two weeks ago.

For further information please contact Dr. Leigh Bull or Peter Hall

13 December 2017