Recognising important landscape values of Pikihatiti Port Pegasus
Boffa Miskell was commissioned by MPI and Environment Southland to undertake a Natural Character, Landscape and Visual Amenity Assessment for investigations for various scenarios of fin fish farming, assisted by ecological data provided by Cawthron, the Department of Conservation and Environment Southland in Pikihatiti Port Pegasus, Rakiura Stewart Island.
Pikihatiti Port Pegasus is located in a part of the remote and isolated east coast of southern Rakiura Stewart Island. Rakiura Stewart Island is renowned for its wild and remote landscape values, containing very high levels of naturalness and very high heritage values. Human modification is limited to discrete parts of the island.
Being remote and isolated from much of mainland New Zealand has resulted in the island holding a relatively diverse number of terrestrial habitats, ranging from indigenous forests and shrublands to wetlands, sand/dune communities and alpine ecosystems. There is a wide diversity of indigenous species on and around Stewart Island, including rare and endemic lizards and invertebrates, and birds such as the Stewart Island brown kiwi | tokoeka.
Within the seascape or the marine environment, Rakiura Stewart Island is located within the Southern Ocean, at one of the world’s great oceanic boundaries – the subtropical convergence, where the prevailing westerly wind and currents from the Tasman Sea moderate the temperatures protecting the island from the cooler subantarctic waters further south. An array of marine wildlife lives within the sheltered and more exposed waters off Rakiura Stewart Island including fur seals, sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins. The marine environment of Stewart Island is one of the largest areas of highly natural marine habitats in New Zealand. It is the southern extreme of many mainland species and communities.
In terms of cultural and heritage aspects, Rakiura Stewart Island is extremely important to Maori where numerous middens, burial areas and waka-landing sites have been identified that support this. European adventurers have also explored this island, setting up sealing and whaling related activities.
Boffa Miskell’s report outlined that the introduction of structures and modifications would affect many of the values that make this part of Stewart Island outstanding. It concluded that the location of any semi-industrial style activity within an area retaining outstanding landscape and natural character values, with no or very little existing modification, will create significant adverse effects on those values that underpin the landscape and natural character overlays.
The report was used alongside other technical reports facilitated by the Southland Regional Development Strategy to explore the environmental, cultural and commercial feasibility of salmon farming in the north arm of Port Pegasus at Stewart Island.
Boffa Miskell provided Landscape Planning and Digital Technical Services
|Client||Ministry of Primary Industries & Environment Southland|
|Project team||James Bentley|
Department of Conservation
Ministry of Primary Industries