History & Philosophy
A BRIEF HISTORY
Together with the Government, the ASB Charitable Trusts, the Auckland Regional Council and Auckland local authorities Motu Kaikoura (previously known as Selwyn Island) was bought for the people of New Zealand and opened by the Prime Minister on 7 May 2005. It is an island of huge potential for conservation purposes and NZ desperately needs more secure sanctuaries for our wildlife. The aim is to support natural regeneration of the vegetation free of invasive plants and animals.
The island has a wharf and floating pontoon (ARC grant obtained to replace gangway and pontoon) 548 metre licensed airfield, several kilometers of road. Tractor and accessories, trans mule and excavator. (Thanks to Lion Foundation and Pub Charity for their grants) An alternator for power reticulated underground. Both Spark and Vodafone have cell sites on the island. 3G facilities are obtained through the Vodafone site for our use on the island. A radio repeater was commissioned in conjunction with Glenfern and Outdoor Pursuits Centre (now known as Hillary Outdoors) for regular communications and all safety frequencies.Upgraded sewerage system and hot water. The caretaker’s office was restored and commissioned in 2011.
Unfortunately the Lodge was destroyed by arson, however replacement plans are underway.
PESTS – PREDATORS
Fallow Deer – Deer population of approx. 300 over twelve years ago, was eradicated in 2008.
Rats – Second of two rodent bait drops carried out on 13 September 2008. Unfortunately we had re-invasion but rodent eradication on Motu Kaikoura and surrounding islands and islets is continuing. Supporters have built more than 400 rat motels which are being used with traps, bait stations and tracking tunnels on Motu Kaikoura.
Fantail, silvereye, grey warbler and kingfisher are common in the bush and populations of tui and NZ pigeon are growing. There are also good numbers of banded rail and kaka on the island. Brown teal are sometimes seen around the coast.
As required by our appointment, restoration plans are well under way and we are fortunate having Hillary Outdoors involved in the outdoor/environmental education on the island. They make extensive use of Motu Kaikoura for kayaking, tramping and camping as part of their training programme. Spirit of NZ also calls at the island
Restoration of buildings. One chalet is self-contained and independent plus restoration of four sleeping chalets is almost completed. Alternative energy power system to integrate with the alternator proposed. Following the deer, and partial rat eradication, there has been a rapid recovery of plant life with seedlings growing from a base of mature specimens in gullies. Regenerating tea-tree (manuka and kanuka) through gorse is well on the way on the rest of the island. Pine tree eradication is almost complete on the northern side of the island and more is planned. Volunteers have been a welcome assistance on various projects.
Robbie is based permanently on the island, supported by Clint and Jacinda on their yacht at the pontoon and Nick on his yacht on the Trust’s mooring.
The island perimeter track for rodent eradication and public use has been completed.
A disappointing rat re-invasion has occurred – most likely by swimmers from mainland Gt Barrier.
Please observe the Gulf Islands BioSecurity signage!
Please set up your own INSPECTION & QUARANTINE protocol:
your vessel, camping gear and baggage for MICE, RATS, ANTS
Leave your pets on the boat, do not take them ashore … THANK YOU!
Volunteers can now register through the DoC website
or contact Rod Miller 021 773 286.
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