Native trees, birds and wildlife are all on the cards for Banks Peninsula’s Te Ahu Pātiki.
The 500ha block of land, which includes Mt Herbert and Mt Bradley, has been purchased by the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust with the goal of restoring the area to a native haven and securing public access for future generations.
To support the project, Whaka-Ora partner Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) has committed to a long-term plan, contributing towards ongoing maintenance and development costs over the first 10 years of the project.
Protecting the biodiversity of Banks Peninsula
LPC GM Engagement and Sustainability Phil de Joux says protecting the biodiversity of Banks Peninsula is hugely important to LPC staff and the wider community.
“We are privileged to work in this beautiful harbour, and it’s important that we look after our surrounding environment.
“Supporting this project is about more than a donation, it helps LPC deliver on our long-term commitment to having a positive impact on the biodiversity of Whakaraupō.”
A groundswell of support from the people of Christchurch and across New Zealand got the project across the line, with the Trust successfully crowd funding the last $600,000 needed to make the purchase.
Establishing the project
Once the deal has been settled, the Trust plans to begin with removing grazing stock, setting up good fencing, starting pest control and monitoring track maintenance.
“Native conservation and restoration are things that don’t take place overnight, which is why LPC has chosen to donate over a 10- year period,” says Phil.
“This will help get the project established, covering initial costs in setting up the land and beginning the regeneration process.”
Rocky outcrops and indigenous forest
The rocky outcrops and indigenous forests spread from the summits of the Port Hills to the gully heads of the Te Ahu Pātiki/Mt Herbert area.
The area is populated by a number of important species including the kāhu/harrier hawk/, the pipit, copper butterfly, pōhuehue/muhlenbeckia, thin-barked tōtara, kārearea/falcon, Canterbury tree weta, prostrate kowhai, and native tussocks.
The Whaka-Ora partnership is committed to supporting this area, where native plants, trees and species prosper in a sustainably managed environment.
Photo credit: Sam Barrow