Road Contractors Destroy Endangered Natives at Waipoua

Press Release – Waipauo Forest Trust

Road Contractors Destroy Endangered Natives at Waipoua

The New Zealand Transport Authority has put the giant kauri of Waipoua Forest under threat due to its mismanagement of State Highway 12 through the Waipoua Forest Sanctuary, according to a report delivered to the NZTA by the Waipoua Forest Trust.The report detailing destruction of rare orchids and other endangered plants by road maintenance contractors was sent to NZTA and the Minister of Transport by the Trust earlier his month.

The survey reveals a number of serious breaches of the Highway Management Plan established to protect the sanctuary in 2000. These include chainsawing of a rare tree daisy, spraying of endangered Kiwi orchids, and failure to control invasive weeds that threaten the entire sanctuary. According to NZTA Regional Director, Auckland, Ernst Zollner, he has not been advised of any threats to the Waipoua Sanctuary via Highway 12. “We have no problem,” he told WFT trustee, Keith Stewart.

In a letter sent to the Minister of Transport, Auckland Museum Curator of Botany, Ewen Cameron, commented, “….The road through Waipoua Forest Sanctuary traverses one of the botanical marvels of New Zealand. It is imperative that the roadside vegetation is managed with great care and an understanding of the species (native and naturalised) and different habitats along the way…”

“We at the trust are gravely concerned at the apparent cavalier manner in which Fulton Hogan, the contractors, and NZTA are managing this delicate environment. The risk to this vital eco-system at a time when it is under great threat from Kauri Die Back, is a call to arms for every New Zealander who values our great Kauri natural history and the wider conservation estate where NZTA or Fulton Hogan are involved .

ENDS

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