Maintaining the Gains

This is a partnership project with Aukaha to control pest plants across 16 QEII covenants in the coastal Dunedin area.

This Jobs for Nature project will target around 1400 hectares of QEII covenanted land for pest plant control over three years. It will be managed by Otago Regional Council, in collaboration with Aukaha and QEII National Trust.

Aukaha is a Rūnaka-based consultancy service, linking communities, engaging with iwi, and providing a shared understanding to make Otago a better place to be. We work closely with Aukaha on many projects.

QEII National Trust works with landowners to protect and enhance open spaces of ecological and cultural significance. 

Working together to protect our beautiful coastal Otago landscape and keeping these pest plants out of the picture. 

 

QEII National Trust sign

 

Funding

This project is funded by the Department of Conservation through the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme and is designed to create jobs while enhancing nature. Otago Regional Council has secured $1 million of funding to help Otago make real progress in controlling pest plants across 16 QEII covenants in the coastal Dunedin area.

 

QEII covenants

Private landowners have the option to commit in perpetuity to set aside covenanted land on their property. This land will not be developed, and native landscapes are left to thrive. Most covenants remain on land forever, some may be for as short a time as ten years. Thanks to the generosity of New Zealand landowners, we are rich in QEII covenanted land.  

The work landowners do in protecting this land, like excluding stock from the protected area, is critical in protecting existing native habitats and encouraging regeneration of native vegetation. This protects habitats for threatened indigenous species and provides corridors linking larger areas of private and public conservation land. 

However, weeds threaten our landscape and biodiversity. Pest plants such as Old Man’s Beard and Sycamore are rampant across the South Island. QEII covenants protect areas of high biodiversity value from development, but ongoing maintenance is required to protect QEII covenants from the detrimental effects of invasive pest plants.  

 

QEII ORC signage protected private land

 

About the work

Representatives from QEII will contact landowners to arrange site visits and where covenants will be assessed for their suitability according to type of weeds, extent of the problem and its impact on biodiversity, and accessibility.  

Landowners will then need to sign an agreement to permit pest plant control on their property.  

Aukaha's kaimahi (field team) will complete the work alongside kaitiaki rangers specialised in pest plant control.

 

Timeline

July 2022–Oct 2022

QEII covenants within 50 km of Dunedin central identified.
Phase 1: First group of landowners visited to discuss work.
QEII covenants (10 covenants) assessed and prioritised.

November 2022–February 2023

Phase 1: Those selected QEII Covenants will be scoped for work.
Aukaha Field Team will begin pest plant work on the first covenants.

February 2023–December 2023

Phase 2: QEII covenants (6 covenants) assessed, prioritised, and scoped for work.
Second group of landowners visited to discuss work and pest plant work continues.

January 2024–November 2024

Phase 3: Pest plant work continues on remaining covenants.

December 2024

Project close.

 

Contacts

Otago Regional Council Project Delivery Specialist

Melanie White
Email melanie.white@orc.govt.nz
Tel 027 357 2568

ORC Biosecurity Officer — Coastal Otago

Kirk Robertson
Email kirk.robertson@orc.govt.nz
Tel 027 498 6146

QEII Representative — Coastal Otago

Cathy Rufaut
Email crufaut@qeii.org.nz
Tel 021 100 8347

 

Further information

Jobs for Nature

Aukaha

QEII National Trust

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