Media release

Regional gem shortlisted for national award

Wednesday 11 May 2016

Otago Regional Council extends congratulations to Orokonui Ecosanctuary on being a finalist in the Protecting Our Biodiversity category of the Green Ribbon Awards announced yesterday.

Situated in Dunedin, Orokonui is the flagship biodiversity project for the South Island, providing protection from predators for multiple species of plants and animals. A predator fence surrounds 307 ha of coastal Otago forest where pests have been removed, the habitat enhanced with weed control and planting, and many rare and endangered species have been reintroduced.

The Green Ribbon Awards recognise groups from around the country that are doing extraordinary work in their communities to restore and protect the environment.

ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said the nomination is recognition of the hard work of all involved with establishing the ecosanctuary.

“Everyone who has contributed something to it from its conception has cause to feel proud of the award nomination. Countless hours of voluntary work and a good deal of community support has been essential to its establishment,” Mr Woodhead said.

“Orokonui is a significant centre for biodiversity, conservation and education within Otago and New Zealand. It has become a premier Dunedin destination for international and New Zealand tourists.”

Mr Woodhead said the council was pleased to have been able to support it. ORC has contributed $575,000 to various capital projects at the ecosanctuary over the past decade.

The finalists will attend a ceremony at Parliament on 7 June, during the week of World Environment Day. Winners will be announced by Conservation Minister Maggie Barry and Environment Minister Nick Smith, for each category, and then an overall supreme winner will be announced.

For more information contact

Stephen Woodhead
Ph 027 280 1635