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Protecting our precious places

Sir Brian Lochore acknowledges generosity of Gisborne and Wairoa farmers

The forethought of over 100 Gisborne and Wairoa landowners who have QEII covenants was acknowledged by Sir Brian Lochore at Nicks Head Station near Gisborne on 14 May.

The landowners along with Mayor Meng Foon, council staff and others involved with QEII were invited to the station for a tour of the conservation area and wetland development at the iconic property.

Sir Brian, chairperson of the Trust, thanked the landowners for their generosity in protecting special areas on their land with QEII covenants.

'A QEII open space covenant is a legally binding protection agreement which is registered on the title of the land,' said Sir Brian.

'It is voluntary but once in place it protects the area forever.

'Private property rights are not jeopardised by a covenant as the landowner retains ownership of the land and continues to control access.

'It is wonderful to work with the many inspired landowners in Gisborne and Wairoa who are protecting special areas for future generations.'

Photo below: Sir Brian Lochore acknowledges the generosity of Gisborne and Wairoa landowners who are protecting special areas with QEII covenants at a gathering in the  Nicks Head Station woolshed.

Sir Brian Lochore acknowledges covenantors
Malcolm Piper, Gisborne QEII Regional Representative, said the Trust fills an important role for landowners who care about their environment.

'To be able to protect the areas they take pride in is a huge bonus,' he said.

'Bush remnants, wetlands, lagoons, sea cliffs, arboretums and an historic whaling station are just some of the areas protected in Gisborne with QEII covenants.

'The Gisborne District Council also has an 1,100 hectare open space covenant protecting the water reservoir catchment at Waingake.

'I am looking forward to the marvellous work of Gisborne and Wairoa covenantors continuing as we can see at Nicks Head Station.'

Nicks Head Station, owned by John Griffin, takes in the hills of the nationally significant landscape feature of Young Nicks Head and includes archaeological sites, bird habitat and rare bush remnants. A 147 hectare QEII covenant covers the hill country which forms the headland.

Forming an integral part of the plan to become a model farming operation, a major private conservation project is transforming Nicks Head and Mapiri Stations. Estate manager Kim Dodgshun is managing the restoration.

'The vision is to return the conservation area from eroded hills and degraded coastal wetlands to how it was in 600 to 700 years ago,' said Kim.

'Over 250,000 eco-sourced natives have been planted to date.

'Remnants of bush and gullies are being fenced and planted and over 40 hectares of wetlands are being restored.

'On the headland we have fenced off 35 hectares with a predator-free fence and reintroduced geckos and weta.

'The aim is to eventually bring back tuatara.'

Photo below: Kim Dodgshun, estate manager at Nicks Head Station, explains the revegetation programme to QEII covenantors, with the restored coastal wetland in the background.

Kim Dodgshun explains the revegetation programme

Photo below: The team at Nicks Head Station has planted 250,000 native trees around bush remnants, on eroded hills and in the coastal wetland.

Revegetation at Nicks Head Station

Photo below: The intensive restoration plantings in the wetland have been fenced off to exclude stock.

Restoration plantings at Nicks Head Station wetland

The extensive restoration at Nicks Head Station together with the work of other local landowners with QEII covenants is inspiring more to protect native vegetation on their farms.

There are 97 registered QEII covenants in Gisborne and 17 approved with a further 47 registered and seven approved in Wairoa District.

Gisborne has 4,126 hectares protected by QEII open space covenants, and 3,585 hectares are protected in Wairoa.

Published 21 May 2008

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