Integrating conservation with sheep and dairy grazing in the unique coastal environment of Aotea Harbour
Along with representatives from a wide cross-section of organisations including Environment Waikato, Waipa District Council, Department of Conservation, Federated Farmers and Forest and Bird, Waikato covenantors enjoyed a visit to Pakoka River Station at Te Papatapu on 4 March.
They were invited to the station for lunch with the QEII Board and staff and a tour of the 85ha covenant that protects coastal forest on the farm.
Above: Margaret McKee, QEII Chief Executive; Sir Brian Lochore, QEII Chairperson; Bernard Card, QEII Director; and Edward Ellison, QEII Director.
Adjacent to the Pakoka River that is fed by the nearby Bridal Veil Falls, Pakoka River Station is a 540ha sheep and dairy grazing property with magnificent views of Aotea Harbour and Mt Karioi.
Bill and June Allen and Ray and Jean Peel have owned the station since 2005.
Above: With an outlook over Mt Karioi, the 85ha covenant has protected the forest canopy of tawa and pukatea with tall rimu, matai, miro and kahikatea since 1992. Photo: Rex Webby
At a gathering in the woolshed, QEII Chairperson Sir Brian Lochore acknowledged the generosity of landowners who have protected native vegetation with covenants.
‘Waikato covenantors now protect 16,000 hectares with over five hundred QEII covenants,’ he said. ‘It is wonderful to meet these inspired people who are protecting our special areas for future generations.’
Rex Webby, QEII Waikato Regional Representative, said forest remnants, kanuka and manuka shrubland, wetlands and landscapes are just some of the areas covenanted.
Distinctive Waikato features such as historic stands of oak trees and pa sites are also protected.
Above: QEII covenantors and other guests were treated to a country lunch in the woolshed at Pakoka River Station. Photo: Margaret McKee
Above: Long-time covenantor, Arthur Cowan from Otorohanga, with Bill Allen, one of the owners of Pakoka River Station. Photo: Margaret McKee
Above: Waikato covenantors took the opportunity to discuss the management of their covenants with QEII Chairperson Sir Brian Lochore and other QEII directors and staff. Photo: Margaret McKee
On behalf of the owners, Bill Allen explained the philosophy for managing the farm.
‘We love the property and are looking for a partner or better still, a group of families, to buy one or more of the titles to the station,’ he said.
‘This would give them the opportunity to share in a genuine working farm and have a small income.
‘There are more bush blocks that could be protected by QEII. We also have an enormous list of improvements we'd like to make including more wetland development and even more vigorous pest control.
'Selling some of the titles may make it easier and more affordable to put covenants in place so New Zealanders can continue to enjoy our beautiful bush and coastal views.’
Above: Following lunch, Bill Allen took the guests on a tour of the Pakoka River Station covenant. Photo: Maitland Manning
Above: The outstanding views over the Aotea and Kawhia Harbours and the Tasman Sea from the top of the covenant. Photo: Rex Webby
Published 25 March 2009