The map shows the Restore Rodney East boundaries.
The area between Warkworth and Leigh, including Tāwharanui, will be the focus of a new environmental initiative called Restore Rodney East, which starts next month.
The project is being funded by the Rodney Local Board to increase landscape scale environmental restoration in eastern Rodney, defined as the area between Waiwera and Te Arai.
Senior conservation advisor (North) Hana Aickin says it will build on the significant biodiversity gains already made by iwi, landowners and community groups, with the coordination of these efforts at a more regional level.
The project will be delivered in stages, starting with an Ecological Connectivity Roadmap for the Warkworth to Leigh area.
“Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust and an ecological specialist will use key cultural and environmental data, along with where current conservation activity is taking place, to develop a technical report that can be used to prioritise conservation activity to achieve ecological connectivity,” Hana says.
“Rodney east contains significant areas of indigenous biodiversity, a highly engaged and growing conservation community, and multiple large-scale agency projects.
“There is a huge opportunity to achieve connectivity across this landscape by connecting and leveraging off all this conservation work and focusing on the areas or actions that can create the best cultural and ecological outcomes.
“Through the synthesis of this information, gaps and opportunities for cultural and ecological protection and restoration will be identified. Rodney east communities will be able to use this information to direct their conservation activities.”
The second stage of the project will be the development of a community strategy using key information from the Ecological Connectivity Roadmap.
Hana says the strategy will collate the values, interests and capacity of iwi and community conservation groups, and provide structure and guidance on collaboration in a complex space.
“It will ultimately provide a shared vision for the protection and restoration of the environmental landscape while incorporating the uniqueness of individual groups and their needs and aspirations.”
The cost of the project was not released, but paid coordinators will be appointed to help deliver it.