Council Funding Will Help Protect Regionally Significant Forest

07 April 2017

A large section of remnant wetland rainforest on the border of Egmont National Park will be protected with fencing, thanks to funding from New Plymouth District Council.

At yesterday’s (Thursday) meeting of NPDC’s Community Funding Investment Subcommittee, $21,400 of funding was approved for the site at the end of Alfred Road.

The land will be protected under a QEII covenant and will broaden the biodiversity of both the national park and the region says NZ Native Forest Restoration Trust Chair Tim Oliver.

“This land is one of two or three tongues of lowland forest coming out of the national park’s circumference,” he says.

“Back in 1986 it was recognised as one of 13 category one pieces of bush within Taranaki, and it was the only regionally significant unprotected forest on lahar deposits.

“Also, there’s more swamp maire in this wetland than I’ve seen around half the North Island during the last 25 years.

“New Plymouth District Council, Taranaki Regional Council and the Queen Elizabeth II Trust have been very helpful to us in our efforts to protect this land – as has the former owner Greg Clement, who agreed to sell it to the trust for its protection.”

The wetland forest covers 130ha between Kaiauai Stream and the Waiwhakaiho River. The new fencing will prevent grazing stock from getting into the forest for browsing.

NPDC Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts says protecting the wetland forest is a big step forward in retaining biodiversity on the ring plain.

“It’s taken years of collaboration by many organisations and people to get to this point, and it’s really satisfying to have played a part in protecting a regionally significant piece of remnant forest wetland for the benefit of future generations,” he says.

“Enhanced biodiversity in our region is not only positive for the natural environment and clean water, but it will also have significant cultural and economic spin-offs.”

One of the eight key directions of NPDC’s 30-year District Blueprint is to enhance the natural environment with biodiversity links.

  • Swamp maire forest once covered 200,000ha in the Egmont Ecological District. It now covers less than two per cent of its former area.
A map of the Alfred Road forest wetland alongside Egmont National Park.