Transpower owns and operates the National Grid – the high voltage transmission network connecting areas of generation with towns and cities across New Zealand.
The company has had a long association with Fiordland through its ownership and operation of the transmission lines connecting the Manapouri hydro electric power scheme with the National Grid.
In 2015 Transpower entered into partnership with DOC to undertake biodiversity protection work in an area traversed by their transmission lines - the Grebe and Boland valleys.
The partnership will see $100,000 spent over a 5 year period on weed control and biodiversity inventory/monitoring.
The weed control activities are centred on controlling invasive weed species around the Borland Road area. This is a recognised access point for weeds into Fiordland National Park and the pristine wetlands along the Grebe Valley. Key weed species being controlled are ragwort, gorse and broom, foxglove and Russell lupin.
In 2015 an inventory of forest birds, in particular yellowhead/mohua, took place with funding from Transpower. This survey revealed the Grebe Valley to be a national stronghold for mohua, placing it among the top five sites monitored in New Zealand. In light of this new information the Grebe Valley has been included in the 2016/17 Battle For Our Birds priority list of sites for large scale predator control.
If it had not been for the confirmation of large populations of mohua through the Transpower funded survey it's unlikely that any further biodiversity protection work other than weed control would have been undertaken in the Grebe-Borland area.