Date: 27 November 2012
Auckland Council and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have announced a new partnership that will strengthen the management of Auckland's open spaces, natural heritage and wild places.
The two organisations today (Tuesday November 27) signed an historic memorandum of understanding to begin the new collaborative relationship.
Signed by Auckland Council's chief executive Doug McKay and DOC's director general Al Morrison, the agreement outlines how the two organisations will work together in outdoor recreation and wild spaces to enhance the health of the region's environment and its natural and historic heritage sites, and promote outdoor recreation and eco-tourism opportunities.
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DOC director general Al Morrison and Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay sign the MOU
Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay says the agreement will provide benefits for Aucklanders and visitors.
"By working together we will bring cost-effective approaches to better manage our environmental services and infrastructure within our recreation and wild spaces. There are significant opportunities for savings through a more co-ordinated approach to infrastructure upgrades, equipment purchases and service contracts."
DOC director general Al Morrison and Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay at the MOU signing
DOC director general Al Morrison says a strategic partnership to deliver conservation gains is a milestone for the department.
"Too many people think conservation is a back-country activity. Auckland needs a healthy environment because a healthy harbour and vibrant open spaces in our biggest city deliver direct returns through things like recreation and tourism."
"I congratulate Auckland Council on its vision to become the world's most liveable city. This agreement shows that Aucklanders understand Auckland's long term future is wrapped up in the health of its natural environment," says Al Morrison.
Auckland Council and DOC already work together to keep Hauraki Gulf islands free of pests through the Treasure Islands programme.
Pest-free sanctuaries on the city's doorstep such as Rangitoto and Motutapu already provide a safe home for endangered native wildlife including kiwi and takahe.
"The Gulf island sanctuaries are a great example of the benefits that can be achieved when the city and conservation work together," says Doug McKay.
The new agreement will see Auckland Council and DOC looking for opportunities to work more closely to:
- Integrate planning to deliver more cost effective environmental and infrastructure services in outdoor recreation and wild spaces.
- Develop tourism opportunities that enhance Auckland's economy, promote recreation and provide gains for conservation.
- Expand biosecurity work to protect Auckland's native birds from animal pests and native forest from invasive weeds and kauri dieback.
- Develop and improve outdoor recreation assets.
- Promote integrated management of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park and greater coordination of biodiversity management.
- Collaborate on open sanctuary projects such as Tawharanui and Shakespear open sanctuaries, Ark in the Park and the Hunua Kokako Management Area
- Strengthen relationships with iwi.
The memorandum also commits to:
- Protect significant native wildlife populations, habitats and ecosystems.
- Manage natural hazards, respond to emergencies and fight rural fires.
- Identify and protect historic sites and buildings.
- Promote integrated management of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, its islands, coast, marine environment and catchments by supporting the work of the Hauraki Gulf Forum, including State of the Environment reporting.
- Auckland Council and DOC coordinate their work with Nga Mana Whenua o Tamaki Makaurau in giving effect to Treaty of Waitangi settlements and in the kaitiaki of the region's natural and historic environments.
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DOC National media team
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