What is the Environmental programme offered to us?
A substantial environmental programme offers a long-term approach to saving our native forest, birds and animals, and our waterways, which are threatened by introduced pests and predators. This environmental programme will more than offset the short-term impact of the construction.
- Intensive, multi-species pest management over an area of 3,650 ha, with a focus on controlling rats, possums, mustelids (e.g. stoats), feral cats, feral pigs and goats to very low densities, and fencing to exclude livestock. This management will continue in perpetuity (or until such time as pest management in its current form is no longer necessary to sustain the levels of biodiversity created).
- Restoration planting of over 120,000 plants
- 6 ha of kahikatea (swamp forest)
- 9 ha of dryland forest
- 17 ha of planting along stream margins.
- More than 100,000 additional native plants will be planted along the roadside margins and on the fill slopes.
- Planting of 200 seedlings of the same species for every significant tree that has to be felled, although every effort has been made in the bypass design to avoid these trees.
- Riparian planting and measures to keep cattle and sheep away from approximately 8.9 km of existing stream to reduce stream bank erosion.
- Restoration planting of all secondary scrub areas along the project area plus temporary construction areas such as access tracks and storage areas that retain suitable planting conditions, being approximately 9 ha in total.
- Work is already underway to reduce the risk of harming native wildfire during construction and when the road is operational. This involves monitoring and specific environmental investigations of some key species including kiwis, bats and lizards before, during and after construction.
We have a responsibility to accept this offer because it is a real opportunity for us to help to protect lives and livelihoods AND to save our native forest, birds and animals mō o tātou mokopuna me ngā reanga kei te heke mai – our future generations. This is why we are urging our members to carefully consider this and to vote YES for the Bypass.
In the summer of 2019, the Mt Messenger Bypass Project’s ecology team searched for long-tailed bats to locate their maternity roosts (places where mother bats and their young stay). Long-tailed bats are in our ngāhere, but are low in numbers.