Maunga livestock phased out
‘‘It's an annual event in spring to see the lambs’’
First it was cars, now livestock is being banished from Auckland’s volcanic summits.
Cattle and sheep grazing on Auckland maunga (volcanic summits) have been a familiar sight for decades.
But their days are numbered with Auckland’s Maunga Authority planning to remove livestock to protect and restore biodiversity.
Three maunga are grazed by cattle including Mt Wellington/ Maungarei, Mt Richmond/ Otahuhu and Mangere Mountain and two by sheep including One Tree Hill/Maungakiekie and Mt St John/Te Kopuke.
Grazing cattle have already been been cleared from Mt Hobson/Ohinerau in Remuera.
Remuera resident Michelle Noma said it would be a pity if sheep were to be removed from One Tree Hill.
‘‘Our kids love to go there, it’s an annual event in spring to see the lambs in an iconic Auckland space,’’ Noma said.
Every time family visits from overseas, she takes them to One Tree Hill to experience a farm environment close to the city.
Cornwall Park Trust farm manager Peter Maxwell said it has stock currently grazing on One Tree Hill and Mt St John.
The trust has not had formal notification grazing will end on One Tree Hill.
In 2014 14 ancestral cones were returned to the Tupuna Maunga o Tamaki Makaurau Authority (Maunga Authority), to be held in trust for the benefit of all Aucklanders.
The authority is made up of representatives from Nga Mana Whenua o Tamaki Makaurau and Auckland Council, together with Crown (non-voting) representation.
In November it was announced five volcanic cones would also be pedestrian and cycle only from 2017.
Tupuna Maunga manager Scott De Silva said the Tupuna Maunga Integrated Management Plan (IMP) includes an objective to protect and restore the biodiversity of the ancestral mountains. Under that objective, the intention was to phase out grazing stock and reintroduce native species, including microorganisms, invertebrates, lizards, and birds.
‘‘These contribute to resilient and healthy ecosystems.’’
De Silva said there was no set programme for the removal of stock.
Stock caused damage to archaeological features including historic kumara pits.
Sheep adorning One Tree Hill and Auckland’s other volcanic cones will one day be a thing of the past. Remuera resident Michelle Noma