Dole spon­sors Mo­tu­tapu restora­tion

Taste - - The Scene -

Ef­forts to com­plete one of New Zealand’s largest eco­log­i­cal restora­tion projects on the 1509-hectare Mo­tu­tapu Is­land were se­ri­ously ham­pered by Cy­clone Deb­bie ear­lier this year. Af­ter the erad­i­ca­tion of pests from the Hau­raki Gulf is­land in 2011, around 100 hectares of na­tive for­est were planted by Mo­tu­tapu Restora­tion Trust vol­un­teers and it is now home to a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion of some of the coun­try’s rarest species of plants, birds, rep­tiles and in­ver­te­brates. Deb­bie wrecked the place in April, wip­ing out 16,000 new plant­ings, churn­ing up roads and forc­ing the clo­sure of the is­land to vis­i­tors. Now global fruit provider Dole has stepped in with fi­nan­cial sup­port for the trust to help get the is­land open again. The fund­ing from the world’s largest pro­ducer of fruit and veg­eta­bles will al­low the trust to achieve its long-term goal of cre­at­ing sus­tain­able pop­u­la­tions of takahe, Coro­man­del brown kiwi, tieke (sad­dle­backs) and other threat­ened species. Brett But­land, chair of Mo­tu­tapu Restora­tion Trust, says the con­tri­bu­tions of spon­sors such as Dole are cru­cial to the trust’s op­er­a­tions. “The vol­un­teer army ef­fort must be sup­ported by hav­ing the right equip­ment, site prepa­ra­tion and trans­port,” he says. DOLENZ.CO.NZ/SUS­TAIN­ABIL­ITY/MO­TU­TAPU

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