Caring for the environment  |  8 Jun 2022

A biodiversity fund set up by Christchurch City Council has given grants to seven projects so they can further their work to protect the environment.

The Council set up the Christchurch Biodiversity Fund in 2017 to support and encourage initiatives that protect and enhance indigenous biodiversity on private land.

Today, the Council’s Three Waters and Infrastructure Committee agreed to use $143,697 from the fund to support the following seven projects:

Feral Pig control, Te Waihora catchments: The spread of feral pigs is becoming a major threat to Banks Peninsula and this funding will go towards feral pig control across multiple properties and landowners.

Covenant protection and enhancement Port Levy:  This project involves expanding predator control and supplementary planting through 51ha of regenerating low-altitude second growth podocarp/hardwood forest in Purau Valley.

Tūpari  - Mikimiki Conservation Trust, ecological restoration: The grant will go towards protecting and enhancing conservation on Tūpari (which comprises 49 hectares on the southern slopes of Mt Herbert and Mt Bradley) through animal pest, weed control and by facilitating the expansion of native forest through natural regeneration.

Manaia Covenant Protection: The ‘Manaia’ covenant is an important habitat for native bush birds, native forest species and plays an important part in buffering the Okana stream. Funding will go towards weed control to continue to protect this space.

Te Ahu Pātiki summit protection: This project aims to halt the invasion of weeds across the iconic summit of Mt Herbert. The botanical values of the summit are extremely vulnerable to smothering by gorse that is rapidly occurring. Without weed control, the gorse would have a serious adverse effect on forest regeneration on the summit.

Rare ecosystem protection - Summit Road reserves: Funding will go towards protecting and enhancing indigenous biodiversity through undertaking weed control on naturally rare volcanic bluff ecosystems in Summit Road Society reserves (Ohinetahi and Linda Woods).

Hauroko Covenant Protection: The Hauroko Covenant protects one of the most ecologically significant ecosystems in Christchurch district. Being an open site of low stature shrub lands that adjourns the Birdlings Flat settlement, it is prone to weed invasion, in particular, karo, pigs ear and spur valerian. The area will be greatly benefited by the funding which will go towards weed control.

“The Biodiversity Fund is an opportunity to support private landowners who are taking voluntary action, and investing their own time and money, to protect and enhance biodiversity on their properties,” says Committee Chair Councillor Pauline Cotter.

“This partnership fund applies to ecologically significant sites, and Council can contribute up to 50% of the project cost, with a cap of $60,000 per application.

“Since the fund was established, we have been able to provide a total of $1,232,214 across 52 projects. This means over 1300 hectares of ecologically significant vegetation has been protected, along with the indigenous fauna that live in those habitats.

“There are real benefits in these projects that provide protection for our important indigenous species and eco-systems. This funding really helps people on the ground, and reinforces the Council’s commitment to protecting and improving the environment for everyone,’’ Cr Cotter says.

Find out more about the Christchurch Biodiversity Fund.