Million Metres is set to work with a groundbreaking large scale conservation project transforming a swathe of the Hawke’s Bay region.
Cape to City is a collaborative ecological restoration project by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, the Department of Conservation, Landcare Research, The Aotearoa Foundation, Cape Sanctuary, local iwi groups and landowners. It started in 2015 and covers 26,000 ha. The project area stretches from Havelock North to Cape Kidnappers, including Waimarama and forest remnants of Kahuranaki.
The vision is to have “native species thriving where we live, work and play”. The project works on species reintroduction, habitat restoration, research, community engagement and pest control.
Million Metres has jumped on board to help with habitat restoration for the Maraetōtara River and Waipuka Stream. The Maraetōtara River forms one of the key ways that protected and reintroduced species from the Cape Sanctuary area can expand their range. The Waipuka Stream is home to native fish and local wildlife.
More than $42,000 has been raised on the Million Metres platform. This will be used to plant thousands of native trees along both waterways.
Ben Douglas from Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is head of habitat restoration for the Cape to City. He said the project’s original goal to plant 215,000 native plants by the end of 2019 had already been met, opening up the opportunity to do more.
“Strong partnerships have allowed us to meet our goal ahead of time,” he said. “However, for the remainder of the project we’ll continue to plant strategically and control plant pests. This will ensure we leave robust and high quality habitat capable of sustaining itself well into the future.”
Cape to City has released toutouwai (North Island robins) and miromiro (tomtits) into its area. It is proposing to reintroduce kiwi soon, and exploring the possibility of introducing whio (blue duck).
Even with good habitat our native species continue to face significant threats from introduced species such as stoats, ferrets, possums, rats and feral cats.
The Government has set an ambitious goal of making New Zealand predator free by 2050. Cape to City is one of many projects around the country working towards that end. The project is pioneering new wireless trapping technologies. This includes traps that send notifications to smart phones and computers when triggered.