Kohimarama forest reprieve gives conservationists a chance to buy

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Conservation groups have obtained a reprieve for the Kohimarama urban forest threatened with sale in Auckland, to give them a chance to buy it from an Anglican Church trust.

The Board of Directors of the Melanesian Mission launched the 2.3 hectares of Kohimarama forest to real estate developers, alarming the groups of volunteers who have worked to revitalize the native flora and fauna of the site.

The Kohimarama Forest Preservation Group was given time from the board of directors to explore the purchase site, after a sale process at the open market closed on December 6.

“This is great news and above all it gives us the time we have asked for to work collaboratively with relevant stakeholders to preserve this incredible piece of native forest and highly diverse wetland,” the spokesperson said. of the group, John Blair.

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The board intends to sell the land, which sits in a valley between the streets of Auckland’s upscale Eastern Bays, to support its work in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

The preservation group and the Eastern Berries Songbirds Project, with the support of the council and the iwi, have spent nearly three years working in the forest, which is described as an “ancient fragment of Aotearoa”.

The trust had offered it to the Auckland board, but much to the chagrin of local politicians, board officials rejected the offer without consulting them.

The various parties will begin to work in the new year in an attempt to raise the millions of dollars that may be needed to secure the site and put in place long-term structures to own, maintain and use the site.

The 2.3 ha Kohimarama Forest is located on the outskirts of Auckland.

Abigail Dougherty / Stuff

The 2.3 ha Kohimarama Forest is located on the outskirts of Auckland.

Residents and environmentalists had been taken by surprise by the board’s marketing of the site, and last-minute talks opened the door to an offer to be prepared to keep it as is.

The trust agent had presented the site as “a unique opportunity for the discerning real estate investor or land developer ”.

Orakei Ward Councilor Desley Simpson will become a key spokesperson for the group’s efforts and help facilitate the safeguarding of the site “for the long-term benefit of all who live in Tāmaki Makarau,” the group said. .

“This part of Auckland is home to mature trees over 100 years old,” said Simpson.

Conservation groups and volunteers have spent several years improving Kohimarama forest

Abigail Dougherty / Stuff

Conservation groups and volunteers have spent several years improving Kohimarama forest

“With climate change and environmental impacts in mind for so many, it is absolutely imperative that Council work with the community to consider all options to keep this important ecological corridor safe from development. “


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