On Saturday the 14th of April, Campbell Leckie from HBRC came to Tuahuru Marae to talk to the Mahia Community about a Mahia Pest free vision.
In his presentation Campbell highlighted the fact that biodiversity is actually in decline and that pest control and habitat restoration are key elements in reversing this trend. Campbell gave an explanation on how this could achieved if the community decided to embrace a Mahia Pest Free vision.
He suggested that possums could be eradicated in the first phase (farmers are already investing money) and thereafter the investment could be transferred to multiple animal pest species control programme including (feral cats, stoats, ferrets, rats, hedgehogs).
If the project goes ahead, the Peninsula should observe a significant recovery in biodiversity including birds, trees, lizards and invertebrates in general. It would also reduce the risk of toxoplasmosis for sheep farmers and create unique opportunities for economic development.
Campbell explained that a wide range of funders would be needed to achieve this vision. Hawkes Bay Regional Council has committed $200,000 to kick start the journey with there initial target would be possums. OMV NZ Ltd are interested in being joint partners and potentially funding up to $200,000 and other partners will join over time.
OMV represented by Tim and Eva, made a presentation about their company that operates globally. OMV has been working in New Zealand since 1999 in oil and gas exploration, production and development. OMV New Zealand Ltd is a NZ-registered company, with approximately 90 staff in Wellington and New Plymouth. OMV NZ developed and operates the offshore Taranaki Maari Field (commissioned 2009). OMV is awaiting regulatory approval to take over the Shell-operated Maui and Pohokuragas fields, also in Taranaki. OMV is also operator of 7 exploration permits in the Taranaki, East Coast and Great South basins.
Responsible business behaviour is crucial to OMV hence the reason why they have been involved with so many community lead projects.
The presentation went very well and the general feedback was really positive.