September 28, 2020
Ambitious plan to restore Rakiura ecology
The Rakiura Maori Lands Trust says a $2 million boost from the Provincial Growth Fund will help kick off a 20-year project to restore its land back to what it was like when their tupuna first walked on Stewart island.
Chair Simon Gomez says the Rakiura Oneki and Southern Wilderness Experience project will celebrate the island’s unique whakapapa and heritage while establishing low environmental impact tourism.
The trust has a partnership with Real Journeys to develop tourism opportunities, including the Wild Kiwi Encounter which has been running since 2016.
The phase one funding is a mix of grants and loans, with the trust also putting in $500,000.
It will be used to develop infrastructure on Oneki/The Neck, including an all-weather, biosecurity protected border-wharf at Lowry’s Beach, an extension of tracks, a predator-proof fence, and building of shelters.
While COVID-19 is likely to restrict international visitors in the short term, that could be offset by an expected increase in domestic tourism.
Copyright © 2020, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com