April 14, 2022
Awarua fire devastating to climate change
Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allen says the Awarua fire is a devastating loss of international significance.
The fire which destroyed 1400 hectares of the 19,000 coastal wetland near Bluff is being brought under control after almost two weeks, but it could stay smouldering underground in the peat.
Ms Allen was in Southland on Monday to witness the effect of the fire on the area which is home to more than 60 species of native birds as well as being a major carbon sink.
“It’s absolutely devastating. Black scours all across these wetlands, gutting because all the native species in there gone. When it’s burned it releases carbon into the environment and when we’re in a climate crisis globally, releasing that amount of carbon, massively devastating for Aotearoa,” she says.
In her capacity as Emergency Response Minister and East Coast MP, Ms Allen is also monitoring the impact of the remnants of tropical cyclone Fili on Tairawhiti and Hawke’s Bay.
Tairawhiti Civil Defence says some parts of the region had more than 100 millimeters of rain in 12 hours.
State Highway 35 was closed last night from just north of Gisborne because of trees down, and there are warnings of rising rivers.
There were widespread power outages through the East Coast and down to Mahia.