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Published: 2016-08-26 00:00:00

The Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park is due to receive a $75,000 boost from Waikato Regional Council’s natural heritage fund.

The money will go towards construction and labour costs for a predator-proof fence around the Otorohanga Kiwi House site.

The contribution is subject to development of a funding deed to be approved by the council.

This week’s council meeting which approved the contribution heard that the Otorohanga park comprises a conservation project, an education centre and a tourist destination. It attracts around 40,000 visitors a year.

The facility is planning an “urban ecological island” at the site involving constructing a 513 metre predator proof fence to enclose the park and keep out rodents, mustelids, possums, rabbits, cats and dogs. The fence will replace an existing 40-year-old barrier at the site.

“A predator-proof fence will allow the park to display more free-ranging native animal species and to better protect some threatened plant species,” a report to the council said.

The report said it was felt the project was worthy of support given its contribution to positive environmental outcomes, tourism and employment in the region.

Waipa-King Country councillors Stu Kneebone and Alan Livingston welcomed the decision.

“The Kiwi House has been an excellent asset to our area and this funding will help it continue to flourish,” said Cr Kneebone.

Cr Livingston said: “It’s great the funding will contribute to both positive environmental and economic outcomes for our area.”

Meanwhile, the council agreed to a total of $50,000 in grants in a special environmental initiatives fund round to support initiatives to assist alternatives to 1080.

Just over $41,000 is to go to the Coromandel’s Kuaotunu Environment Action Group to expand a network of traplines and tracks for the control of stoats, cats, weasels and possums within the Kuaotunu State Forest Park.

About $8,000 will go to Nathan and Nicole McCauley from Te Kauae O Maui Nature Reserve for the expansion of their possum trapping operation into neighbouring private land using Timms traps.