Taranaki Mounga has an ambitious vision for the Mounga over a 20-year time frame to take place in three main phases.
Initially we will secure the Mounga from weeds and animal pests, protecting the biodiversity values already present and securing the park from further damage. The project will involve intensive pest and weed control over more than 34,000 ha from mountains to sea.
Taranaki Mounga is well on its way of eradicating goats, making Te Papakura o Taranaki, previously known as Egmont National Park, New Zealand’s first ungulate (hooved animals) free national park. Possums, rodents, hares and mustelids (stoats, weasels and ferrets) will be controlled to low densities through a combination of trapping, ground and aerial predator control. The Project will support Towards Predator-Free Taranaki and the Taranaki Regional Council’s development of a biodiversity halo to minimise pest reinvasion from around the park’s surrounding hinterland into the100km perimeter.
We will design and implement a strategy to eliminate and manage re-invasion from the worst weeds including wild ginger, asparagus scandens, and others as realistically achievable and on Ngā Motu by controlling boxthorn and other weeds, and protecting from pest incursion.
By securing the park from weeds and predators we will create an environment where birds and other native species will begin to thrive and reproduce successfully.
Taranaki Mounga reintroduced lost species like toutouwai/robin and will bring back kākāriki, kākā and seabirds like petrels. Eventually we hope kōkako, bats and tīeke/saddleback will once again flourish on the Mounga.
We will also work to boost populations of species already here including kiwi, whio/blue duck, long tailed bats, Powelliphanta snails, and rare plants like Dactylanthus and the endemic Melicytus drucei shrub found only on Mt Taranaki and nearby Pouakai.
The project will help restore ecological links between the Mounga and the Moana (“mountain to sea”), connecting the park to the coast via river corridors down at least three rivers of importance to Taranaki iwi and communities.
Regional water quality will be enhanced and protected, through intact, almost pest-free forests, undisturbed soils and extensive riparian vegetation.
Through building community support and commitment Taranaki Mounga will ensure the transformational changes it achieves are valued and secured long into the future. It aims to inspire young people to be the next generation of kaitiaki (guardians) of the Mounga and national park.
In 20 years we expect to see considerable ecological, social and cultural change for the better on the Mounga. However there will be ongoing maintenance and work required to ensure the outcomes are maintained
The project objectives will be complimented and enhanced by two supporting outcomes:
The creation of a halo.
Taranaki Mounga will work with partners to develop innovative, effective means of pest control to protect the park and beyond including a biodiversity halo and ecological corridor between the Mounga and the Moana (Mountain to Sea) being restored.
Oranga Mounga Oranga Tangata – Healthy Nature, Healthy People.
This project will enable the development of other important projects that will work to enhance the communities health, education, skill development and wellbeing as a result of the close connection with nature and the Taranaki Mounga project.