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Kaitiaki rangers to patrol holiday destinations

Kaitiaki rangers will be on hand again this summer to ensure campers and other visitors to some of the Far North’s most popular destinations protect and respect the local environment.

The 17 rangers and eight youth volunteers will patrol summer hotspots at Taipa, Kaimaumau, and on Karikari Peninsula, including Whatuwhiwhi. Kaitiaki will also patrol all Ahipara beaches, and north along Te-Oneroa-a-Tohe“ (90 Mile Beach) to Hukatere.

They are tasked with providing friendly reminders to those visiting our popular coastal areas, including fresh water lakes, to observe speed limits, not to ride dirt bikes and quads on sand dunes and not to use soap products in fresh water sources. They will also talk to campers about cultural and environmental responsibilities, such as using proper toilet facilities, disposing of rubbish appropriately and being aware of fire risks.

This is the second summer kaitiaki rangers will be employed to patrol popular destinations in the very Far North. Last summer, eight rangers were recruited from local hapu and marae in a joint programme run by the Far North District Council, Department of Conservation and Northland Regional Council to patrol key sites around Karikari Peninsula. The programme received funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which this summer has allowed patrols to include Taipa, Ahipara and Kaimaumau.

The rangers were busy last month training for their roles by attending workshops provided by Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Civil Defence, New Zealand Police, DOC, NRC and FNDC staff.

As well as ensuring holiday hotspots are protected and safe for users, the rangers will gather data about the way beaches and parks are used, keep a tally of visitors and where they were from, and report on any incidents and discussions they have with visitors or locals about summertime issues. Information collected will help both local and central government to develop responsible camping strategies.

Kaitiaki rangers will patrol holiday hotspots until the end of the summer season.

 
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