Apart from quarry operations being conducted in accordance with the Quarry Management Plan (PDF 2.7 MB) which specifies how the day to day operations are conducted to meet environmental objectives, Winstone sites are also committed to operating in compliance with the company’s Environmental Policy.
At Hunua this has resulted in extensive environmental mitigation programmes being in place, including the implementation of planting and weed control programmes, and a programme to control animal pests in and around the site.
More than 35,000 native plants have already been planted. Plants used in plantings are ‘Eco sourced’, meaning they are grown from seeds that are sourced from the ecological range and geographical location of the Hunua area. Since 2002, plants have been grown in a local nursery until they reach the most suitable size for replanting. This, along with improved site preparation techniques before planting takes place, has contributed to the success of the replanting projects.
Winstone Aggregates has also joined forces with the local community to develop a pest and predator control programme in areas of forest on and adjacent to the quarry property. The aim of this programme is to benefit the native fauna of the area which includes kereu or native pigeon and the Auckland green gecko. For example reducing rat populations, provides an immediate benefit for the bird life, by raising the survivalk rates for their eggs and chicks during their breeding season, when they are most vulnerable.
Independent botanists, ecologists and environmental scientists, in consultation with the community, Auckland Council and Department of Conservation, have advised on the further planting and habitat enhancement on Hunua quarry land, with a view to creating a ‘habitat corridor’ between some significant remnant areas of native forest which adjoin north and south of the quarry property. This forms a cornerstone of the mitigation programme commenced as a consequence of the Symonds Hill pit development. It is building on and extending the programmes discussed above.
An exciting aspect is the opportunity created by the significant scale of mitigation and rehabilitation activity that is underway. The objective is to, over 20 plus years, create a much greater area of ‘new’ forest and diverse native habitat to replace moderate to moderately high value vegetation that is being removed to enable quarrying. The creation of an ecological linkage (habitat corridor or eco-corridor) between presently separated significant areas of native vegetation is expected to not only significantly enhance the area’s natural resources and provide an unparalleled opportunity to research, study and learn about native flora and fauna, but also provide valuable insight in to the implementation and management techniques to successfully achieve the objective.
A planting and enhancement (weed and pest management and other controls e.g. stock proof fencing) programme commenced in 2008 and form part of a comprehensive and property wide vegetation management plan.
Hunua Ecological Trust
The Hunua Quarry Ecological Trust (HQET) has been established to contribute funds towards charitable environmental initiatives around the quarry. The Trust Area is defined as the area of land within the Papakura District Council’s jurisdiction (as at 1 Nov 2009), and those parts of the catchments of the Symonds Stream and Hays Stream within the Franklin District Council’s jurisdiction (as at 1 Nov 2009). If you would like to make an application to the Trust for funding please complete the attached form and email it directly to: email@example.com