A property developer says a proposed subdivision would support rather than imperil one of New Zealand's rarest birds.
That is despite fears the fairy tern could become extinct if the development on Te Arai Beach, south of Mangawhai proceeds.
Darby Partners principal John Darby says the new homeowners will actually help ensure birds such as the fairy terns survive.
"There's a full time ranger being funded by the land owners. The protocol for anyone residing on the site is there be no dogs or cats or other animals ... and that all the land owners are actively participating and assisting in the funding of a protection programme"
A private plan-change application went before an independent hearings panel, appointed by the Auckland Council, on Monday.