11 Dec 2021

Stock grazing to end in Queen Elizabeth Park

9:01 pm on 11 December 2021

A Wellington Regional councillor is celebrating the end of grazing in a Kāpiti Coast park that is a significant wetlands site, calling it a big win for nature.

Wetlands at Queen Elizabeth Park

Wetlands at Queen Elizabeth Park Photo: Supplied / Russell Bell

Thomas Nash says the 200 hectares of land joins an earlier 100 hectares which means that virtually the whole Queen Elizabeth Park in Raumati will now be restored to native vegetation.

He says the issue has been a major priority since being elected in 2019.

Stock grazing accounts for about a quarter of Greater Wellington Regional Council's corporate carbon emissions.

"We can now expect to see this wetland area - that includes some of the country's only remaining ancient peatlands - flourishing once more within the next few years.

"Native birds, insects and plants will be able to return in abundance and we will be able to see the stories of this whenua come to life again."

He said now efforts needed to be directed towards restoring native vegetation in the council's other regional parks, including Belmont Regional Park where there is so much potential for native forest to regenerate.

The council announced a year ago it intended to phase out stock grazing, but it was being considered again because of fear of fire risk from overgrown vegetation.

It now considers grazing not necessary to manage the risk.

There was a fire at the park last summer.

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