Nature and science
As the national carrier, we want to help ensure New Zealand's ecosystems and biodiversity are restored and protected for future generations. We also believe there is a critical need to advance climate science.
We do this through our ongoing partnerships with the Department of Conservation (DOC), Antarctica New Zealand and the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute. We also recognise one to one partnerships will not be enough, and that collaboration between business, government, iwi and communities is critical to tackling these challenges.
You can also read about key activities and projects in the report: Department of Conservation partnership, Antarctica New Zealand partnership and Environmental Compliance.
Department of Conservation (DOC) partnership
While New Zealand is one of the richest areas of biodiversity on Earth, we also have one of the highest rates of threatened species. Since 2012 we have partnered with DOC, working to protect and enhance New Zealand's natural environment. Our focus has been on investing in biodiversity projects on New Zealand's Great Walks network - an iconic part of our country's tourism offering. In addition we enable species transfers for endangered species, support monitoring in New Zealand's marine reserves, and assist DOC in promoting the Great Walks, Short Walks and Day Hikes, and Coastal Gems.
In 2016, we extended our DOC partnership until 2020 and we are working with DOC and iwi partners Ngāi Tahu, Ngāi Tῡhoe, Ngāti Kuia and Manawhenua ki Mohua to support a series of biodiversity projects across the Great Walks, including a new trapping network for predator control in and around the Totaranui headland in the northern part of the iconic Abel Tasman National Park. This project adjoins one of DOC's most utilised campsites, with over 17,000 people annually visiting the Totaranui campsite on the Abel Tasman Great Walk track.
In partnership with DOC we have continued our support relocating endangered indigenous species to safer new breeding habitats throughout New Zealand. In the past year, we have enabled the movement of 300 creatures, including two mass kiwi translocations from Kapiti Island near Wellington, to Auckland's Hauraki Gulf in collaboration with iwi, local councils and other corporate partners.
Our marine environment is a precious part of New Zealand and is cherished by New Zealanders and tourists alike. We proudly fund marine monitoring and research within the marine reserves managed by DOC and have promoted 'Coastal Gems' marine reserve experiences through our marketing channels. With 80% of New Zealand's indigenous biodiversity estimated to be underwater in the marine environment, DOC's research will help gain a better understanding of the health of marine reserves, the habitats of our native species, and how land use and other pressures are affecting them.
While very few people will ever visit Antarctica, changes in this precious and fragile ecosystem have wide-reaching effects across the globe. That is why we've partnered with Antarctica New Zealand and New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute to support their research to understand and connect what is happening in Antarctica with what is happening around the rest of the world. Our partnership has enabled the launch of a new three-year ecosystems project - commencing October 2016 - that examines the impact of climate change on life in Antarctica. The aim of the project is to determine the adaptation or resistance potential of Antarctic species and ecosystems to environmental stressors, such as ocean warming, increased freshwater runoff in the ocean and ocean acidification, each of which are indicators of large-scale changes to the planet from increasing levels of carbon dioxide.