Protection and use of the islands in the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park.
- Botany Division, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Lower Hutt.
The outer islands (> 10km distant from the mainland) of Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park comprise less than 0.02 % of the New Zealand land surface and, taken together, support the only remaining temperate lowland and coastal communities relatively unmodified by European man and his introduced mammals. Their value as wildlife sanctuaries and scientific reserves is unexcelled by any comparable area in a National Park. The inner islands of the Park hold an exceptional range of recreational opportunities and in some instances have high scientific value and potential for wildlife as well.
It is recommended that precautions to prevent damage to this limited resource should be increased. New measures are needed to prevent further spread of the two species of European rats and other mammals. Regular control of some introduced plants, particularly boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum), is needed. The number and size of parties visiting some small islands that are densely burrowed by petrels should be restricted. The penalty for oil spillages should be greatly increased and the public educated -to remove their picnic rubbish from both the sea and the land of the Park. Patrolling of the outer islands against illegal landings should be increased and the present status of some islands changed to reconcile status with value and function. Additional reserves are needed on some islands as well as along the mainland coastline.
Some research required to ensure wisest use of the islands and their surrounding waters is outlined and specific recommendations made for each island in the Park.