North Island F&B Visit to the Mackenzie Basin

24 Apr 2010

North Island F&B Visit to the Mackenzie Basin

Mt Sefton viewed over the Braemar uplands

Mt Sefton viewed over the Braemar uplands

 

As part of a long South Island tour, 10 members of the Rangitikei branch of F&B traversed the Mackenzie basin over 8-10 April. After spending the night in Tekapo, on one of the clearest bestest star gazing nights ever - and the Southern Aurora was active that night as well - Anne Steven describing the glacial landforms of Mary Burn and Simons Pass Stations (photo credit: Mike Floate)Anne Steven showed them some of the environmental 'hot spots' in the Mackenzie on the Friday, in picture perfect weather conditions again. These included the wilding tree spread problem on Braemar, Maryburn and Pukaki Downs/Dusky; potential privatisation of high country pastoral leases under tenure review national-style ; pastoral lease management (illegal cultivation, wilding tree spread, hieracium, rabbits); and the proposed irrigated development and conversion of threatened dryland ecosystems to exotic monocultures of irrigated pasture with associated effluent disposal and water pollution issues. Aoraki behind the Gammack Range and Burnett Mountains Peter Willemse (DOC, Twizel) gave an excellent summary of the wilding tree management efforts on both public and private land. The message of the need to control the source on private land (including lakeside crown land managed by LINZ) came across loud and clear.
It was great that these North Island people were able to see the Mackenzie at its golden best with maximum appreciation of the vast and simple openness, the unique aridity, and the stately beauty of Aoraki and other Main Divide peaks.Rangitikei F&B group plus Mike Floate and Anne Steven