Call for public notification and environmental impact assesment of rocket launch complex on Kaitorete Spit

Forest & Bird wants to see public notification on consent applications before a proposed rocket launch complex is built on Kaitorete Spit in Canterbury.

Kaitorete Mudflats (Photo by Peter Langlands, Wild Capture Photography)

The proposed launch site is within a nationally threatened ecosystem and proper assessment of the environmental impacts of the facility should be considered.

Forest & Bird Regional Conservation Manager for Canterbury & the West Coast, Jen Miller, says "the Christchurch City Council needs to ensure that this process is publicly notified so all of the issues can be carefully considered to ensure this rare ecosystem is protected."

"The dry nature of this landscape means a potential fire or explosion could burn large parts of the ecosystem and once those species are gone, there's no getting them back."

Kaitorete Spit is a rare duneland ecosystem that contains a remarkable collection of plants as well as several rare species of insects, reptiles and birds. It is home to a remnant population of Shrubby tororaro (Muehlenbeckia astonii), a nationally endangered endemic plant, as well as large populations of migratory and wetland birds.

Nearby Te Waihora Lakes Ellsemere is an internationally important wetland with a National Water Conservation Order because of its outstanding wildlife.