Queenstown Airport committed to local biodiversity

September 2022

Queenstown Airport is expanding its long-standing relationship with the Whakatipu Reforestation Trust to include a local biodiversity planting project.

Conservation Week 2022 focused on how we can take action for nature. Through its long-term partnership with the Trust and the airport team volunteer planting programme, Queenstown Airport is taking action.Queenstown Airport GM Corporate and Community Affairs, Sara Irvine said: “Over the last year we’ve put a considerable amount of effort and thought into our revised Sustainability Strategy. The Sustainability Strategy prioritises three pillars: People, Planet and Prosperity which focus on initiatives including reducing the airport’s operational emissions, community partnerships, the noise mitigation programme and biodiversity in the region,” “We are proud to have partnered with the Whakatipu Reforestation Trust since 2016. They do an amazing job supporting biodiversity in the district, and educating the wider community about the collective opportunities we have to improve native regeneration.” “We are pleased to confirm we will be continuing our support for the Trust’s operations for the next three years. In addition, this year we are increasing our support to include the Shotover Wetlands restoration project, providing financial and in-kind support to help the project thrive.” The Shotover Wetland Project was established by the Whakatipu Reforestation Trust and Shotover Primary School and Grant Stalker in 2016 with support from Accor Hotels Queenstown. 2200 native plants have been planted to date. The wetland covers 6.89 ha land east of the Kimiakau (Shotover) River confluence and is registered as a Regionally Significant Wetland. The wetland is home to nationally and internationally threatened plant species, including Olearia lineata (part of the tree daisy group), a threatened plant species representative of the area's unique ecological and physical characteristics. The Shotover Wetland project involves native planting, predator trapping, the creation and maintenance of recreational pathways, clearance of exotic vegetation and maintenance. Jo Smith, Education Officer at the Whakatipu Reforestation Trust said: “Our dual objectives for the project are the reforestation and ecological enhancement of the wetland and providing education opportunities for Shotover Primary students, the Shotover Community, and for Wetland visitors from near and far. We are pleased to welcome Queenstown Airport to the project whanau and look forward to expanding the project’s reach with their support.” Natalie Reeves, Queenstown Airport’s Sustainability Manager said: “We are really excited to be working with the local community on this initiative and lending our support to build on the great work already achieved by the founding members of the project. We see this as a project with long-term benefit to enhance and restore biodiversity within the Whakatipu Basin, create resilience against a changing climate, and provide educational opportunities for our tamariki.”