Alastair Bisley, executive chairman of the P2P Alliance, said P2P was “very grateful” for the support. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

ARTHUR HAWKES
arthur.hawkes@age.co.nz

The Department of Conservation has announced $200,000 worth of funding for Wairarapa’s Pukaha to Palliser Alliance.

P2P brings together several organisations and groups of individuals involved with the environment and conservation. They cover an area of 600,000 hectares.

The alliance, which was established about three years ago, includes iwi, farming groups, and environmental and conservation groups such as Sustainable Wairarapa, Fensham Reserve, Carter Reserve, South Wairarapa Biodiversity Group, and Aorangi Restoration Trust, as well as DOC, the Greater Wellington Regional Council, and Wairarapa farmers.

P2P brings its members together to make connections, share ideas, integrate activities and gather information and data, achieved through regular meetings. P2P will also help them with funding.

Alastair Bisley is the executive chairman of the P2P Alliance. Bisley said that the DOC funding would go towards providing a small executive for P2P which would allow it to become fully operational.

“It was Wairarapa communities that put P2P together,” Bisley said. “We owe a special debt of gratitude to Bob Francis who was the first chair of the Interim Working Group established to do that task, as well as to DOC and the Greater Wellington Regional Council for providing seed funding, and for offering valuable assistance and advice.

“We are also very grateful for continuing support from Wairarapa district councils.

“We didn’t want the grass to grow under our feet while we were getting going, so we started a number of initiatives while waiting for our funding to come through – on a collaborative regional water quality monitoring network, on a platform for initiatives in Tonganui [the “Great South” of Wairarapa], and on helping with the establishment of catchment communities.”

While the separate entities that make up P2P will continue to function independently, the alliance aims to serve as an administrative liaison among them, allowing Wairarapa-wide goals and collective environmental projects to be masterminded, without drawing excess manpower or resources from the individual organisations.

Minister of Conservation and Green MP Eugenie Sage, who announced the funding on Tuesday, said that community conservation groups were a “key part” of achieving the Predator Free 2050 initiative, and turning around New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis.

“Working together we are better able to achieve the vision of a predator free Aotearoa where native wildlife are abundant and native forests, shrublands, wetlands and estuaries thrive,” Sage said.

P2P has identified several projects it will work on, with other sectors, to deliver economic, social, cultural and environmental outputs.