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Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society

Year Started: 
Contact Person: 
Peter Jackson
E-mail address: 
Group Members: 
Shakespear Regional Park, Whangaparoa, Auckland
New Zealand

The Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society Incorporated ("SOSSI") is an incorporated society established in 2004 for the purpose of assisting the Regional Council (now Auckland Council) with the establishment and development of a sanctuary at Shakespear Regional Park. We work under a memorandum of agreement with the Auckland Council and work closely with Council staff on both an operational and a planning level.
The vision for the future is a sanctuary that provides adequate wildlife with food, shelter and protection against predators and which enables native flora and fauna to be self sustaining given the natural and man made conditions and constraints that govern the location. SOSSI's broad aim is "the conservation and enhancement of the natural, recreational, historic and cultural features and values" of the Sanctuary. Currently our focus is to create an environment in which native birds and plants can thrive and absent species can be safely introduced.

SOSSI's first task was to raise half of the funds (then matched by the Council) needed to build a pest-proof fence across the Whangaparaoa peninsula near the entrance to the park. The 1.7 km fence is now completed and runs from Army Bay to Okoromai Bay, enclosing an area of about 500 hectares. Although all target pests (except mice) have been removed from the Sanctuary there is a risk of re-invasion around the ends of the fence or through the fence assisted by the open public access. The fence is therefore complemented by a system of trap-lines and tracking tunnels throughout the Park, all of which have to be checked regularly. This is one of the main activities of SOSSI members, along with routine checks of the fence itself.

Another primary activity is funding and running the plant nursery within the Park. Since Shakespear Regional Park was opened in 1972, thousands of trees have been planted by staff and volunteers. Gullies have been fenced off to allow bush to regenerate and a start has been made on restoring the wetlands. In future most of the plants will be supplied by the SOSSI nursery.

SOSSI members also assist with the regular Tuesday volunteer scheme run by the Park rangers. Tasks include maintenance of tracks and fences, making trap boxes and planting out. Finally, SOSSI runs guided walks and assists with hosting school and corporate groups which visit or volunteer at the Park.

Auckland Council, NZ Lottery Grants Board, ASB Community Trust, ANZ New Zealand, Sky City Auckland Community Trust, Fulton Hogan, The Lion Foundation, Community Post, Pub Charity, Hibiscus Matters
Auckland Council