Hawke’s Bay Airport is inviting the region’s nature-curious kids to the terminal as part of its Biodiversity Week celebrations.
‘Biodiversity – it’s all around us!’ is the theme for this year, referencing Hawke’s Bay’s natural environment and the airport’s proximity to many native and introduced species. The terminal’s public areas will display posters about the ‘locals’ – wildlife that call Hawke’s Bay home, and that have a unique biodiversity value.
A key activity for the kids will be a ‘spot the locals*’ activity, to find, identify and learn about the creatures dotted around the airport terminal.
Rob Stratford, CEO of Hawke’s Bay Airport says that recognising, preserving, and celebrating nature is important for Hawke’s Bay.
“The air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat all rely on biodiversity, but right now biodiversity is in crisis. In Hawke’s Bay our environment and biodiversity have taken a hammering from Cyclone Gabrielle and the millions of tonnes of silt that have come down our rivers and settled on our lands, beaches, and seafloor,” says Mr Stratford.
“As a region we have lost much of our pre-human indigenous ecosystems. Habitat and biodiversity loss continues in many areas**, and we need to do all we can to address and support biodiversity. We can make a difference through the choices we make as consumers. Sustainable choices support biodiversity.
“Getting people to stop and consider biodiversity and what they can do to help, no matter how small, is more important than ever.”
Simply put, biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. Experts say it is the most complex feature of our planet and the most vital. Quoted in the Guardian, Oxford Professor David Macdonald says there is no future for humanity without biodiversity.
Hawke's Bay is home to rare and threatened species like the kākā, kiwi, kōkako, long-tailed bat, tree weta and kākā beak; indigenous beech and podocarp forests in the mountains and coastal swamps and estuaries. The region also has several wetlands which have important roles in the environment - purifying water, flood control, carbon sink and stabilising shorelines.
Mr Stratford says that Hawke’s Bay Airport is proud to support the important work of Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay.
“Our involvement as sponsor helps to accelerate biodiversity outcomes for the region, and we encourage all locals, big and small to think about what they can do to support biodiversity, and to visit the terminal during Biodiversity Week,” he says.
Debbie Monahan, GM Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay says: “Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay values our partnership with Hawke’s Bay Airport, including support for the local gravel beach restoration project, Te Taha – The Gap at Westshore. Te Taha is a great example of how working together and in partnership with local taiwhenua, community groups, and councils, we can enhance and restore our indigenous biodiversity.”
“We are excited to celebrate Biodiversity Week with Hawke’s Bay Airport again this year. To learn more about biodiversity in Hawke’s Bay and how you can get involved in protecting and enhancing our local natural treasures, visit www.biodiversityhb.org,” says Ms Monahan.
What: Biodiversity Week
Where: Terminal, Hawke’s Bay Airport
When: 31 May to 7 June
For who: All locals, but especially primary/intermediate school students
Activities: Spot the locals
Cost: Free, but airport parking charges apply
*Hawke’s Bay Airport is grateful for the support of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, who have kindly loaned its spot the locals creative.
**HBRC Hawke’s Bay State of the Environment 2018-2021