Everyone’s invited to the fence closing ceremony

West Coast and Coast RoadThe long awaited 2.6km penguin protection fence will be formally ‘closed’ in a ceremony on 22nd August and everyone’s invited.

The Hon. Damien O’Connor MP, a long time supporter of the Trust, will be closing the fence at the Limestone Creek car park, 8km north of Punakaiki at 3pm on Friday, 22nd August.

Damien will close the new gate to the beach access track and tie the ends of a blue ribbon together to symbolically close the fence, rather than cutting ribbons!  Refreshments will be provided and we hope to share the occasion with the local community as well as with sponsors and supporters from further away.

Kori the Korora will be making the trip down from Nelson, where he is CLM’s mascot for their SwimMagic programme and we hope to have a Kori Junior to join him on the safe side of the fence.  

Other sponsors we hope to join us include Healthpost, Maccaferri, Farmlands, Holcim, DOC, NZTA, Opus and Resene and all the wonderful volunteers who put time and effort into helping Trust Ranger, Reuben Lane, complete the project.

The plan for a fence to restrict penguins to the seaward side of the Coast Road was proposed in early 1999 and has taken over five years of planning, liaising and fund raising to construct.  Dozens of the world’s smallest penguin have been killed on this stretch of road in recent years and the new fence, which restricts blue penguins from accessing the road alongside three colonies, should significantly reduce the road deaths if not reduce them to zero here. 

The Trust is hugely grateful to its sponsors, volunteers and supporters who have helped to make this project a reality.

Closing ceremony invitation