Pūkorokoro Miranda Naturalists' Trust and Tiaki Repo ki Pūkorokoro Trust have gone on to receive $400,000 in funding support for restoration of Wildlife Reserves.
The next challenge for the Shorebird Centre is securing human resource to plan and manage the development of an eco-tourism visitor experience.
Pūkorokoro - a place of vast flats, shell banks and vaulting sky, populated with flocks of shorebirds connecting distant landscapes: wrybill breeding on Canterbury riverbeds, red knots in far eastern Russia, and godwits on Alaskan tundra, all flock to the Shorebird Coast. The stories of these epic migrations enthrall and enthuse visitors to Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre. The Centre works to raise awareness of our coastal environments and advocates for shorebirds and their habitats.
The centre stands on the Shorebird Coast, one of the gateways to Hauraki Coromandel, and has been open since 1990 attracting thousands of visitors each year. It operates seven days a week as an information and education centre. Growth in visitor numbers and the arrival of the Kaiaua to Kopu section of the Hauraki Rail Trail, indicate a need to expand and refurbish the Shorebird Centre.
Visitor numbers and nights
12,209 visitor per annum (not including visitors to the hides only)
40% overseas visitors (UK, Australia, USA and China)
Domestic visitation increased during COVID.
October to April represents the core visitor season
Process and Background
The Hauraki Tourism Action Group identified the Shorebird Centre and Coastline as having world class eco-tourism, conservation and education potential.
The Pūkorokoro Shorebird Centre was selected for support from the Strategic Tourism Asset Protection Policy fund which the PMNT also contributed towards. Tourism, Research & Conservation (TRC) Consultants were engaged to assess three objectives;
- Determine necessary information to aid application for project development funds for a legitimate ‘hero’ attraction
- Compelling attraction that is a key driver of visitation
- Product exemplifies enhancement of tourism ecosystem – improving nature, local jobs/assets and the visitor experience
Feasibility Study and Business Case
After consultation and analysis TRC presented this report. In essence the report identified that the story of this unique site and visitor attraction goes beyond the Shorebird. Climate change, sea level rise, surrounding land use, wetlands and other significant environmental elements contributed towards a far richer and timely narrative which provided the opportunity to educate a broader audience, not just birders.
While recommendations were presented within the report, in conclusion it was highlighted that PMNT needed to identify if they could commit to a pathway forward via regenerative tourism that enabled conservation goals. A PMNT business case was determined as the next step, as this pathway was not yet clear.
The Business Case identified a purpose:
Keep the birds coming by instilling a wider appreciation and connection with nature by sharing the story of the shorebirds.
Pūkorokoro shorebird coast is a world-renowned conservation site – host to a thriving shorebird population, inspiring conservation at a local and global scale, and providing wide reaching social and cultural benefits.
And necessary enablers:
- Governance and leadership
- Adopting regenerative tourism as an enabler towards a self-sustaining operation to achieve sustainable long-term resourcing
- Resilience planning and future proofing for sea level rise and floods
- Marketing and communications
Progress and Contacts
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