Looking after our environment

​Protecting our city's environment as we grow is important and has been a big aspect of the Council's planning and investment.

Part of looking after the environment in Peacocke includes the Council forming strong partnerships with local iwi and the Department of Conservation.

Peacocke has a rich and extensive gully system of more than 100ha with native and exotic plants, native birds, lizards and other wildlife. The Council and NZ Transport Agency have undertaken extensive environmental monitoring, including about the behaviours of the critically-threatened Long Tail Bats, which has produced nationally-recognised research.

To help leave the environment better off after the Council's work, more than 10ha of gully restoration work and 1.5km of stream restoration will be completed as part of the Southern Links project mitigation.

For any exotic environmental aspects removed as part of the Council's work, the same amount will be replaced/replanted elsewhere in Peacocke. For any native environmental aspects removed as part of the Council's work, three times the amount of native will be replaced/replanted elsewhere in Peacocke.

Long Tail Bats

The NZ Transport Agency and Hamilton City Council have been conducting environmental research into bat behaviour as part of the Southern Links road transport project south of the city, and the data is providing exciting information for scientists and bat enthusiasts.

The research is still in its early days but is already adding new information to what was previously thought about bat habitats and flight patterns for the long-tailed bat (pekapeka-tou-roa), one of two native bat species surviving in New Zealand.

Among the findings has been the confirmation that bats are roosting in man-made roosting boxes – referred to as 'Bat houses'.  This is the first time detailed recordings have been made of groups of bats using the artificial houses in Hamilton.

The bat houses have been made and sponsored by local schools, scout groups and volunteers, since 2011.

The houses are made from untreated wood, with a mix of design versions adapted from overseas experience with similar bat species.  The houses have either single or multiple chambers, and are situated in areas to maximise the potential roosting habitats characteristics of both female and male long tailed bats. 

The tracking and monitoring programme was undertaken by specialist bat ecologists engaged by Hamilton City Council and NZ Transport Agency as part of environmental investigative work underway for the Southern Links roading project. The Department of Conservation was engaged with on this work and contributed extra funding to extend the tracking programme to increase the amount of data gathered. 

See the bats using these boxes below:​​​

Page reviewed: 18 Apr 2019 11:12am