Island's future still uncertain

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 06/03/2014

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The future of Motuariki Island in Lake Tekapo is still unknown, nearly two months after it was devastated by a fire.

South Canterbury principal rural fire officer Rob Hands said talks with a group of tourists believed to be responsible for the fire which destroyed many of the 25-hectare island's trees, and much of its foliage, was continuing.

Cost recovery, which is expected to be around $6000, is still being pursued. Rural fire services spent several days battling the blaze after the fire broke out on January 11. It was believed up to 40 per cent of the island's trees were destroyed.

The island is still out of bounds to the public.

However, the Department of Conservation, which manages the land, is yet to have formal talks with local iwi and other community groups about future plans.

Mackenzie councillor Murray Cox hoped the island would be made safe by winter, with replanting in spring/summer.

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- The Timaru Herald

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