We’re fast approaching the season when young Westland petrels can be disoriented by lights, particularly around Punakaiki but occasionally further away from their nesting areas.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency have recognised this issue and have agreed to trial the switching off of Punakaiki street lights on SH6 for the most critical period, 8th November to 8th January.

They are keen to let the community know in advance and have made themselves available via a drop in session next Tuesday evening, 3rd November, 6-8pm at the Punakaiki Tavern.

Our very own Westland petrel expert, Kerry-Jayne Wilson, will be there too, to answer questions and to explain the threat posed by lights, especially to juvenile petrels.

Please share this with your networks in the area so that as many of the Punakaiki community as possible are aware of the plan, the reasoning behind it, and of the opportunity to ask questions and share feedback and suggestions.

For more about the petrels and the threat posed by lights, what you can do, a DOC information flyer etc – see our earlier news story about Westland petrels.

For more detailed information, find reports and papers via our research page.

Westland petrel in flight
Westland petrel in flight. Photo: Sonja Ross
Westland Petrel - Craig Potton
Westland petrel near nest. Photo: Craig Potton