The Western Bay Wildlife Trust is calling for a permanent ranger to be stationed near the Mount to protect wildlife in the area.
A ranger needs to be available 24 hours at short notice and be trained in conservation, ecology and pest management, says spokesperson Julia Graham, in a submission made on behalf of the Trust.
They should also have the power to write and issue on the spot fines for dog control and other issues that may arise such as littering, illegal camping, camp fires/smoking and cycling, she says.
“The current system of council officers during the day and security firms at night is quite simply not working,” claims Julia.
“It takes well over an hour, and in some cases up to three hours, for security firms or rangers to arrive and usually, by that time, the offenders have long gone.
“The lack of overwatch results in a general attitude of some people believing they can behave as they want as there is no one to stop them.”
She also says a dog ranger is “essential” to protect the population of approximately 400 penguins and 500 petrels that live around the mountain.
“Dogs are repeatedly brought around the tracks on Mauao on a daily basis despite the signage, which is completely inadequate,” says Julia.
“It may be more cost effective to have them combined as one ranger, or it may be necessary to have a separate one, but either way dog control is desperately needed on both Mauao and Moturiki Island to protect the wildlife that live there - in particular the little blue penguin and grey faced petrel colonies.”
An efficient pest control program and management system also needs to be put in place to eradicate rats, mustelids, cats, rabbits and possums on Mauao.
“Relying on volunteers to do the majority of the pest control, as is happening now, is not working due to multiple different groups all doing different things, and a lack of communication.
“This can result in other issues, such as trap and bait shy pests and an increase in pests in areas not being managed properly. “
The Trust wants quarterly meetings with all the different groups.