Restoring the ngahere mauri (forest lifeforce) on 23,000ha of privately-owned land
The Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust was established in 2006 to provide direction and funding for the restoration of threatened species of fauna and flora, and to restore the ngahere mauri (forest lifeforce) in in Maungataniwha and Pohokura native forests within the Central North Island.
Our activities have increased significantly since 2006 and we now run six native species regeneration and restoration projects, involving both flora and fauna, on three properties in the central North Island, one property in the South Island’s Fiordland National Park, and one property on Stewart Island.
The Maungataniwha Kiwi Project has carved out a name for itself as one of the most prolific and successful kiwi conservation initiatives in the country. It is part of Operation Nest Egg and has now seen more than 300 kiwi chicks hatched and released into the wild. Kiwi eggs are taken from our Maungataniwha property and incubated. The resulting chicks are then reared in safety by several of our partner organisations before being released back into the wild.
We are also involved in establish secure breeding areas for the whio (Blue Duck) populations on our Maungataniwha and Pohokura properties.
Our extensive predator control operation and the establishment of two sanctuary areas are vital to both the Maungataniwha Kiwi Project and our whio conservation work. Predator populations have been reduced significantly as a result of this work, creating a safer environment for a variety of native bird species.
One of our most colourful projects is without doubt our kakabeak propagation, nursery and replanting programme. Kakabeak, or Clianthus maximus, is a shrub with a glorious flower shaped like a parrot’s beak and, sadly, it is now extremely rare in the wild. Before our efforts to re-establish this plant started yielding results there were only 109 plants known to be growing in the wild across the whole of New Zealand. Three of these were located on the Waiau Bluffs, within adjacent Te Urewera.
And finally, our conversion of 4,000 ha of former pine forest back into native forest is, we believe, the largest project of its kind in New Zealand. A major challenge is the removal of regenerating pine that emerges and crowds out the slower growing native forest species. Without intervention the Maungataniwha Pine Forest will simply revert to a wilding pine forest with limited biodiversity.
When completed the project will return 4,000 hectares of the Hawke's Bay hinterland back into native forest cover.