Posted on 15th July, 2019

In 1994, only one breeding pair of kōkako remained. So Auckland Council set up a pest control programme in the Hunua ranges to allow the birds to breed. Through the Hunua kōkako recovery project, the population has increased to 106 breeding pairs. The pest controlled area also provides benefits to other species: • kākā • Hochstetter's frogs • tomtits • long-tailed bats • bellbirds.

Rachel Kelleher, Manager of Regional Parks for the Auckland Council and Leader of the award-winning Hunua Pest Management Project, will tell us about working with the local community and iwi to protect Auckland’s largest mainland forest and the taonga that live within it.

We will also be launching the Strategic Plan for the Tawapou Conservation Trust.

A few words from Dr. Katharine Bowden:

In 1966, when Bernard and I first stood on the highest hillside of Tawapou, we saw a magnificent expanse of coastline. In front of us were two large areas of native bush but no fences and no livestock, just thousands of thistles growing amongst the regenerating scrub. This was the start of our 40-year, determined and prolonged attempt to establish a viable farm. It was also the start of our journey as committed conservationists. Indeed, our first ever fence was around the ‘Snail Paddock’, protecting a stand of trees and the endangered snails (placostylus hongii) found there. Many fences and small covenants followed.

This planting will provide food for indigenous aquatic insects, frogs, eels and fish, many of which are now critically endangered.

Dr. Katharine Bowden

In 2016 ninety-two percent of Tawapou was placed under an Open Space Covenant with the QE2 Trust, meaning that the land cannot ever be subdivided or developed. The Bowden family’s long-term goal is to revegetate most of Tawapou and to protect and nurture the existing indigenous flora and fauna. Our aim is to work with all of our neighbours along the coast to create a corridor from the Poor Knights Islands, allowing rare and endangered species to repopulate the mainland.
In the past five years 20,000 trees have been planted. On three occasions we’ve held Community Planting Days and large numbers of friends and neighbours have worked together to plant headlands and hillsides. On August 3rd we are holding our 4th Community Planting Day. This is a riparian planting of 5,000 plants to revegetate the interface between the pasture and the old creek which runs through the covenanted land. This planting will provide food for indigenous aquatic insects, frogs, eels and fish, many of which are now critically endangered. We would really appreciate your support on this day.

Dr. Bowden looking forward to seeing 5,000 plants alongside this water way.

What a fantastic turnout! It was amazing to have so many people here to help, they all chatted away amongst themselves having such a great time. We were overwhelmed! HUGE THANK YOU!!

Guy Bowden
6,000 native plants planted in three hours by nearly 90 keen volunteers