POHUTUKAWA TRUST NEW ZEALAND
To rehabilitate the native flora and
fauna of Kawau Island
To promote the conservation
of indigenous species in New Zealand
To achieve sustainable land use on Kawau Island
INTRODUCING POHUTUKAWA TRUST
Pohutukawa Trust New Zealand is a charitable trust incorporated under
the Charitable Trusts Act 1957. The Trust was established by a group
Island's private landowners in March 1992. Events leading to the
Trust's beginnings go back to 1955 when New Zealand's looming possum
problem was first positively identified on Kawau.
years later the New Zealand Forest Service said it was hopeless to
consider doing anything about the destruction of the
Island's flora caused by introduced animals.
Island was "written off". "Kawau
Island has no particular significance for its botany nor for its
native wildlife values" and "Kawau
Island is of historical rather than botanical interest"
some of the assessments.
landowners did not agree with this and stepped in with an initiative
to save the native flora and fauna. By 1990 pohutukawa trees had been
saved by the landowners and were blooming again, some for the first
time in 20 years. Encouraged by this success, the landowners
established the Trust to provide long term organisation and governance
with the objectives: "To rehabilitate the native flora and fauna of
and "To promote the conservation of indigenous species in
Landowners also wished to provide for sustainable lands uses on the
for the long term future of the community. In this context rehabilitate means "to restore to
former condition" - to restore the severely degraded
Pohutukawa Trust New Zealand was launched by the first Mayor of Rodney
Sir Gordon Mason in March 1992. As membership and resources grew work
began on planning for removal of wallabies and some other introduced
pest animals as awareness of the problem was developed through regular
communications. By then bird life was responding positively to the
reduction in possum numbers (10,000 removed) and brown teal were seen
again in Hokimai Bay (1992), as well as increasing numbers of kereru,
tui, and occasionally bellbirds and kaka. Efforts were made to get a
clear position concerning wallabies on the public Historic Reserve
land, which was the main impediment to achieving the Trust's
objectives. Landowners increased their planting of native trees,
mostly inside protective fences and animal pest control was stepped
up. Work with the Auckland Regional Council, lead firstly to declaring
wallabies an animal pest in the region and then, due to support for
the private landowner initiative, upgrading the status in 2002 to
much progress had been made, particularly north of Bon Accord Harbour
with many native plants surviving and more native birds seen,
including reports of more kiwi calls.
Following a presentation to a group at the ARC in 1999 a Scoping Plan
and Budget was prepared with an option of coordinating animal pest
eradication with plans being developed by the ARC for nearby
Tawharanui at the time. A target date of 2005 for eradication was
established and a leaflet drop was made to every dwelling on the
Island. An inventory of indigenous plants was begun using a
paper presented in 1876 by John Buchanan F.L.S entitled ON THE
BOTANY OF KAWAU ISLAND as a starting point. The plant
inventory has become quite extensive with significant contributions by
the Auckland Botanical Society and landowners. The purpose of this
inventory is to enable propagation of eco-sourced plants for
distribution to members once the animal pest problem is under control,
although the main route to recovery will be natural regeneration from
the seed rain still being provided by remnant mature trees.
Trust was awarded a National Green Ribbon
Award during 2003 for outstanding leadership and
commitment to environmental protection, and was a runner-up in the
ARC E-Awards that year. The
landowners played an important part in assisting
Waterfall Springs Conservation Association
(Australia) to return the endangered Brushtail rock wallaby to
Australia. There were only small numbers on Kawau and all animals that
could be economically caught were returned and are now in a successful
captive breeding program.
the department of conservation gave conditional support to the project
subject to the Trust suspending operations for a time. Members have
seen much regression during the suspension with loss of regenerating
trees 5 years old and animals attacking plants that have been
flourishing unprotected for years. The opportunity to coordinate with
Tawharanui was lost. However, the Trust has now declared that the
suspension is over.
Pohutukawa Trust New Zealand is responsible to landowner members and
the Auckland Regional Council and intends to complete the animal pest
eradication phase of the project as quickly as possible.
Pohutukawa Trust New Zealand is governed by a Board of five Trustees,
Ray Weaver, Ken McCormack, Lesley Stephenson, Helen Smith.
Board met in April 2005 for a business meeting.
had indicated in a survey that they wanted to resume operations now
and move to complete eradication as soon as possible.
Board decided that operations will now resume. Concurrently, all
options are being explored to enable effective progress as rapidly as
possible. Some members have offered assistance to work in operational
Auckland Regional Pest Management Strategy states "The level of
ARC support will reflect the level of landowner/occupier support for
the eradication and demonstrable community efforts." The
support of owners and occupiers of land on
Island is therefore very important.
Trust also welcomes supporters with an interest in New Zealand's
biodiversity who are not Kawau landowners.
Pohutukawa Trust New Zealand
24 Umere Crescent
Copyright 1951-2005 E.R. Weaver
Trust New Zealand
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