Post War Timeline

Timeline Post WWII to Present Day

Remaining military personnel leave and minefields cleared

Quarantine station opened (closed in late 1950's)
Former Andrew Craig (Reid brothers' farm manager) cottage used for accommodation


US Navy magazines, sited at the head of Islington Bay in the south western end of the island and never used,
now used by NZ Wool Board to store wool

Major renovations carried out on the old homestead at Emu Bay

Mass poisoning carried out on Rangitoto to eradicate wallabies and possums. Unfortunately no similar operation carried out on Motutapu. Rangitoto reinfested within short period

Reids 'Old School Building' at Home Bay renovated and begins new lease of life as a temporary school for a total of 10 children of farm staff, quarantine station and defence installations.

Scientists claim they have found evidence that Rangitoto last erupted only around 200 years earlier (100 years prior to European settlement).The largest trees on the island found to be less than 200 years old (these claims now largely discredited as it took hundreds of years for soil to form in order to support initial tree growth). In the early 1840's Dr Ernest Dieffenbach had recorded that the only vegetation on Rangitoto 'was several poor specimans on the summit'.

Army leaves Administration Bay
A new prefabricated classroom is barge transported to Home Bay

Farm stocked with 10100 sheep and 1200 cattle
Auckland University excavations at Pig Bay archaic site - Goldson
Dept of Agriculture announce closure of quarantine station
Still a few deer sighted on both islands - estimated around 12 animals remaining

Auckland University excavations at the Sunde archaic site - Scott and Green

The three 6inch Mk21 guns removed from the battery and sold as scrap

University Archaeological sites recording begins - Davidson, Leahy and Nicholls record 72 sites
Proposed to close the school as now only 3 children attending, closes 31 December.
Dam built to provide reliable stock water supply - 20ft by 100 ft across, capacity 500,000 galls.

Abandoned army camp at Administration Bay gifted to the North Shore YMCA

Farm stocked with 11762 sheep and 1416 cattle

Public allowed access to beaches and foreshore. NZ Herald reports no intention to open up additional
access as 'there are plenty of other islands in the Gulf Maritime Park'
Minister of Lands Duncan Macintyre states 'island no longer required for defence purposes, will become part of
the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park'.

Administration of Island transferred to superintendent of Land Development, Whangarei
Auckland Museum excavations at Station Bay - led by Janet Davidson, Leahy and Sullivan
Motutapu becomes part of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park (HGMP)

Re-established school opens at Home Bay with 16 pupils following request from farm manger, Mr M. W Robertson
New house erected at Home Bay

12800 sheep and 1600 cattle on 3750 acres. Reported that the proceeds of the farm are the main source of income for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

Lands and Survey report that 16000 trees planted between 1966 and 1969 by Lands and Survey and the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park boards. Mainly natives but some exotica shelter belts. Planting carried out along a proposed walk track between Islington Bay and Home Bay. Purpose being shelter for stock and people - 'ringing the foreshore in trees'
Exotica planted included liquidambar, gingko, walnut and macadairia.

Complete foreshore incuding Home Bay now open to the public

61 NZ Army engineers dismantle the 2973m2 (floor area) US Navy store at Home Bay and reassemble as a garage at Papakura military camp. The structure is 110mtrs x 37mtrs. Is the largest task of its type undertaken during peacetime by the RNZE

Second season of excavation at Station Bay

80 pupils from Lynfield College plant 3000 native trees along beach rims and cliff edges.
Trees provided by Governement nurseries

New relocate-able school room erected at Islington Bay
DC3 aircraft used to topdress the farm to improve land fertilisations

Emu Bay cottage demolished by Lands and Survey
Longest serving farm manager Alister McLean (1970-76) leaves the island

Minister of Lands, Venn Young, announces opening of first walk across Motutapu. A 5km walk along ridge lines from Islington Bay to Home Bay.

Responsibility for farm operations transferred to Commissioner of Crown Lands, Auckland

Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park Board set up - broad objectives to guide management decisions
Submarine power cable laid between Waiheke and Motutapu, joins island to national grid
NZ Herald article claims Rangitoto last erupted less than 250 years ago (see 1957 comment)

Mary Gardner in NZ Listener article says about Motutapu and Rangitoto ' no other islands in the gulf allow threatened species opportunity to build populations of sufficient size for long term survival..'
Pine shelter at Home Bay becomes a concern due to pines seeding on Rangitoto.
Assistance sought from navy divers to dispose of old boiler on Home Bay foreshore and remove old concrete wharf pile (its still there in 2009).

Ownership transferred to Department of Conservation (DOC)
Very small stands of post eruption native vegetation remain, Pohutukawa on cliffs ravaged by possums and wallabies

Department of Conservation hunters take up residence at Reid Homestead
Brush tail possums and brush tail rock wallaby pest eradication programme commences on Motutapu-Rangitoto

Maori Queen Te Arikinui Atairangikaahu visits island and plants a pohutukawa by the stream where it enters
Administration Bay

Draft working plan for Motutapu
Duke of Edinburgh, representing sponsor World Wildlife Fund, opens the island nursery and plants tree

Motutapu Restoration Trust begins Island restoration and revegetation programme. A major community project
to restore Motutapu's cultural and natural landscape over 50 years.

DoC brochure with map showing 75% of island reforested within 50 years causes furor among archaeologists
('trees obscure sites and their roots destroy archaeological remains')

Ngai Tai, Tangata Whenua, gather at Motutapu for the first time in 100 years and hold karakia on Rangitoto summit,
reafirm identity and mana whenua on the land

Public workshop for developing a strategy for Motutapu chaired by Jim Holdaway

Restoration Plan developed for Motutapu
Revised DOC Conservation Management Strategy (CMS) formulated, Motutapu identified as key area of conservation initiatives.
Nursery established
Planting of native trees commences
Fencing of coastal slopes and archaeological sites commences

Motutapu Trust's Rob Fenwick reports 50,000 trees planted over 1994/1995
Department closes the Home Bay wharf for safety reasons (All DOC structures were required to be examined following the Cave Creek disaster where 14 people died as a result of the collapse of a scenic viewing platform - Paparoa National Park, 25 April 1995). Ferry access now restricted to Islington Bay and Rangitoto wharves

Substantial grant received by the Trust from the Lottery Grants Board for weed eradication
Trust Chair Rob Fenwick tells NZ Herald ' By the turn of the century I expect every school pupil in Auckland to be able to plant a tree on Motutapu as part of their education'
Possum eradication which commenced 1990 declared complete - both islands possum free.

GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS - on 2 June, 219 of our volunteers plant 5500 trees on Motutapu to create a new record.

Conservation Plan completed for Military structures - Pearson
Conservation plan developed for Reid Homestead - Sharley
Identification and arboreal assessment competed for heritage vegetation - Aborlab
Revised DOC Conservation Management Strategy (CMS) formulated, Motutapu identified as key area of conservation initiatives

Remedial and Maintenance specifications prepared for Military structures - Salmond Reed
Last wallaby taken out. Pest eradication which commenced 1990 declared complete - both islands wallaby free.

Remedial and Maintenance specifications prepared for Military structures - Salmond Reed

Former Minister of the Crown and former Mayor of Auckland, Hon Christine Fletcher, becomes Trust Chair

Oracle billionaire, Larry Ellison, asked to pay $160,000 to restore power to Motutapu after the anchor of his 75m vessel Katana snags the undersea power cable from Waiheke to the island on Jan 5th. He paid.

Heritage assessment completed for Administration Bay camp - Pearson

Conservation minister Chris Carter announces a $349million overhaul of DoC's recreational network including a new campsite to be provided at Islington Bay on Motutapu (the new campsite didn't eventuate)

Newmarket Rotary commit to contributing to the development of a walking track network on the island
Volunteer database doubles in size from 800 to 1600 contacts

A 250kg slab from the Sunde site containing fossilised footprints is loaned to the Auckland War Memorial Museum following a special handing over ceremony on the island

Walk Motutapu walking track network funded by Newmarket Rotary officially opened as part of the celebration of Rotary International's centennial

Government announce that Rangitoto and Motutapu are to be restored to their natural state in an unprecendented pest eradication project. The complex project is expected to take up to 7 years to complete with feasibility studies for the next two years and operational planning starting in 2008.

Heritage Assessment for archaeological landscape completed

Wharf repair/refurbishment and Reid Homestead restorations completed

The Trust, together with event managers total sports, stage at Home Bay the multisport event DUAL2009.
Over 1500 competitors and supporters attend in the largest gathering seen on the island since the premier picnics of the 1900's.

The most complex island pest eradication ever attempted anywhere commences on Motutapu and Rangitoto 19th June targeting the seven remaining pests on the islands

The Air New Zealand Environment Trust announces a major sponsorship to enable Trust to expand the existing island nursery operation.
Planning gets underway for the translocations programme that will initiate following the pest free declaration.

In August, the islands of Motutapu and Rangitoto officially declared pest free by the Minister of Conservation.

The very first endangered species translocation, 4 takahe and 20 saddleback/tieke, released into the Home Bay volunteer planted forest.

Rotary Newmarket complete the restoration of the 100 year old red barn. Facility intended as a base for volunteer activities

The first stage of the Home Bay Loop Track completed with the opening of the Northern Junction Extension

New naming sponsor announced, Partnerslife, for the 4th DUAL multisport event in March 2012

Completion of a new footbridge over the Home Bay stream enabling ready access to the restored Reid Homestead.

Shore Plover, red fin bully, koura, whiteheads and more saddleback/tieke translocated to Motutapu

5 Cormandel kiwi and 9 additional takahe released onto the island

Also click below to check out our other site Timelines

Maori Settlement
Early European Settlement
WWII Military Activities