The Motutapu project started in 1993 in consultation with Ngai Tai ki Tamaki Trust and other interested groups. Together with Rangitoto, Motutapu represented an unrivalled opportunity for ecological restoration close to a metropolitan centre which could contribute significantly to threatened species’ survival in New Zealand.
The island was declared mammalian pest-free in 2011, although possums and wallabies were removed during the nineties. Volunteers have now planted over 100 hectares in 450,000 native trees, a forest that is almost canopy level. Rare and endangered species, as well as unthreatened endemic species, are thriving in the pest-free habitat. The island is now a safe home for a small breeding population of translocated Kiwi and Takahe – some of New Zealand’s rarest, flightless birds.
The Motutapu Restoration Trust’s work provides opportunities for people of all ages to engage in and be actively involved in conservation and to better understand and appreciate heritage values through the restoration of Motutapu.