The Motutapu project started in 1993 in consultation with 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. Under the Motutapu Restoration Plan, over 500,000 trees have been planted on the island, 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.
Our vision is to restore the natural and cultural landscapes of Motutapu. The natural landscape similar to that which existed on Motutapu before the Rangitoto eruption around 600 years ago. The cultural landscape shaped by early Maori, early settlers, farming and the military.
We are in the process of:
As Motutapu is a working farm, sheep and cattle can be seen in varying numbers on the island throughout the year.
Exotic birds such as blackbird, chaffinch, mallard duck, goldfinch, greenfinch, magpie, myna, rosella, skylark, sparrow, starling, thrush, turkey, yellow hammer have all been observed on Motutapu.
We also have Guardians who have been deeply involved in founding the Trust and getting it to where it is today:
Our above dedicated group of individuals are committed to restoring the cultural and natural landscapes of Motutapu. Restored habitats on the island are already enabling native wildlife, including endangered species, to thrive in our safe haven free from animal and plant pests. Alongside the ecological restoration, the island’s rich archaeological and historic landscapes are being enhanced so that the stories of centuries of human occupation can be enjoyed by all.
Our activities include planting a native forest, restoring wetlands as well as historic site preservation, restoration and interpretation, walking tracks and visitor centre. The restoration programme, through hands on involvement, offers an excellent opportunity for our visitors to experience and for our volunteers to contribute to conservation. We salute our many volunteers who generously give of their time on the island.
Through its activities, the Trust provides opportunities to New Zealanders and overseas visitors for lifelong conservation learning.