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 center which could contribute significantly to threatened species’ survival in New Zealand.
It's been a massive volunteer success story and we're proud of that volunteer culture that the restoration has been built on.
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.
The Trust's planning is approved by DOC in association with Ngai Tai ki Tamaki, the Island's Iwi.
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 was shaped by early Maori, early European settlers, farming and the military.
We are in the process of:
Over its recent years, Motutapu has been a working farm of sheep and cattle.
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.
Restored habitats on the island are already enabling native wildlife, including endangered species, to thrive in this safe haven free from animal and plant pests. alongside the ecological restoration, the island's rich archaeological landscapes are being enhanced so that the stories of centuries of human occupation can be enjoyed by all.
We also have Guardians who have been deeply involved in founding the Trust and getting it to where it is today:
We acknowledge some changes in the last 12 months. Rick Braddock, Rick recently stood down after long serving as Deputy Chair. We also acknowledge Iain MacKenzie, a long serving Trustee of the Trust. Iain died recently.
Our activities include planting a native forest, restoring wetlands as well as historic site preservation, restoration and interpretation, walking tracks and visitor center. 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.