Motutapu Restoration Trust

  Auckland
Organisation page created in the Environment category

Help us to restore the natural and cultural potential of Motutapu Island in the Hauraki Gulf and leave a rich legacy for future generations.

  Auckland Volunteering Sustainability Conservation

Restoring Motutapu is a unique chance for the community to participate in conservation of our natural and historic heritage. Current projects requiring funding are upcoming translocations of kiwi, takahe, and pateke, the purchase of a trailer to take plants from the nursery to the planting site, and development of volunteer accommodation on the Island.

Located on Auckland's doorstep, Motutapu provides all New Zealanders an opportunity to leave a true legacy by creating the largest island sanctuary of its type in New Zealand. This sanctuary has already achieved significant benefits for biodiversity, recreation, tourism, education and Aucklander's quality of life.

The Motutapu Restoration Trust was officially incorporated as a charitable trust in 1994, and since that time has spearheaded a major restoration project intended to restore and enhance the natural, historic and recreation values of Motutapu. Our activities include planting a native forest, and restoring wetlands as well as historic site preservation, restoration and interpretation. The restoration programme, through hands on involvement, offers an excellent opportunity to convey primary conservation messages to our many volunteers who generously give of their time on the island.

One of the great advantages of restoration on Motutapu is that it is mammalian pest free. In 2009, the Department of Conservation began the most complex and challenging mammalian eradication programme ever undertaken to remove the seven remaining animal pests from Motutapu and Rangitoto. This two-year programme was completed in August 2011 and celebrated with the release of takahe and tieke on Motutapu.

After this pest eradication, native species previously not seen on the islands for many years have returned on their own, including kakariki and bellbird. Tui numbers have soared and a number of other small bird species have quickly increased in number.

Transfers of other native animals have occurred, including freshwater fish species (red-finned bully and native crayfish/koura) released into Home Bay Stream, shore plover released at Islington Bay, whiteheads, Coromandel brown kiwi and pateke.

Since its beginnings, thousands of volunteers have collected seeds, propagated them in the nursery, planted over 500,000 native trees and protected the "volunteer forests" with the removal of invasive exotic plants. There is now about 100ha of restored forest on Motutapu providing habitat for threatened wildlife species. Through its activities, the Trust provides ecological, cultural and historic opportunities to New Zealanders and overseas visitors for lifelong conservation learning.

More about us

"Breathing new life into an ancient landform"

The Motutapu Restoration Trust aims to restore the natural and cultural landscapes of pest-free Motutapu Island in the Hauraki Gulf. One of the largest restoration projects in New Zealand, it will bring vibrant and rare New Zealand nature back to a site easily reachable by the Auckland population. Much of our work is carried out by a cadre of enthusiastic and talented volunteers. Motutapu presents an opportunity to create something truly remarkable on Auckland's doorstep. Please donate to keep our momentum going.


Who's involved?

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Created by, and paying to a verified bank account of, Motutapu Restoration Trust (Charity)

Registered Charity A Registered Charity has legal recognition under the Charities Act 2005.
Tax credit Donations of over $5 are eligible for a New Zealand charitable giving tax credit.
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