Internationally-significant habitat for shorebirds

Farewell Spit/Wharariki is a unique natural feature and is internationally recognised under the Ramsar Convention. It is an important ecosystem for shorebirds including red knot, bar-tailed godwit, variable oystercatcher, pied oystercatcher, and banded dotterel. The spit is an important biodiversity hotspot and yet there are species and life stages that once thrived there that have been lost or decimated by introduced predators.

The project is community led, governed by a partnership between Tasman Environmental Trust and Manawhenua ki Mohua, representing whānau from the three iwi with mana whenua status in Golden Bay.

This project builds on, and leverages, the existing significant conservation projects underway at the base of the Spit to enhance and protect significant habitat areas for burrowing seabirds and wetland species. Given the unique nature of the site learnings from this project will inform other dune and coastal ecosystem sites.

Ahikā Consulting has completed a feasibility plan for the eradication of rats, stoats, possums and pigs from 4000 ha of Onetahua Farewell Spit and suppression to low densities in a further 8500 ha.

Operational planning is now underway.

PF2050Ltd investment $3 million (Jobs for Nature funding)
Total project investment $9 million
Funding commitment 5 years
Project lead Onetahua Restoration – partnership between Tasman Environmental Trust and HealthPost Nature Trust
Māori partners Manawhenua Ki Mohua
Collaborators Department of Conservation, Lonestar Farms, local businesses and community volunteers.
Ambition The programme would extend the current pest eradication programme out from Farewell Spit/Cape Farewell to the Pakawau Bush Road taking in the Kaihoka Scenic Reserve and Pakawau Forest and, with the support of landowners, some private land bordering these areas. Over time, other work will move towards the Abel Tasman National Park and south to Kahurangi and the West Coast.
Design The project is at the early planning stages, starting with a feasibility study with extensive community consultation. Any fieldwork would start mid-2022 and expect to be completed in 2026.