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. A 2013 survey found that Farewell Spit regularly supports 20,000 or more waterbirds. The site is the highest ranked ecosystem in the Tasman District (2019 survey). Resident and migratory species are at risk of predation. An eradication project has strong merit, but is ambitious.

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. Should it progress, the project is forecast to create up to 50 jobs.

Launched September 29, 2021
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.