Iwi- and hapū-led project to preserve NZ’s largest estuarine water body

The Kaipara Moana is the largest estuarine water body in New Zealand; it is of global ecological and biological significance and profound importance to Māori and recreational users. The catchment and unique estuarine system spans the Auckland and Northland regions, covering 640,000 hectares. The Kaipara is a migratory bird habitat of international significance with rare species using the harbour for feeding in summer before returning to the northern hemisphere to breed, such as the bar-tailed godwit. Terrestrial biodiversity includes fairy tern, banded rail, fernbird and kiwi, and the wetland areas provide feeding and roosting grounds for migratory waders such as godwits. The coastal dunes and dune lakes along the western coast provide habitat for banded rail, dotterel and other species.

The Kaipara project has interdependencies with the $200m Kaipara remediation project – an initiative involving iwi, hapū, central and local government, landowners, and the wider community to restore the catchment. Those will provide significant benefits to the project.

The plan for the project is to eradicate possums, stoats, rats, and pigs from 105000ha of peninsulas in the Kaipara Moana, then extend into the entire catchment area, which is an additional 543000ha.

Currently in the feasibility stage, the project team is surveying enthusiasm and knowledge of the project goals, including ensuring community and landowner engagement.

PF2050Ltd investment $2 million (initial - Jobs for Nature funding)
Total project investment $30 million
Funding commitment 5 years
Project lead Local iwi and hapū
Māori partners
Collaborators The Project was initiated by the Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group (IKHMG) in partnership with Ngā Maunga Whakahii, Te Uri o Hau, Te Roroa, Landcare and community groups, Auckland Council, Northland Regional Council and the Department of Conservation. The project will be implemented by Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust through their environmental arm Environs Holdings Ltd and is a collaborative, multi-stakeholder partnership for the purpose of achieving a ‘healthy and productive Kaipara Harbour’.
Ambition The project will eradicate possums, rats and mustelids as well as feral pigs. The project would initially focus on 105,000 hectares around the peninsula and harbour area, expanding to 640,000 hectares as technology being developed to support the PF2050 goal allows. That area extends south of Whangarei to Helensville and much of the west coast in between.
Design The project will take a staged approach by initially completing detailed design, iwi and hapū partnership, community and landowner engagement, and confidence of co-funding from the community and others. Any fieldwork would start in mid-2022 and expect to be completed in 2026.