Iwi and hapū-led project to preserve the largest estuarine water body in Aotearoa

The Kaipara Harbour is the largest estuarine water body in Aotearoa New Zealand and is the largest harbour in the Southern hemisphere. It is of global ecological and biological significance. It profoundly important to Te Iwi o Ngati Whatua, recreational and commercial 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. Rare species use the harbour for feeding in summer before returning to the northern hemisphere to breed, such as the bar-tailed godwit. Land birds in the area include fairy tern, banded rail, fernbird and kiwi. The wetland areas provide feeding and roosting grounds for migratory waders, like godwits. The coastal dunes and dune lakes along the western coast provide habitat for banded rail, dotterel and other species.

The Kaipara Predator Free (KPF) project is connected with the $200m Kaipara Moana Remediation project, which aims restore the mauri of the catchment. The Kaipara Moana Remediation project is an initiative involving Iwi, hapū, central and local government, landowners and the wider community.

The long-term plan for the Kaipara Predator Free is to eradicate possums, stoats, rats, and pigs from 105,000ha on five peninsulas in the Kaipara Moana. The five peninsulas are Hukatere, Okahukura, Puketotara, Pouto (North Head) and Te Korowai o Tonga (South Head) peninsulas. The project then plans to extend into the entire catchment area, which is an additional 543,000ha.

The project completed a feasibility analysis, which indicated Puketotara peninsula should be the the first peninsula to begin the possum elimination programme. Korero and engagement with the landowner of Oneriri Station (3,764ha) has been very welcoming and proactive. We have employed a KPF Project Manager to operationalise the huge task ahead.

Launched
PF2050Ltd investment $2 million (initial - Jobs for Nature funding)
Total project investment
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 is being 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. Fieldwork has started and expect to be completed in 2026.