Over the following seven years, extensive restoration work has taken place, including the building of 8 kilometres worth of fencing, planting of native trees and pest control. In their first round of eradication, Gill and Kevin killed over 600 possums, with the help of the the Auckland Council, community, school groups and local Iwi, Ngati Whatua O Kaipara.
Support from the local community has been critical to this project – helping with continued pest and predator control raising funds for radio trackers attached to the kiwi’s legs, choosing names for the introduced kiwi and general support for the returning of these special toanga to the Kaipara.
Size of area under protection
Established on a 1300 hectare working farm, the 400 hectares of restored native coastal forest has been retired from farming and is the core of the kiwi release site. Gil and Kevin know that the birds will move in and out of this area and the goal is to increase the area under protection beyond their 1300 hectare boundaries to include up to 10,000ha of neighbouring properties.
Making more hours in the day!
The culmination of their efforts was the first release of kiwi into the project in late May and early June this year. Thirteen kiwi from Motoura Island were released and there are plans for Mataia to receive forty transferred kiwi as their founding population.
The one most important thing
Getting the support and buy-in of Ngati Whatua O Kaipara and the local community for the return of kiwi to the Kaipara after kiwi being absent for so long.
Gil and Kevin know full well that without the support of these groups, the long term success of the project would be impossible.
Kevin and Gill Adshead
Phone 027 5514140