Project Kiwi Trust has a vision: “That the footprints of our taonga, the kiwi, will always be seen on the Kuaotunu Peninsula.”

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Project Kiwi Trust was the first community based project in New Zealand to protect kiwi and remains a flagship for community conservation nationwide.

To see the latest news from Project Kiwi check out their website

The Trust has been managing kiwi conservation on the Kuaotunu Peninsula, on Coromandel Peninsula since 1996. Its primary objective is: ‘to enhance and protect the kiwi population and continue to restore the ecosystem on Kuaotunu Peninsula or other areas in New Zealand, as the trustees think fit’.

As a registered charitable trust, Project Kiwi Trust is well-governed by a Board of top professionals from a variety of industry sectors (including kiwi expert Dr. John McLennan), and it has purposefully engaged long-term trustees to sustain the project for perpetuity. Project Kiwi Trust is well known for setting benchmarks for kiwi conservation on a national and global scale.

Project Kiwi Trust is built upon the early work of Lance Dew, who established the Kuaotunu Kiwi Sanctuary in 1996 with a handful of keen locals and landowners. The intent was to control predators through trapping, aiming for a survival rate of 20% for kiwi chicks – this percentage of survival is required to ensure the kiwi population is maintained. Initially an incorporated society, it became formally registered as Project Kiwi Trust in 2002.

Size of area under protection

Project Kiwi Trust has monitored kiwi and established a robust trapping system to control predators over its operational area of 2850 hectares. Most of the land is in the hands of 22 private landowners who have committed to conserving kiwi by providing access for the Trust, and the Trust also monitors kiwi on some land managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Biggest challenge

Project Kiwi Trust is a charitable trust and depends on financial support from funding bodies and business organisations, and, sometimes, generous individuals. It has been financially viable for 15 years.

To continue its work protecting and enhancing the kiwi population, and to further extend its programme and begin new initiatives for kiwi conservation, the Trust needs to raise additional funding.

Biggest successes

Since 2004, Project Kiwi Trust has invested in BNZ Operation Nest Egg to build kiwi abundance. At the end of the 2010 nesting season, the Trust had returned its 77th kiwi to Kuaotunu Peninsula thanks to the captive rearing BNZ Operation Nest Egg programme.

Much of what we know about trapping predators and monitoring kiwi has been developed and refined by the Project Kiwi Trust. Examples of how the Trust has lead the development of kiwi recovery include predator and kiwi dog work, trapping methods and kiwi tracking. As well, the Trust established the first fenced, predator-proof kiwi crèche.

The most important thing

Before you appoint trustees, profile the type of people you need as trustees to ensure a balanced governance structure. Then, treat them like treasure and ensure their workloads remain balanced and achievable; the key to a long-term project is long-term trustees.

Contact details

If you would like to learn more about the group and its work, and/or volunteer your efforts, contact the project managers, Jon and Paula Williams, at:

Phone: 021 2482 900 (Jon), 021 382 900 (Paula)


Postal address: PO Box 274, Whitianga 3542