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History of Motuora Restoration Society

Motuora is an 80-hectare island in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. The island reserve lies five kilometres east of Mahurangi Heads, north of Auckland. Motuora has a long history of human occupation and was used for pastoral farming through most of the last century. Much of the original coastal forest was cleared long ago leaving only remnant pohutukawa and karo/mahoe scrub growing on coastal cliffs. In 1990 the focus for the island changed and a volunteer-led restoration programme began. Restoration efforts gained momentum in 1995 with the formation of the Motuora Restoration Society (MRS). The Society now jointly manages the island with the Department of Conservation (DOC). The major focus of the restoration project so far has been re-establishing native forest cover on the island. With up to 30,000 native seedlings raised in the island nursery each year and planted out by volunteers during the winter months Motuora is largely reforested. Currently canopy trees and infill planting is occurring along with Weed control and the translocation of sea birds, wetapunga, and native lizards (see our website for details).