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Mataia Restoration Project
The Mataia Restoration Project began in earnest in 2005 when the owners of the land decided to retire 400ha of the 1300ha property from farming. (In the early 1990's, a 25ha block was covenanted under the QEII scheme and separately fenced.)
The restoration area is made up of largely coastal native forest and salt marsh wetland on the south eastern shores of the Kaipara Harbour. The area boasts growing populations of fernbirds and banded rail and many other native species. The salt marsh area is a significant roosting ground for arctic waders including godwits and lesser knots as well as local migrants including pied oyster catchers, pied stilts, banded dotterel and Caspian terns.
The aim of the project is to restore and enhance the considerable ecological values of the area.
A land management plan was drawn up in 2008 with the help of funding from DOC Biodiversity Advice Fund and this report identified pest and predator control as the first priority.
Funding from the DOC Biodiversity Condition Fund and from landowners Manaia Properties Ltd enabled us to purchase 100 DOC 250's, 100 DOC 200's, 250 bait stations, 100 Timms traps and 100 tracking tunnels and to put a track in to enable easy access to the coastal native forest. In addition many kilometers of bait and tracking tunnel lines tracks have been cut for intensive pest and predator control. This work is carried out by volunteers who regularly attend workshops to further their knowledge.
Funding from the Auckland Council's Environmental Initiatives Fund, from the Rodney Natural Heritage Fund and from the landowners have been used for the past 6 years to assist with the riparian fencing and planting of the Mataia Stream and to restore a small tract of bush close to the Homestead. Approximately 300 trees are planted by volunteers each year.
In addition the project has a relationship with Meadowbank School under the Auckland Council's Trees for Survival programme which sees approximately 1000 trees raised by the students each year and then planted by them in the riparian margins of the Mataia Stream.
Tauhoa School joins the TFS program this year and will begin planting trees they have grown on the newly fenced headwaters of the Omaumau Strea.
Ecologists and DOC personnel who have recently visited the property identified the area as being very suitable kiwi habitat and for translocation of other endangered species. Our translocation proposal to reintroduce kiwi to Mataia was successful and the first 13 birds were released in May 2013 with a further 21 in April and May 2014.
Our current activities include:-
• Continued intensive pest and predator control,
• the fencing of vital bush corridors within the farmland to link larger areas on native forest and to therefore provide safe passage for fauna,
• and the possible provision of a kiwi fence on the perimeter of the property
• The continued fencing and riparian planting of the Mataia Stream