Situated on the west coast of the South Island, the Punakaiki Coastal Restoration Project aims to make a positive and lasting impact on the social, economic and environmental values of this unique location. Through the combined efforts of everyone involved, the project is helping to:
- Restore the biodiversity of the area
- Develop an education and knowledge base to support species protection
- Strengthen community networks
- Build the capacity of community partners to engage with and use the site
- Provide a ‘new heritage’ of enhanced conservation land for the benefit of future generations
The project site borders the Westland Petrel Special Protected Area, located in the foothills of the Paparoa Ranges. This is the only breeding colony for the Westland Petrel (tāiko), a sub-species of petrel whose presence was first discovered by students from the local Barrytown school in the late 1940’s.
To the south, the project is bounded by the Nikau Scenic Reserve, a small but important remnant of the sand plain forest that once covered the area. The site itself contains some small forest remnants including a large stand of nikau palms, as well as an ecologically diverse wetland area adjacent to the scenic reserve.
The restoration activities Conservation Volunteers are undertaking on this site will see a significant extension of this remnant, providing a now rare corridor of native forest from mountain to sea. At the same time, the planting is designed to enhance the protection of the Westland Petrel’s breeding habitat.
The Punakaiki Coastal Restoration Project is a collaborative effort involving business, government and community organisations pooling their resources to deliver significant environmental and community benefits. The project partners are the Department of Conservation, Conservation Volunteers New Zealand and Rio Tinto Ltd.
Rio Tinto, an international mining group, has gifted the project land to the Department of Conservation to manage on behalf of the community as a Nature Reserve. Conservation Volunteers is implementing the restoration program drawing on the resources, skills and efforts of volunteers.
Australian Land Management Projects
Conservation Volunteers has considerable experiencing with its land management projects in Australia, including:
- Brookfield Conservation Park
- W. James Whyte Island Reserve
- Salvana Nature Reserve
- Little Desert Nature Lodge