Mana whenua (or Iwi/Hapū)

Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Hangarau, Nga Manawa Trust

Special natural values (geology and ecology including flora/fauna)

Landscape is a flat ignimbrite plateau with large expanse of inaccessible native forest. Access is difficult and public use low.The Opuiaki Ecological Area is the home of one of only 11 “relict” kokako populations in Aotearoa.

What’s happening already?

In addition to occasional surveillance to keep goats and deer out, there is an existing 800 hectare ground control operation at Opuiaki for possums, rats and mustelids. Animal pest control to protect the kōkako population began at Opuiaki in 2003. However, seventeen years later, kōkako numbers at the site are little different to where they started with 10 pairs observed in the latest 2019 survey. Over the same period, kōkako populations nationally have responded spectacularly to management with a four-fold increase. In 2019 the Department of Conservation commissioned an independent review of the management at Opuiaki. This report ‘Kōkako Management at Opuiaki 2000-2019: A review’ was completed by Ian Flux, a national expert, and recommended an expanded programme be implemented if the kōkako population is to be given a final chance at recovery. New funding from BOPRC/DOC/WRC will enable the recommendations of this report to be implemented, including urgently resuming and expanding annual possum and ship-rat control over 1,130 hectares, then to 2,000 hectares over time, as well as reinstating and expanding stoat trapping. The new funding from BOPRC/DOC/WRC will also be used for control of feral goats in this area over 2020-2025.
Northern Kaimai
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Aongatete
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Whakamarama
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Opuiaki
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Otanewainuku /
Otawa
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Mokaihaha
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