Tiritiri Matangi a Restoration Success Story

Tiritiri Matangi Island lighthouse
The Tiritiri Matangi lighthouse was the first to operate in the Hauraki Gulf and was lit on 1 January 1865. The lighthouse was designed to provide assistance to vessels arriving into Auckland at night.

The restoration of Tiritiri Matangi Island is a wonderful success. The restoration project was initiated by the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park Board. It was the first time that public volunteers were used for island conservation in New Zealand and many thought that the approach would not work, that you could only have a successful nature reserve if the public was not allowed to go there.

The planting programme started in 1984. Members of the public were invited to come and help. Over  a decade later over 250,000 native trees had been planted. Eleven bird species how now been translocated back to the island.

Tiritiri Matangi is ecologically important, not only as a site where wildlife can thrive, but as a breeding ground for rare species that can be transferred to other islands. It has also become a very popular place for visitors. But perhaps even more importantly, the project provided inspiration for other island restoration projects, in the Hauraki Gulf and elsewhere.

Tiritiri Matangi tourists arriving on Fullers ferry
Over 33,000 people visit Tiritiri Matangi Island each year. Shown here are a group of tourists who have just been dropped off by the Fullers ferry for the day.

 

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