The Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust was established in 2004 out of concern for the declining state of the reserve, 12km’s east of Eltham, South Taranaki. By 2008 Taranaki’s only pest-free sanctuary had been created. Native species are flourishing, including several reintroduced species. In 2012, the Taranaki Kōhanga Kiwi at Rotokare project was established in partnership with the Taranaki Kiwi Trust to restore kiwi throughout Taranaki, and in June 2020 achieved the significant milestone of the first kiwi being translocated from the sanctuary.
So far, three bird species have been returned to Taranaki after regional extinction: Tieke/saddleback returned after c.150-years, Hihi/stitchbird after c.130-years, and in May 2019 pāteke/brown teal after c.100-years. The trust has plans to return several other species to Taranaki.
The Rotokare Halo Project, a landscape-scale trapping programme in partnership with multiple landowners and other conservation organisations, provides over 5,000 hectares of predator control surrounding the sanctuary to increase survival of rare wildlife as it disperses into the wider community.
The Trust has strong inclusive community and recreation values, runs a comprehensive Environmental Education programme, and provides important community benefits through a broad volunteer programme. The free-access sanctuary receives 30,000 visitors annually and is a unique Taranaki destination.
Working with others and building strong community collaborations is a key goal to ensure these outcomes are sustained for Taranaki’s future generations.
This hardworking and ambitious organisation likes to have fun too! Nothing better than being covered in mud, telling tall-tales of misadventure in the bush, with a celebratory brew.