News and stories

Being neighbourly with our natives


09 December 2019

Polhill Protectors is a ground-breaking urban conservation community laying out the welcome mat for manu taonga in Wellington city.

It consists of more than 70 trappers and a 900-strong Facebook group, who dedicate their time to control predators and engage in restoration efforts in the 70 hectare reserve, five minutes from downtown.

Polhill Protectors are hundreds of riders, runners, ramblers, residents, grannies, students and kids whose efforts earned them a spot as finalists in the 2019 Biosecurity Awards.

Polhill Reserve hosts Wellington’s most popular biking and running trails, and also hosts endangered wildlife courtesy of Zealandia eco-sanctuary, including kaka parrots, and most famously, tieke (saddleback).

Polhill Protectors has pioneered the use of social media as a conservation tool, and presented their recreation and conservation model (‘traps, trees and trails’ or ‘birds, bikes and beer’) at hui, including keynotes to NZILA, Kiwis for Kiwi, and Department of Conservation national conferences. Australia’s Threatened Species Commissioner has pitched Polhill as an inspiration: “Australia, can we do this too?”

Polhill Protectors has featured in National Geographic and The New York Times, was a finalist in Community Leadership in the 2017 Green Ribbon Awards, and won the Supreme Award at the 2017 Wellington Airport Wellington Community Awards.