News and stories

Restoring the mauri (life force) of the Bay of Islands


01 November 2019

Project Island Song is dedicated to restoring the mauri or life force of the very depauperate islands of Ipipiri, the eastern Bay of Islands, after about 700 years of human habitation.

Finalists in the 2019 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards, Guardians of the Bay of Islands was formed in 2006 and leads the management including fundraising for restoration using mostly volunteers.

The group has made a long-term commitment to restoring the natural values of the islands and their biosecurity and has provided continuing leadership for 12 years to date in concert with the Department of Conservation and local hapu Patu Keha and Ngati Kuta.

After eliminating all three species of rats and stoats by an aerial toxin drop in 2007, the group’s priority effort has been to retain the biosecurity of the islands so that it can provide an ongoing sanctuary for reintroduction of species long gone from the area.

Six species of birds or reptiles have been introduced to date, as well as considerable planting for habitat restoration, weed control, and education for local school children through the ‘Floating Classroom’ project.