Get Involved

To get involved in conservation projects, you can assist South Auckland Forest and Bird in many ways including:

  • Attending monthly meetings
  • Contributing to the branch newsletter
  • Participating in scheduled planting days
  • Supporting pest control and weed eradication projects
  • Making a donation to Forest & Bird’s South Auckland Branch
  • Helping with the RMA, submissions, applications and monitoring
  • Help take care of historic Olive Davis Cottage

To join our branch or find out how to get involved, contact Stacey Balich at or call the Committee Members listed in the latest Sentinel Newsletter.

Most recent trip

Most recent trip - Long Weekend in January 

Ten Forest and Bird members and three children visited Rangitoto Station reserve adjacent to the northern Pureora Forest Park. Pureora is a magical and beautiful place with 80% of the land now covered in mature and regenerating bush. The lodge is well set up for visitors with the nearby woolshed adding extra accommodation. We took turns catering for the two dinners. A kokako recovery project, run by the Howick Tramping Club, operates out of these facilities to protect a relict kokako population in the nearby Mangatutu Ecological Area. Unlogged rimu/tawa-dominated bush plus predator control has seen a dramatic increase in kokako from 7 pair in 1995 to 185 pair in 2016, which has also benefited other birds – kaka, kakariki, NZ falcon, tomtit, grey warbler, kereru, bellbird, tui, riflemen, NI robin, shining and long-tailed cuckoo.

Activities included an early start for the dawn chorus which was rewarded with the haunting call of kokako amongst many bellbirds, robin and tui calls. A bush walk culminating in a picnic lunch beneath towering trees with more kokako song - the children enjoying the adventure! Panoramic views from the top of Mt Ranginui the highest point in the region, visiting an old hut, an unsuccessful bat hunting foray but under a magnificent star-studded sky and a final picnic along the bush-lined road before we drove home.
A very enjoyable visit to a special place in great company! by Colleen Grayling

For more information on the kokako project please visit

For more information on Rangitoto Station please visit


Photo 1: Photo of Rangitoto Station Lodge

Photo 2: Waiting for the dawn chorus at 5.30am

Photo 3: Exploring the native bush

Photo 4: Children enjoying the long grass

Previous Trips

Sunday 15th October 2017

Ten Forest & Bird South Auckland members gathered at Sunset Carpark to be met by Karen Opie of Port Waikato Beachcare. Karen had given an excellent presentation to our April meeting and kindly offered to guide us on this walk.
 The dynamic, ever-changing nature of sand dunes, their biodiversity, animal and plant pest problems, sharing the area with motorised recreational users and fire damage, showed the challenges of protecting and restoring this ecosystem.

Spinifex and pingao are specifically adapted to colonise and stabilise sand dunes and are far superior to the introduced marram grass. Karen showed us how koi carp fertiliser trials had boosted the re-establishment of spinifex and pingao especially in the first year - making good use of a pest fish species.
Rabbit browsing is a particular problem as is the spread of weeds. An area of fire damage had been vigorously recolonised by pampas. Spraying the pampas was essential so that native plants such
as flax, cabbage trees and karo could be planted while coastal pseudopanax and mahoe needed protective sleeves to deter browsing and frost damage.
 NZ and Banded Dotterel breeding areas are taped off to keep people at a distance and we helped reaffix this tape where needed and gathered up rubbish as we walked. It was time for lunch and bird watching as we emerged on to the beach near the Waikato River. Godwits, and dotterels were feeding, interspersed with a few black backed gulls, pied shags, wrybill and red knots. 
Our proposed walk back along the ocean beach was foiled by a strong headwind so we returned via the sand dunes after a very enjoyable day significantly enhanced by Karen's local knowledge.

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Left picture: Karen Opie describing the koi carp fertiliser trial

Right picture: Feeding shorebirds

Photos: Murray Gleeson, Colleen Grayling