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North Island



Getting there

The reserve is situated on Waite Rd, approximately 7km north-west of Pirongia in the Waikato.

The locals

Kererū, tūī, bellbird, North Island fantail, grey warbler and silvereye.

The land that is now Firth reserve was occupied by Europeans late in New Zealand’s history, because of resistance from local Maori who supported the Maori King. It was only after the main trunk railway was extended into the King Country, reaching Te Kuiti in 1887 that European occupation started in earnest. Soon after, they started milling the native timber in the area, reaching a peak in the mid-1950s. Stripped of much of its rimu, totara and miro the forestland has undergone a regeneration in recent years with the planting of kauri, totara, miro, mapou, narrow-leaved maire and mountain ribbon-wood. The five-hectare reserve also contains a significant amount of kohekohe, rewarewa, pukatea, tree fern, mamaku, wheki, mahoe and a large number of king ferns.

This 5.2ha patch of native bush provides a vital corridor for native wildlife as it travels to and from nearby Pirongia Forest Park. The reserve was gifted to Forest & Bird in 1977 by a far-sighted and nature-loving Hamiltonian, Edward (Ted) Firth, who wanted to see this area of regenerating bush protected.

Project or Reserve contact

Forest & Bird Waikato Branch

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