Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

Our Vision

Kukupa - photo courtesy of David Monro

Kukupa – photo courtesy of David Monro

Established in 2002, the Bream Head Conservation Trust is in an operational partnership between iwi, the community, the Department of Conservation, Whangarei District Council, NZ Refining and Foundation North.

Our vision is to restore Bream Head as a place in which natural ecology is restored, with healthy forest and abundant bird song and where visitors can experience nature at its best.

The Trust aims to:

  • Restore and maintain the ecology of the Reserve
  • Preserve its historical and archaeological features
  • Enhance its recreational and educational potential in ways which are compatible with conservation values.

Why Restore Bream Head Scenic Reserve?

The Bream Head Scenic Reserve, situated at the entrance to Whangarei Harbour, is classified as an outstanding ecosystem supporting a diversity of species. The Reserve contains unique archaeological, historical and landscape features and represents the largest and highest quality area of coastal pohutukawa-broadleaf forest remaining in Northland, and one of the best in the country.

The plants in the Reserve have suffered from competition by weeds and grazing by cattle, goats and possums. Meanwhile the native animal populations have come under attack from predators like cats, dogs, stoats, rats and mice.  The Trust wants to restore and maintain the Reserve as it existed in pre-European times so people can enjoy its richness and diversity once again.

The Five Year Plan

The Trust’s key focus is ecological restoration of the Reserve within a five-year time frame. Its Ecological Restoration Plan  provides an overview of what can realistically be achieved in the five years between 2012 and 2017, including the possibility of reintroducing lost species. The plan covers:

  • Threat management (managing animal pests, plant pests and biosecurity)
  • Revegetation (new planting especially around Busby Head and Smugglers Bay)
  • Reintroduction of species which have been lost (e.g. robins, riflemen, lizard species).

The plan has been jointly developed with the local community and key agencies to guide work at Bream Head for the next five years.  Its preparation reflects the need for a more focused and action-oriented approach to the Trust’s restoration efforts, and for this approach to have support from the local community and be compatible with other restoration efforts being undertaken in the wider Whangarei Heads area.

Our Successes

  • Fundraising and sponsorship to employ full time and part time rangers
  • Building a team of volunteers from our community to trap predators, bust weeds and undertake revegetation
  • The planting of over 40,000 revegetation species
  • The building of our headquarters near the start of the Peach Cove Track at Ocean Beach
  • Creating and maintaining a huge network of trap lines keeping the entire Reserve under intensive pest control
  • Discovery in the Reserve of a completely new species of skink
  • Reintroduction to the Reserve of the North Island Robin, a species that disappeared from Northland in the early 1900s
  • Self reintroduction of grey-faced petrels first detected in 2015
  • An on-going programme to release kiwi into the Reserve
  • The five year plan has largely been completed and the Trust is currently developing the next five year plan, 2017 – 2022