Our native replanting programme has been a key factor for our success.
It is a combination of revegetation with some artistic licence – such as the pohutukawa groves at Home Bay and the use of a few species which may not have originally been on the island.
Examples include Kauri which was planted to safeguard a taonga (precious) species under serious threat on the mainland. Seeds came from trees surrounding the house of one of NZ’s most well known artists Colin McCahon. Pennantia baylisiana (Three Kings Islands kaikomako) is a critically endangered plant which has one tree remaining in the wild. These two species have been planted along the walking track that leads up from the Ladies Bay dam to the northern cell phone tower.
We started with over 60 weed species on the island but the combination of the revegetation species mix and spacings (generally 1.4m) along with intensive weed control meant that most of our plantings were weed free within 3 years of planting. Now 8 years since the first planting have almost complete canopy closure and rich productive soils. These in turn support our wildlife like kiwi, takahe, weka, Tieke (saddlebacks), Popokotea (whiteheads) and on our cliffs, oi (Grey faced petrels). We are proud of this and encourage our visitors to also enjoy our wildlife.