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Restoring Roto Kawau
ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary
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Restoring Roto Kawau

Operational report

In 2021, Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne embarked on an ambitious operation to remove around 22,000 exotic perch from Roto Kawau, the lower reservoir. We have outlined this project in an operational report, which can be found here. The purpose of this report is to share our learnings and support other communities with similar ambitions.

While the final follow-up will happen in 2026, the project to date has been a huge success. It ultimately creates opportunities for restoration of a lake-like ecosystem just 2km from down-town Wellington. It means that all restoration efforts here-on-out will provide a remarkable opportunity for positive engagement for these often-over-looked habitats; it also provides remarkable opportunities for threatened species work to advance conservation.

This project was highly complex and required over six years of preparation. We had many incredible partners and stakeholders in this work, including the Department of Conservation, Riverscapes Freshwater Ltd and mana whenua. We would like to express our thanks to everyone involved, and most particularly the Zealandia whānau, the Holdsworths Charitable Trust, David Moss (DOC), Dr Amber McEwan (Riverscapes Freshwater Ltd), and our incredible mana whenua partners.

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