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Native Forests Trust toasts new reserve

Native Forests Restoration Trust toasts the beginning of a new reserve

The New Zealand Native Forests Restoration Trust and Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons will toast the opening of the Waiwawa Bush Reserve in the Coromandel this Labour Weekend and welcome onboard the Trust’s first corporate benefactor – Matua Valley Wines.

Trust Chairman Dr Brian Davis says the 61 hectare block of regenerating forest, situated within the 70,000 hectare Coromandel Forest Park on the Tapu-Coroglen Road, is home to flora and fauna that are nationally important and which the Trust will now be able to protect.

“Being surrounded by State Forest Park and across the valley from the region’s first Ecological Reserve, the land has unquestionable value as part of the Coromandel Forest Park continuum. In the past the area has suffered from logging and while it is recovering, we intend to help the process along – protecting the area for future generations,” he said.

Among the Trust’s first actions will be raising animal pest control – setting up a permanent line of bait stations to prevent further damage to the canopy and protecting the mamaku tree ferns which have been all but devastated by possums browsing the newly uncurling Koru.

Dr Davis says Labour Weekend also marks the start of an important partnership for the Trust with Matua Valley Wines.

“We’re delighted to be working with Bill Spence and his team. Their support is going to enable the Native Forests Restoration Trust to purchase more blocks like the Waiwawa Bush Reserve and protect our native areas for generations to come,” he said.

Mr Spence says Matua Valley Wines is looking forward to, “putting its money where its ecological vision is”.

“Matua has always had a strong commitment to environmentally sound practices and thanks to strong growth and the continued support of New Zealanders we are in the position to give something back. We’ve long admired the work the Trust does so it’s great to be able to help them make a real difference.”

“We will be unveiling a programme early next month which is going to enable other New Zealanders who care about protecting our native areas to get behind the NZ Native Forests Restoration Trust.”

Dr Davis said the partnership would help promote the Native Forests Restoration Trust to New Zealanders.

“We have a loyal base of private donors whose generosity has enabled us to establish more than 20 reserves around New Zealand. However the vast majority of Kiwis have never heard about us or our work. Our partnership with Matua is going to enable us to spread the word about our projects to mainstream New Zealand – where we’re sure we’ll find many more supporters who care about protecting our native forests,” he said.


OPENING OF WAIWAWA BUSH RESERVE

WHEN: Sunday 23 October (Labour weekend)
Formalities from 12 noon
BBQ and refreshments follow
Guided walk and chance to talk with Trustees

WHERE: Tapu-Coroglen Road, Coromandel Peninsula
300 m on the eastern side – watch for signs past the road’s highest point


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