A nationally significant conservation project

With our partners, Te Manahuna Aoraki Project is protecting and revitalising a vast 310,000 hectare mainland island in the Upper Mackenzie Basin and Aoraki Mount Cook National Park so native animals and plants can thrive.

It is home to some of our most threatened plants and animals, sites of immense cultural significance to mana whenua, and iconic high country farmland.

Along the way, Te Manahuna Aoraki Project will inspire and empower others to ensure the transformations are preserved for future generations.

Be part of the journey.

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HECTARE
PROJECT AREA

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PREDATORS
TRAPPED

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INVASIVE WEEDS CONTROLLED

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KAKī HABITAT
PROTECTED

WHY HERE?

The project area is home to an outstanding range of threatened ecosystems and species found nowhere else in the world. We need to act now to ensure they are not lost forever.

OUR WORK

We’re getting rid of pests and weeds, building relationships, and developing innovative techniques to safeguard 310,000 hectares in a predator-free mainland island.

COLLABORATION

Manawhenua, land owners, government agencies, philanthropists and the community are all working together towards the common goal of revitalising Te Manahuna Aoraki Project area.

Discover more about our project

This interactive map shows the enormous scale of the project area and links to some of the work we are doing to restore and protect the Upper Mackenzie Basin and Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. 

Click on the markers to find out more
Click to find out more about our area
Patersons Terrace... Robust grasshopper fence... Braided river bird monitoring... Native fish protection... Weed control... Predator study... Malte Brun trial site... Mountains as barriers... Fence trial site... Mistake Valley trial site... Lizard and invertebrate monitoring...

Patersons Terrace...

A trial to eliminate rabbits, hedgehogs and ferrets from a low country site.
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Robust grasshopper fence...

Could this be the world’s only fenced predator-free enclosure for an insect?
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Braided river bird monitoring...

How are braided river birds like kakī, banded dotterel and wrybills doing?
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Native fish protection...

Fork Stream project

A rūnaka project at Fork Stream to protect native fish from invasive species
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Weed control...

We are controlling weeds like rowan, broom and cotoneaster before they become another wilding pine problem
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Predator study...

Hedgehogs at 2000m? This is just one of the fascinating findings from our research about invasive pests and their seasonal movements
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Malte Brun trial site...

Can we eliminate stoats from this alpine site and use mountains and glaciers to stop reinvasion?
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Mountains as barriers...

We are conducting research into how natural barriers like mountains and glaciers can stop predator reinvasion
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Fence trial site...

Different fence designs are being tested in these harsh alpine conditions
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Mistake Valley trial site...

We are attempting to completely rid this mountainous tussock and scree zone of hedgehogs
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Lizard and invertebrate monitoring...

Studying skinks, geckos, wētā and grasshoppers – which ones live here and how are they doing?
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Innovative and solutions focused

We need to think outside the square to eliminate introduced predators. We’ve spent time researching how high and far ten invasive mammals travel in the alpine areas.

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Protecting rare and threatened species

The braided rivers of the project area are home to the world’s rarest wading bird – the kakī / black stilt. Brought back from the brink of extinction by DOC, less than 200 adult kakī can be found in the wild but we are working hard to safeguard them.

Keep up with the latest news

Te Manahuna Aoraki Project moves to next stage

We are delighted to announce that Te Manahuna Aoraki Project board has given the go-ahead for the project to continue. Since 2018, the project has been developing a plan for revitalising the unique eco-systems across the whole 310,000 hectare project

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Rabbits now “hard to find” at Twin Stream

A rabbit control operation over nearly 1,600 ha at Twin Stream which includes Ruataniwha Conservation Park and parts of Glentanner Station looks to have successfully reduced rabbits to very low numbers. Rabbits munch their way through native vegetation and pasture

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Helping the robust grasshopper leap to safety – Re;Wild

The Robust Grasshopper (Brachaspis robustus) is no stranger to leaps of faith. Every jump the chunky grasshopper takes ends in a thud on gravel in dry river beds of Te Manahuna (Mackenzie Basin) on New Zealand’s South Island, but luckily the invertebrates are built to withstand clumsy and rough landings.

and the Te Manahuna Aoraki Project have been working together to protect the small population of grasshoppers from invasive mammal predators and help their numbers recover.

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What our supporters say

“Te Manahuna is a hugely important place. We have to ensure that future generations understand that we have rekindled our footprints in this whenua.”
David Higgins
Te Rūnaka O Moeraki representative
“If we can make an area this size predator-free, it will demonstrate to the rest of New Zealand that it is achieveable.”
Andrew Simpson
Landowner
“Conservation is a collective responsibility. Together we can preserve and restore life and biodiversity in this very beautiful part of the country.”
Dr Jan Wright
Te Manahuna Aoraki chair
Our partners

Collaboration is key to transforming the ecological prospects of the upper Mackenzie Basin and Aoraki Mount Cook National Park

Te Manahuna Aoraki Project was established in 2018 with the following founding partners

They are joined by these partners

Photo credits: Nick Foster, Julia Gibson, Dave Kwant, Robyn Janes