Pukenui Forest Trust

 

At Karajoz we are happy to support this fantastic trust and all the great work they do as part of our coffee with a conscience stance. Visit their website to see what they do! 

About the trust 

The genesis of the Trust came from a proposal by Jeff Griggs of the Department of Conservation in about 2000 to have an over-riding body to coordinate restoration of the Pukenui Forest.

The forest comprises some 1700 hectares of public land administered by the Department and the Whangarei District Council in conjunction with local Iwi, adjoining owners and recreation groups; such as tramping clubs, etc.

Following a series of public meetings, a Western Hills - Pukenui Forest Advisory Committee was appointed to draft a management plan with secretarial support being provided by the Parks Division of the Whangarei District Council. The Pukenui Forest - Ngahere o Pukenui Management Plan was approved by the Minister of Conservation and the Whangarei District Council in June 2009 and forms the blueprint for our restoration and conservation efforts. 

Since that time we have been joined by Margaret Pohe (who also acts as Secretary), Neil Cameron, Grant Smith, Sharon Morgan (who succeeded Sheryl Mai as Council representative), Sue Milner and Tanya Cook. We have also been greatly assisted by Don McKenzie and Sara Brill from Northland Regional Council, Paul McDonald from WDC and Sue Reed and her staff from DOC.

The Trust Board meets on a monthly basis and meetings are also attended by various supporters with specialist knowledge regarding websites and pest control.

About the forrest 

Pukenui Forest/ Ngahere o Pukenui sits on a basement of greywacke rock. Greywacke is a hard, grey sandstone that was compressed deep in the ocean and has risen, leviathan-like, to be the sure foundation of this very important forest. Important, because it is the last surviving remnant of a vast and ancient landscape that was once filled with life, an endemic hot-spot on Planet Earth. What living life-forms are left, cling precariously, like a neonate baby bat, to its mother’s fur.

 

Pukenui Forrest

 

This last piece of living bush has seen the impact of human activity over many centuries, both in its exploitation and the arrival of mammalian predators. It is the impact of these two shocks that has left the forest bereft of its once rich wildlife. Pukenui Forest is the largest remaining area of bush in the Whangarei Ecological District and is described by the Department of Conservation as “having a high diversity of vegetation types (32), including some unmodified areas which support a number of threatened species”.

Huge, old-growth kahikatea, taraire and totara sit in alluvial terraces that are still home to long-tailed bats and, during the fruiting season once fed thousands and thousands of native pigeons, kaka and tui. Giant kauri trees, now long-gone, along with thousand year old rimu, puriri and rata demanded the respect they never got. Other plants of significance are several species of fern, rare hard beech, kawaka and the beautiful flowering carmine rata, beloved of tui and our native lizards that help in the pollination process.

Pukenui Forest could be described as an empty cathedral… tall, pillared, elegant with a spiritual quality, but essentially silent and without life. Gone, sometimes quite recently, are the birds that once frequented their ancient home. Kiwi, of course, down to a handful, robins, bittern in the surrounding wetlands, long-finned eel hanging in there and all three parrots now departed, including kaka and the rare, yellow-crowned kakariki. In season our native pigeons darkened the sky above the forest, but now severely reduced in number.

We probably have our unique long-tailed bat to thank for the fact that a new energy has been directed to Ngahere o Pukenui. Following a suggestion of flooding part of the forest for a dam, an ecological report commissioned by the Department of Conservation revealed the presence of important plant and animal communities, especially long-tailed bats. This put a halt to any flooding of the forest and generated a desire by many in the community to not only protect these taonga, but to bring the forest back to its former glory.

 

More info check the Pukenui Trust