The Wakatipu Reforestation Trust

Our Vision:  Protect and restore the native biodiversity of the Wakatipu Basin through revegetation projects, collaboration, education and advocacy. 

Since humans first set foot on New Zealand, our native forests have reduced by 70% while our native bird species have been reduced by 30%. The Kowhai rich dry woodlands that used to be prolific in the Wakatipu Basin are one of the most threatened ecosystems in New Zealand, and also one of the least protected.

"Without endemic touchstones visible to the resident [Wakatipu Basin] population on a daily basis their appreciation of the history of their own land and identification with it will gradually atrophy. As northern temperate images fill people's experience and imagination, these foreign elements become entrenched in tradition with an inevitable loss of both biological and cultural diversity".   Colin Meurk

We work with the community to grow and plant out native plants, including threatened species.  This will create wildlife corridors that will, in turn, attract native birds and insects back into the basin, significantly enhancing the biodiversity of our area. 

With your help we can:


  • grow more plants in our nursery

  • prepare, plant and maintain sites throughout the basin

  • bring back the birds and other native creatures

  • this will provide a native seed source for the natural spread of native plants

  • reduce areas of weeds that need to be sprayed

  • improve our visual landscape

Find out how you can volunteer HERE

Volunteers welcome at the Jean Malpas Community Nursery

Our Community Nursery is open for volunteers to join us for native plant maintenance sessions every Wednesday.  

Our winter hours are currently every Wednesday:  1.00pm - 3.30pm

Where: Jardine Park, Kelvin Heights

No experience required as our Nursery Manager will guide you. Everyone is welcome, we are a friendly, inclusive group of volunteers and love meeting newcomers.  It is always social and a great way to connect with old friends, make new friends and to learn more about our amazing local biodiversity.

We welcome all volunteers to help grow our native plants from seeds and cuttings to robust plants ready to be planted out. Each year we are producing approximately 10,000 native plants. These are eco-sourced from remnant populations of native forest near by. 

Full details and updates are listed on our FACEBOOK PAGE HERE

2020 Spring Planting Days

Due to Covid-19 Restrictions causing the cancellation of our autumn planting days, our plants in the nursery will be spending the winter in their pots.  However, we are excited to announce our Spring Planting Dates at our keystone sites.  This year's planting will mark an amazing milestone of 50,000 native plants being planted by WRT!  We are looking forward to reconnecting with our community for our 6th year of planting!  Absolutely everyone is welcome. No experience is required, volunteers will be on hand to show you how it's done.  We look forward to seeing you there.

WHAT TO BRING: Gloves, shovel, water, good footwear, hat.... and friends, family and enthusiasm!


5 Sept - Whitechapel (followed by community BBQ)

12 Sept - Bush Creek (**new site - along the path beyond the carpark behind the Chinese Village)

19 Sept - Lake Hayes South (park at Lake Hayes Pavillion and walk left along the track)

26 Sept - Mill Creek / Slope Hill (followed by community BBQ)

TIMES:  9am - 1pm, but come along any time and stay for as long as suits you.

Full details and updates are listed on our FACEBOOK PAGE HERE