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

Come help at the nursery

As summer is drawing to an end, the plants in the community nursery are thriving, and it is a busy time for potting and weeding.   

We are always in search of 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. 

We would love your help at the nursery and over the summer we host two drop-in volunteer sessions every week:

Wednesday (daytime): 9am -12noon

Where: Jardine Park, Kelvin Heights

No experience required as there are always volunteers on hand to show you how it's done. Everyone is welcome, we are a friendly, inclusive group of volunteers and lovely 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.

Full details and updates are listed on our FACEBOOK PAGE HERE

2020 Autumn Planting Days

It's been a busy summer in the nursery, and our native plants are eagerly awaiting their turn to be planted in one of our keystone sites.  We are looking forward to joining with our community for our 5th year of planting natives!  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!


4 April - Whitechapel Reserve - followed by community BBQ

18 April - Bush Creek (at the end of the Chinese Village)

25 April - Lake Hayes South (park at Lake Hayes Pavillion and walk left along the track)

2 May - Mill Creek, Slope Hill - followed by community BBQ

TIMES:  9am-12pm, but come along any time and stay for as long as suits you.

Full details and updates are listed on our FACEBOOK PAGE HERE