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Helping a Banks Peninsula Community Protect its Indigenous Ecosystems

Kakanui Reserve

Up behind Tūtehuarewa Marae in Koukourārata (Port Levy) the Kakanui Reserve rises on the steep eastern slopes of Port Levy. With some of the best remnants of native bush on Banks Peninsula, an early urupā (cemetery) and sacred burial caves, all are now protected and cared for within the 87 hectare reserve.

Kakanui Reserve is an inspiring example of the determined efforts of a local community, working to enhance and protect its indigenous ecosystem.

Over the past decade, the Koukourārata Rūnanga and the local community have planted the Kahukunu and Koukourārata streams with thousands of native trees, plants and flaxes. In addition to the plantings, the rūnanga and local landowners have spent years working toward establishing a covenant to protect a very unique piece of native bush covered land, now known as Kakanui Reserve.

Establishment of a covenant includes fencing the area, an ecological survey, land survey, and undertaking the legal requirements to register the covenant on the land title.

Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust (BPCT) works with landowners who want to covenant areas of native bush or significant landscape features on their land so that they are protected in perpetuity.

As a gold sponsor of BPCT, Fox and Associates helps BPCT support people who want to create lasting legacies on the landscape. Our sponsorship covers the surveying of covenant areas, because a survey plan is needed to support the covenant that gets registered on the title.

In February 2017, Fox and Associates undertook the survey of Kakanui Reserve. Typical of survey work, we had to walk the boundaries. However, as the reserve is on very steep bush-clad country and the covenant goes right to the top of the hills, the terrain presented some challenges. So we had to walk all the way around the reserve in order to measure up the fence lines. The survey plan was then created and signed off by all parties in May 2017.

We also overlaid the plan on an aerial photograph, so that it was really clear for everyone to see exactly what the covenant relates to and the bush areas that have been protected. A copy of the plan will also be on display at Tūtehuarewa Marae.

For BPCT, the local Rūnanga and the landowners, this project was significant as it was the culmination of years of work, planning and collaboration. For Fox, it is a privilege to be able to work with landowners who want to manage their land for conservation purposes. It’s important to us to be involved in leaving the land better for future generations.