Mataia restoration project


Discover a special part of the Kaipara


One of the unique aspects of Mataia is the fact that it combines a working sheep and beef farm with a large-scale private conservation project.



The story so far

400 hectares of the 1300 hectare farm is part of a conservation project that started in 2005.
Made up largely of coastal native forest margin and salt marsh wetland, the area boasts populations of several rare species such as Fernbird, Banded Rail, Spotless Crake and Bittern and is host to a large number of other native bird species.


The Saltmarsh area at Mataia is a significant roosting ground for arctic waders including Godwits and Lesser knots as well as local migrants including Pied Oystercatchers, Pied Stilts, Banded Dotterel and Caspian Terns.

Pre European

There is also evidence of pre European occupation of Mataia. These include several well defined pa sites and numerous midden throughout the conservation area.

Mataia Homestead: restoration & conservation

Restoration & conservation

The restoration of the conservation area is a long-term project aimed to restore and enhance the considerable ecological values of the area.


Dedicated staff

The project is managed largely by Kevin and Gill Adshead (nee Gardner) who previously ran the family farm. The restoration of the conservation area is a long-term project aimed to restore and enhance the considerable ecological values of the area. 

Mataia restoration project volunteers

Proud volunteers

Extensive pest and predator control is continuously carried out as well as re-vegetation planting and the fencing off of bush corridors and riparian margins. Much of the work is  carried out by volunteers.
Groups such as Womens Outdoor Pursuits,  Kings College Year 10 students, Mataia kiwi catchers, Kiwis for kiwi  and  KantarTNS contribute by helping with planting , track maintenance, kiwi husbandry and pest control.


Extensive planting

With some funding assistance  from the Auckland Council   the extended Gardner  family and friends,  and volunteers  have undertaken the  riparian fencing and planting of the whole of the Mataia Stream. 
Approximately 7500 trees are planted by volunteers each year both here and in other fenced off streams on the property


Local relationships

In addition the project has a relationship with Meadowbank School, Tauhoa School and Avondale College under the Auckland Council's Trees for Survival programme which sees approximately 1000 trees raised by the students each year and then planted by them in the riparian margins of the Mataia Stream and in the headwaters of  the Omaumau Stream.

Kiwi release

North Island Brown Kiwi were released in May 2013 and the population is steadily increasing and the birds moving to occupy other part of the conservation areas.

Get involved

We always welcome volunteers to help with planting, releasing and monitoring. If you are interested or would like to receive our email newsletter please contact Gill or Kevin at