The Warawara Forest is situated on the west coast of Northland between Hokianga and Whangape Harbours. It covers a total area of 13,324 ha, which includes 6,758 ha of conservation land and 6,566 hectares of privately owned land.

Warawara is of the utmost historical and cultural significance to the hapu of Te Rarawa, being referred to by Dame Whina Cooper as: “Te wairua o te iwi o Te Rarawa – the living spiritual being of Te Rarawa people.” Warawara has also traditionally provided shelter, food and medicine for the people of these communities.

The health of this very significant kauri forest has been declining in recent decades owing to the combined impact of introduced predators such as stoats, rats, possums and cats, and many of its special plants and animals – including kiwi and titipounamu / rifleman – are under threat.

To ensure that these taonga / treasured species and ecosystems will still be there for our tamariki mokopuna / future generations, an ambitious partnership project is being developed to restore the health of Warawara.

The communities of Warawara – including Panguru, Pawarenga and Mitimiti – are being supported by a partnership involving Te Runanga o Te Rarawa, Department of Conservation, Northland Regional Council, and Reconnecting Northland, undertaking a coordinated integrated predator control programme in Warawara over the next 3-5 years.

This partnership project, which is also supported by landholders and a number of other conservation organisations, will involve pest control in both the conservation area and the surrounding private lands. It demonstrates the collective power of groups working together to enable a major challenge of this scale to be undertaken.

This is seen as the first step in the on-going restoration of the ecological health of Warawara and the surrounding areas, and a strengthening of the capacity of these communities to actively exercise their traditional kaitiakitanga in the face of the ecological challenges of today’s world.

Detailed planning is currently underway for the project to be implemented from 2015.

For more information about The Warawara Project, contact the Project coordinator:

Rongo Bentson – Kaiarataki / Environmental Coordinator, Te Runanga o Te Rarawa

Phone 027 448 3261

Northland Regional Council contact:

Mike Knight – Kaitaia Area Officer, Pests

Phone 09 408 6600

Department of Conservation contact:

Evan Ward – Conservation Services Ranger, Kaitaia

Phone 09 408 6014

Reconnecting Northland contact:

Ngaire Tyson – Northland Biodiversity Coordinator, NZ Landcare Trust

Phone 09 430 0954