This project is located on Ian and Helen Hilford’s dairy farm in the Mangakahia Valley near Titoki. The dairy operation is managed by Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre as a training dairy farm for young people, many of whom will become Northland’s dairy farmers of the future.

The upper gully catchments of this farm contain some wetlands and small streams, and are dominated by naturally regenerating totara.

Tane’s Tree Trust (and specifically the Northland Totara Working Group) is coordinating this project, in conjunction with the landholders and Taratahi, and with support from Reconnecting Northland. It will involve fencing off these upper catchments and augmenting the regenerating vegetation with additional native plantings, with an eye towards ecological, economic, social and cultural benefits.

The biodiversity gains resulting from increased native vegetation cover and water quality improvement will be monitored by the project.

The silvicultural management of the  totara – including pruning , thinning, planting, and measuring, all integrated within the working landscape of a pastoral farm setting – will help demonstrate the potential for a sustainable native timber resource on this and many other farms throughout the Northland region, supplying an industry which will ultimately enhance farm profitability as well as native biodiversity values.

It is anticipated that the project will provide the Taratahi students, as well as visiting landowners and farm managers, with insights and skills into land management practices that complement their dairy industry training.

The first 12 months includes the setting up of the water quality monitoring sites, selecting the totara trial sites, fencing and planting key riparian areas and submitting a Sustainable Forest Management Plan to the Ministry for Primary Industries to secure the right to a future harvest of specific totara stands.

The project runs from October 2014 to December 2017, and is part of the wider riparian restoration effort within the north Kaipara catchment being facilitated by  Reconnecting Northland.

For more information about the Taratahi Totara & Riparian Management Project, contact Project Co-ordinator:

Paul Quinlan – Tane’s Tree Trust / Northland Totara Working Group

Phone 09 405 0052

Reconnecting Northland Contact:

Gary Bramley

Phone 09 405 0074