Major Projects

We have two major projects, Project Fiordland and Species in the Wild. Project Fiordland aims to support significant action in our most iconic landscape, while Species in the Wild supports endangered native species to Aotearoa New Zealand.
Past projects

We've been attracting private sector and corporate funding for conservation in New Zealand since 2001.

project operation tidy fox
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Operation Tidy Fox
Marine mammals, sea birds and seals are at risk of becoming tangled in or digesting the plastic rubbish that continues to flow down the Fox and Cook rivers after a landfill collapsed in a massive flood in March.
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project operation tidy fox

Operation Tidy Fox

Marine mammals, sea birds and seals are at risk of becoming tangled in or digesting the plastic rubbish that continues to flow down the Fox and Cook rivers after a landfill collapsed in a massive flood in March.

The Fox landfill was partially washed away and continues to spread down both rivers, through the nearby bush and onto beaches along the West Coast. Many of these precious landscapes are part of Te Wahi Pounamu – UNESCO World Heritage Area.

While many volunteers have been working hard to clean the rubbish, there is still around 5,000 tonnes left and time to clean it is running out.

Potential catastrophic impact on wildlife
If the rubbish is not removed before the annual spring floods, these floods will wash tonnes of rubbish out to sea, polluting the Tauparaka and Hautai marine reserves. These coastal sanctuaries are home to Hector’s dolphins and several penguin species.

An enormous task ahead
The spring floods are expected from September. The Department of Conservation is leading the clean up effort with the many volunteers who show up daily to remove rubbish. DOC is aiming to complete the work by the end of August.

The focus for the clean-up has now shifted to the Fox and Cook Riverbeds, over a distance of approximately 21km. The area to be cleared of rubbish includes riverbanks, river braids and islands, and is approximately 1,620ha. To date, around 2km of riverbed margin has been cleaned. Another sweep of the coast will also be needed as a lot more rubbish is expected to have been washed down the river and back up onto beaches.

project Tamatea Art Exhibition
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Tamatea/Dusky Sound Restoration Art Exhibition
The vision is for Tamatea/Dusky Sound to be one of Earth’s most intact ecosystems, a source of endangered native species with which to repopulate conservation sites throughout New Zealand. Dusky Sound is a pioneer for island sanctuary projects, with many islands having had pest animals removed or reduced to low levels.
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project Tamatea Art Exhibition

Tamatea/Dusky Sound Restoration Art Exhibition

The vision is for Tamatea/Dusky Sound to be one of Earth’s most intact ecosystems, a source of endangered native species with which to repopulate conservation sites throughout New Zealand. Dusky Sound is a pioneer for island sanctuary projects, with many islands having had pest animals removed or reduced to low levels.

The Tamatea/Dusky Sound restoration plan is a 30 year project with the ambitious goal of eradicating pests and re-introducing species that once flourished in the area. Dusky Sound’s geographical isolation has assisted it to remain one of the least modified parts of mainland New Zealand, with lush native bush cover and relatively few weeds. Many of Dusky Sound’s islands have never been invaded by the introduced pests that now plague the mainland.

The project area encompasses Breaksea Sound, Acheron Passage, Wet Jacket Arm, and Dusky Sound itself, and over 700 islands, including New Zealand’s fifth largest island, Resolution Island.

View the full restoration plan

To help tell Tamatea’s story, in 2016 26 artists produced more than 50 original works of art inspired by the area. Each artist donated some or all of their work to support DOC’s conservation and restoration projects in Dusky Sound. These artworks were then sold and all funds were donation to the restoration plan.

The Foundation supported this creative project, providing expertise in funds management.

project waiau hut
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Waiau Hut: St James Conservation Area
The St James Conservation Area, near the Lewis Pass, covers 78,000 hectares of South Island high country. Once a key route for Maori between the east and west coasts, the area was also one of New Zealand’s largest cattle and sheep stations until purchased by the Government in 2008 to protect its natural and cultural values and open it to the public for recreation and tourism.
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Waiau Hut: St James Conservation Area

The St James Conservation Area, near the Lewis Pass, covers 78,000 hectares of South Island high country. Once a key route for Maori between the east and west coasts, the area was also one of New Zealand’s largest cattle and sheep stations until purchased by the Government in 2008 to protect its natural and cultural values and open it to the public for recreation and tourism.The 3000 kilometre Te Araroa Trail, which runs from Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south, crosses the St James Conservation Area. The Foundation is managing a private donation which has funded a new Department of Conservation hut along the Te Araroa Trail, known as Waiau Hut.
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