Four years ago, Watercare established the Hunua Forest Restoration Project. It purchased forestry holdings from a private company, taking over management of the site. The aim is to restore 2,300 hectares of Pinus radiata forest back into native forest, and in doing so protect and enhance water quality so Aucklanders can reliably have high quality water in their homes.
In time, the project will also provide large areas of habitat for threatened species, as well as carbon sequestration and an enhanced nature trail.
Watercare has planted 500,000 native trees over three years. All trees have been eco-sourced from the Hunua Ranges. It has managed 90 hectares back into native vegetation following harvesting. Another 500 hectares are being managed into native vegetation through silviculture manipulation of forests, which advances natural indigenous forest succession. This is one of New Zealand’s largest restoration projects. It is the largest project to be managed without herbicide use.