Pohatu Penguins is an eco-tourism business on the Banks Peninsula with a hands-on conservation focus. It communicates primarily through tours, which show first-hand how people can make a difference.
Pohatu Penguins promotes sustainable farming while protecting natural and historical heritage. It includes a sheep and cattle farm, and a protected Little Penguin colony. It runs an extensive predator control programme that protects endemic species, including insects. As a result penguin numbers have increased from around 700 breeding pairs in 2000 to more than 1,200 in 2016. This is the largest Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand.
Pohatu Penguins aims to inspire and educate on conservation by opening the property to the public in organised tours. It hosts school groups as well as university students. Its motto is ‘Show people whatever chance we get, not just tell them second hand’. Pohatu Penguins has been selected as a best practice eco-tourism business by Otago University.
Thousands of people go through the property each year. The company takes part in workshops and symposiums, and has featured on TV.