Zealandia is a conservation project restoring 225 hectares of ecosystem and threatened species in central Wellington. A world-first predator-proof fence has provided a safe haven for native flora and fauna for nearly 20 years.
Restoration of this valley has been an incredible success, largely as a result of thousands of hours of volunteer effort. Native species have dramatically increased, and several species that were wiped out from the area have been returned. Eighteen species have been reintroduced, most of which now have thriving, self-sustaining populations. This includes some of our most charismatic species, such as little spotted kiwi and hīhī, as well as tuatara and spotted skink. Birds once extinct from the mainland are now flying beyond the fence. Kākā, kākāriki, tīeke and hihi can often be spotted in suburban backyards for the first time in New Zealand’s recent history.
The sanctuary attracts over 120,000 visitors annually. It is an opportunity to reconnect people with the natural world.
The project has involved a range of partners over many years including Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Department of Conservation, iwi and community groups.
Zealandia is a finalist in the Restoring Nature category of the 2017 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards