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Community and sponsorship

Kiwis helping kiwi: Kevin and Gill Adshead

It’s a big job saving a species, and one that couldn’t be done without the support of volunteers. Through our partnership with Kiwis for kiwi, we’ve seen first-hand how the dedication of everyday Kiwis is making a real difference. This National Volunteer Week we meet some of the people giving their time to help kiwi.

Kevin and Gill Adshead founded the Mataia Restoration Project on family farmland

Kevin and Gill Adshead founded the Mataia Restoration Project on family farmland

Kevin and Gill Adshead, Mataia Restoration Project founders

Gill and Kevin Adshead were the first farmers in the country to have kiwi reintroduced onto their property after they established the Mataia Restoration Project in 2006 on their farm land. Their aim was to restore the ecological values of the area. Since then they’ve undertaken extensive restoration work that has involved planting of native trees, pest control and building fences to protect bush and wetlands.

Today they have a trapping network that covers 1300ha of their property across both native bush and farmed areas and are working with nearby landowners to increase the area under protection.

Pest control is a big part of their work. With a team of helpers their trap lines are checked on average monthly throughout the year, and also audited annually to make sure they are working as they should. Rodent numbers are also monitoring closely to ensure the number of rats in the area are reduced before the bird breeding season starts.

What motivates you to volunteer?

To have been able to witness the changes to the bush, and the amazing increase in bird life; all having come about by what we and the team of other volunteers have done is incredible motivation.

What’s the most challenging aspect?

Realising that we, and our family, have an enormous ongoing responsibility to look after kiwi and other species and stop any re-invasion. We lost three transmitted kiwi to a rogue ferret and spent many long hours and lots of worry till we caught it.

What’s your volunteering highlight?

Being a part of a great team able to release kiwi here at Mataia and being able to share that time with lots of other people.

For more information on the work to save kiwi visit kiwisforkiwi.org