Bring Back the Mātātā (Fernbird)

Location: Rosebank Peninsula Avondale, Te Atatu, Kelston or New Lynn sites around the Whau Estuary.
Availability: Weekdays and some weekends on booking through Volunteering Auckland
Team size: 10 - 50


This Trust is working to restore healthier streams and wetlands around the Whau River estuary through community participation and kaitiakitanga (guardianship and protection). They deliver a wide range of community-based environmental projects, principally in collaboration with Auckland Council and other key stakeholders within the catchment. This includes programmes and projects in the areas of ecological restoration and conservation.

Mātātā (fernbird) are endemic (unique) to Aotearoa New Zealand and are now classed as "at risk or declining". Their numbers have declined significantly since humans began draining wetlands and they have disappeared from large areas of Aotearoa. Other threats include predation by introduced mammal such as cats, rats, dogs and mustelids (stoats, weasels, ferrets).

This project is working to create mātātā habitat - dense, twiggy, coastal fringes - to encourage this secretive bird to return and nest. The work you do will help to establish and maintain the special plants, like makaka (saltmarsh ribbonwood), that this bird needs.

Outside planting season, the main job is the control of exotic weeds. Exotic weeds threaten native habitat by outcompeting native plants for light and nutrients. Many of the most problematic exotic weeds are climbing vines which also strangle and ultimately kill native plants. During the planting season, (primarily winter) your team will also be planting natives, mulching, and marking with bamboo canes. Native plantings help stabilise river banks and filter out pollutants that would otherwise enter the waterways and make the area a better environment for the whole community to enjoy.

By participating in this volunteering opportunity you are helping achieve the following United Nations Sustainability Goals ;
Goal 13 - Climate action
Goal 15 - Life on land

We learnt more about our local native plants and the impact protecting these has on the wildlife in the area


Interested in this opportunity? Check out our membership information or send us an email: