Past Projects

Waiau Hut: St James Conservation Area

The St James Conservation Area, near the Lewis Pass, covers 78,000 hectares of South Island high country. Once a key route for Maori between the east and west coasts, the area was also one of New Zealand’s largest cattle and sheep stations until purchased by the Government in 2008 to protect its natural and cultural values and open it to the public for recreation and tourism.

Waiau Hut

The 3000 kilometre Te Araroa Trail, which runs from Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south, crosses the St James Conservation Area. The Foundation is managing a private donation which has funded a new Department of Conservation hut along the Te Araroa Trail, known as Waiau Hut.

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Yellow-eyed Penguin (hoiho)

New Zealand status: Endemic (found only in New Zealand)

Estimates vary, up to 2000 breeding pairs. In 2016 there were fewer than 200 breeding pairs on the Otago coast

Conservation status: Threatened and nationally vulnerable
Found in:

Banks Peninsula, the southeast South Island, Stewart Island/Rakiura, Codfish Island/Whenua Hou and on the subantarctic Auckland and Campbell islands

The birds' scientific name, Megadyptes antipodes, means 'a big diver from the southern lands'. Its Ma - ori  name, hoiho ('noise shouter'), comes from its shrill call. Hoiho are not typically colonial. They seek out private nesting sites in coastal forests, scrub or dense flax, up to one kilometre inland.

Disease is a major threat to chick and adult survival. Dogs are the most significant predator of hoiho on land. Natural predators at sea include barracouta, sharks, seals and sea lions. Injuries from barracouta are the most common.