• Mt Arthur

Friends of Flora Story

During the 1990's a group of locals who had been visiting the Wharepapa/Mt Arthur area for many years noticed a decline in bird song. In January 2001, they founded Friends of Flora (FoF), naming the charity after the Flora Stream which runs through the area. Led by Maryann Ewers and Bill Rooke, FOF established a partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC) and dedicated themselves to restoring the flora and fauna of the area.

Predator control was key. An initial line of stoat traps was installed along the Flora Stream track. Over the years the network has expanded to include all the streams that flow into the Upper Takaka River and we continue to grow with plans to expand the network deeper into the Grecian River catchment, an area of more than 10000 ha.

With best practice stoat trapping in place, FOF added re-establishing whio/blue duck (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos) and roroa/great spotted kiwi (Apteryx haastii) to their activities. An alpine project focusing on the special fauna of Wharepapa/Mt Arthur is now underway.

  • Volunteer commitment: FOF volunteers put in about 500 days of work a year. We have no paid staff.
  • Commitment to volunteers: training and a web-based volunteer/activity management system ensure we organise varied activities to provide the best volunteer experience. High vis clothing is provided giving FOF an easily recognisable 'presence' on the mountain. A monthly volunteer update provides the latest trapping results and other news.
  • Science and best practice: we work closely with DOC to ensure that all we do is furthering the restoration of the Flora. Currently we are replacing all the single-set traps with double-sets. We commissioned a review of the biodiversity values of the Flora which identified the special species, habitats and landforms of the area and the threats they face.
  • Spreading the message: all our data are compiled, stored and analysed. A quarterly newsletter keeps our supporters and volunteers abreast of news. Members give regular talks to local conservation groups, schools and national meetings and hui.

FOF is a pre-eminent community conservation group. The success of our trapping and roroa re-establishment projects was recognised in 2018 with FOF being awarded the inaugural Kiwis for Kiwi, Tohu Tiketike 'Kiwi Project of the Year' award

Join us on Facebook



Click here to keep up to date with our latest news

Blake Ambassador's blog

The Blake Ambassadors is a programme run by the Sir Peter Blake Trust that sends young people to work on environmental and heritage projects. Natalie de Burgh, is currently working in your Flora project area. She is recording her experiences on a blog: Click here


April 2016

12 kiwis translocated from South Gouland to the Flora area.

February 2016

Ecological surveys of the Salisbury Ecological Management Unit with joint DOC/FOF teams

Mar & April 2013

12 kiwis translocated from New Creek with another 8 kiwi released from the Upper Roaring Lion in April. See the pictures on our facebook page

Dec 2012

Our first kiwi chick is born.

Mar 2012

National Radio Interview with Maryann Ewers & Bill Rooke, founders of FoF.

Feb 2012

Man prosecuted for taking his dog into the Flora area, endangering the kiwi.

Feb 2011

10 years of Friends of Flora celebrated.

October 2010

Helen Clark, becomes Patron of Friends of Flora.

May 2010

Friends of Flora and DOC Motueka release 12 adult kiwi into the Flora. Read the monthly updates.


Friends of Flora and DOC Motueka release whio into the Flora. Read annual whio survey data.

Feb 2001

Friends of Flora was founded.