About Us


The Whakamanu Wildlife Trust was set up in 2000 as a charitable trust to promote and help the protection of kiwi in the Ruapehu Region.

Initially the Trust raised funds to conduct Operation Nest Egg, producing kiwi chicks for release into Karioi Rahui and later Waimarino Forest. The Trust has produced over 100 kiwi chicks for release into local wild populations.

Manunui – ‘Big Bird’

Our main focus is now the protection, preservation and population expansion of kiwi residing on Manunui, a block of indigenous forest protected by a Queen Elizabeth II Open Space Covenant, owned by Trustees Will and Jan Abel. Manunui is part of a larger 400ha block of native forest which borders Waimarino Forest (administered by Ernslaw One Ltd). The project aims to intensively control pests for the benefit of all native birds and plants, and to conduct Operation Nest Egg to boost the resident population, which compliments the protection works undertaken by Ernslaw in their neighbouring “Biodiversity Protection Area” in Waimarino Forest.

Additionally, the Trust conducts regular Kiwi Aversion training sessions for local dogs to assist in regional kiwi protection.

The Trust’s main objectives are:

  • To promote and engage in scientific research and management/conservation of the native flora and fauna of the Waimarino area and of New Zealand.
  • To actively and passively promote the protection, preservation, and conservation of New Zealand endangered fauna and flora.