Posted By QEII National Trust | February 18, 2019

Some of the protected areas that QEII has helped protect are owned collectively. By joining individual efforts with other like-minded people, it opens the possibilities for protecting significant pieces of land that are imperative to achieving national conservation goals.

Marunui Conservation is one of these groups and originally started in 1987 with the purpose to protect, enhance and celebrate the natural, historical, visual and recreational values of the land.

They currently manage a 423-hectare property on the southern slopes of the Brynderwyn Hills near Mangawhai – which is QEII’s largest Northland covenant and adjoins DoC’s Brynderwyn Hills Scenic Reserve.

Eighteen shareholders own the land collectively and are guided by a constitution that includes a management plan which helps all the shareholders with the running of the company and assists with conservation activities.

Although pets are not permitted in the protected area, the members of Marunui Conservation can enjoy privacy and friendship in a beautiful natural environment.  Each share also has a site allocated to it, on which a self-sufficient dwelling can be built.  Power and heating needs for these are provided by individual solar systems, bottled gas, woodburning stoves and wetbacks.

Topography is steep, rising to 397m at Marunui Trig in the north and to 240m on Pa hill to the south.  A deep sheltered valley lies between these two features.

Apart from a few residual grass clearings the entire property is forested.  The southern slopes and valleys contain the more mature podocarp-hardwood forest while the remainder is regenerating kanuka shrubland and secondary forest.

The forest is home to many bird species including the fernbird, tomtit, pigeon, tui, fantail, grey warbler and silvereye. Shining and Long-tailed cuckoo visit seasonally. Kaka and bellbird are frequent visitors and the red-crowned kakariki has also been seen occasionally.  Marunui’s streams contain a healthy population of Hochstetter’s frog, longfin eel and other aquatic species.

Kiwi and morepork can also be heard in the forest at night, with the Northland brown kiwi being successfully translocated to Marunui from Motuora Island between 2013 to 2015. Their presence is welcomed after being absent from the Brynderwyns for almost 50 years. The birds have expanded their territories and successful nesting has produced many chicks.

To protect the growing kiwi population and other native fauna, comprehensive year-round predator control is a key activity for the shareholders of Marunui. Their efforts include trapping for possums, ferrets, stoats, weasels, feral cats and rats.  In this work Marunui enjoys the support of an enthusiastic group of local volunteers.  There are over 30 kms of tracks which facilitate pest control while enabling shareholders to enjoy the land.

Recently, a shareholding position has become available for purchase, meaning there is a rare opportunity for a new shareholder to become part of the Marunui Conservation family.  If you are interested in getting more information, get in touch by email


Photo credits:  thank you to the shareholders of Marunui for providing the images for this story