Environment Conservation and Outdoor Education Trust (ECOED) at Lake Opouahi

In 2008 ECOED opened the Pan Pac Kiwi Crèche at Lake Opouahi, inland from Tutira.

Over 40 ha surrounded by a predator proof fence, this is a bush clad haven and an outdoor classroom that is used by an increasing number of schools and other groups to participate in experiential education. ECOED’s aim was to integrate outdoor and environmental education and Kiwi conservation in Hawke’s Bay, by working collaboratively with key community stakeholders and schools through leadership and advocacy, supported by sustainable funding.

The education side of the project is now being delivered by Maungaharuru Tangitū Trust and the Gutherie Smith Outdoor Centre, with students participating in kayaking, walking, caving, learning history and conservation education in conjunction with these other activities.

ECOED is now solely doing kiwi management and creche maintenance, ie pest control. As part of this, they offer educational talks to interested groups including schools, mainly on Tuesdays (this is the day volunteers take time off from their day job to run around after kiwi). People may be able to see a kiwi on that day, but this is not guaranteed because of kiwi’s location or poor weather and although they are in an enclosed area, these birds are still wild animals and don’t show up on demand for a viewing.

The talks are by appointment only and are currently free of charge, but donations are always appreciated. For more information or bookings contact admin@ecoed.org.nz

The operation of ECOED relies on a huge amount of time and efforts donated by their dedicated volunteers and solely on funding from Kiwis for Kiwi Trust and Pan Pac Forest Products Ltd, a substantial land owner on the boundary of the kiwi creche.

Since 2002, ECOED has raised over 200 kiwi chicks before releasing them into the wild. ECOED’s goal is to restore a strong population of stoat-beating or resistant, North Island Brown Kiwi to the Kaweka Forest Park. This is in line with other national organisations, such as the Kiwis for Kiwi’s Trust which shares a goal with the Department of Conservation, its long-time partner in the national kiwi recovery programme to increase each species of kiwi by 2% per annum.

For more information visit www.ecoed.org.nz

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