About the TRUST

tanecopySince its creation in 1999, the Waipoua Forest Trust has spent $5 million and thousands of hours restoring milled land into young, flourishing kauri forest and protecting that forest from invasive and destructive pests including animals, insects, plants and pathogens. Our aim is to restore enough natural kauri forest to the Waipoua landscape to create a place that is truly turangawaewae o kauri, a place for kauri to stand – a kauri homeland. A place where once again kauri can have a strong foundation for survival for at least the next 2,000 years.

The Waipoua Forest Trust is a registered charity, with all donations/memberships eligible for New Zealand and international tax breaks. Created through the vision and drive of conservationist Stephen King, and guided by a board led by Te Iwi o Te Roroa kaumatua, Alex Nathan in accordance with the tikanga of Waipoua’s traditional guardians,  Te Roroa.  The Trust is both an active conservator and advocate for survival of the unique ancient kauri forest that has its origins 230 million-years-ago in Gondwanaland.

nursery, millennium forest ets 065Trust Nursery Kauri seedlings.

An essential part of the Trust’s activities is seed gathering from the great trees of Waipoua Forest, such as Tane Mahuta, the 2,400-year-old giant that is the largest tree in New Zealand, and the even older Te Matua Ngahere. These seeds are used to grow seedlings that will populate our restored forests after 5 years nurturing in our nursery, and they also provide is with a priceless genetic resource on which the future health of the forest can be maintained.

For over a decade the Trust has also managed the state highway that traverses the Waipoua Kauri Sanctuary, ensuring that high eco-standards conducive to  high forest health are maintained. This has been award winning work, and has seen the emergence of rare plant life right to the edge of the forest highway, where treasured indigenous forest plants such as orchids can now be seen close to passing traffic.

The Trust is also active in engaging volunteers, both international and local, in maintenance work around the Waipoua, giving a wide range of individuals  experience of this amazing eco-system as well as a sense of kaitiakitanga (Guardianship) of this unique place and its living population.
SONY DSCThe public  can participate in these activities where appropriate and are an important aspect of Trust support. Through the website we will keep donors informed of upcoming events and projects that are available for such participation.

To date the Waipoua Forest Trust has successfully restored almost 250 hectares of kauri forest on the southern border of the Waipoua Forest Sanctuary, and has more land awaiting restoration. The Trust has for 18 years gathered seeds from  specific trees, creating a uniquely deep and valuable genetic resource that will guide our efforts in the future.


The Waipoua Forest Trust is governed by a board of Trustees, who are;


Kaumatua of Te Roroa, the iwi with mana whenua of Waipoua, one of the founding Trustees who has been involved in development of the trust from its inception. Holder of much of the knowledge of the region, including its history, wairua and whakapapa, Alex was a principal negotiator in Te Roroa’s Waitangi Tribunal settlement. In keeping with his rangatiratanga, Alex is a leading contemporary artist with extensive experience in teaching art skills and matauranga Maori perspectives on the creative process.

JANICE BRENSTRUM Secretary/Treasurer

A long time trustee, Janice is a local now living in Omapere, with a history of governance service to the local community of various boards, both commercial and charitable. She and her husband spent many years farming near Dargaville, and her experience and land preservation values have been a key to the trust’s success.


Brendan has considerable attachment to the wairua of Waipoua and its ecological integrity. He grew up in the area and has seen the devastating environment changes in less than one generation. Currently he works in Auckland and is one of the country’s leading business valuers and forensic accountants but regularly returns to what was his grandfather’s whare at the Maunganui Bluff.


With a Ngapuhi/Ngati Kahu whakapapa and origins in the Mid North, Keith is cares deeply about the survival of Waipoua as the heart of our kauri forest estate. A writer, with one book Kauri covering the history and ecology of kauri to his credit, Keith is the most recent appointment to the board. His first pakeha ancestor in NZ was the first miller on the east coast of Northland, and after 4 generations he is of the first to not work in the bush felling kauri, a family history that demands he spend time repairing some of the damage.