The Kaipupu Point Mainland Island Society are our March 2012 Conservation Champions.

Conservation Champions logo.
Celebrating businesses, community groups, iwi and volunteers who are making important contributions to conservation in New Zealand

This month we celebrate the Kaipupu Point Mainland Island Society, who recently won the Supreme Award at the Trustpower Marlborough Community Awards, and represented the district at the 2012 TrustPower National Community Awards last week.

The view of Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary in the Queen Charlotte Sound.
The view of Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary in the Queen Charlotte Sound

Volunteers and members of the public on a celebration cruise. Looking at the predator proof fence.
Volunteers and members of the public go on a celebration cruise and are shown the predator proof fence which will protect Kaipupu Point

Kaipupu volunteers at a beach clean up.
Kaipupu volunteers at a beach clean up

A sanctuary on Picton's doorstep

The creation of Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary in Picton was initiated by the establishment of the Kaipupu Point Mainland Island Society in 2005.

Kaipupu Point

Kaipupu Point is a (roughly) circular headland right next to the town of Picton. It is almost an island physically, with a narrow, flat connection to the mainland.

About two thirds of the land is designated Kaipupu Point Scenic Reserve, administered by DOC. The rest, on the landward side and south-east flank, is owned by Port Marlborough NZ.

A community-driven project

“This is a wonderful example of a truly community-driven project. An enthusiastic and passionate group of volunteers and members, as well as the support from local businesses, is creating a showpiece of nature restoration right on Picton’s doorstep,” says Robin Cox, Programme Manager, Community Relations from the Sounds area.

The Society has a passionate management committee of nine people from the local community. Two of those appointments come from the Port Company and the Department of Conservation. There is a strong and active group of field workers and the wider ‘Friends of Kaipupu’ who meet to share all sorts of tasks that need to be done as the sanctuary develops.

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Predator proof fence

In 2008, with the help of a Canterbury Community grant and countless volunteers, a predator proof fence was constructed across the point to isolate it from the mainland.

Opening Kaipupu to the public

When Kaipupu opens to the public it will be accessible by boat only. The jetty with a floating pontoon has almost been completed, with most of the work and materials donated by local individuals and companies.

Trapping of predators, wilding pine eradication, and the preparation of walking tracks are ongoing tasks in preparation for opening the mainland island to the public.

Active education

The project also has an active education component, and regular school groups visit Kaipupu to learn about all aspects of conservation. The Society has received a grant from Pub Charity to set up their ‘Meet the predators’ programme.

Stoats, ferrets, rats and other pests are being recreated by taxidermists so that the public can meet the predators face to face, and gain a better understanding of the importance of predator free areas in protecting our native wildlife.

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Trapping and bait station poisoning.
Trapping and bait station poisoning will be ongoing on Kaipupu,
because of the threat of re-invasion of pests

An illustration of Kaipupu Point by Susan Charlotte Graphics.
An illustration of Kaipupu Point by Susan Charlotte Graphics


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