NGA MANU NATURE RESERVE
This thirteen hectares of outdoor education reserve was established in 1974. The Nga Manu Trust founder trustees Professor John Salmon, Peter McKenzie, and David Mudge had been informed of a site on Ngarara Road Waikanae that was ideal for the purpose of preserving the largest remnants of Kapiti lowland swamp forest, providing also, the opportunity to encourage the preservation and recovery of native flora and fauna. Nga Manu translates to ‘The Birds’.
Peter McKenzie was the son of Sir Roy McKenzie 1922-2007, and grandson of Sir John Robert McKenzie who in 1938 established the J.R. McKenzie Youth Fund, and in 1940 the J.R. McKenzie Trust.
The reserve now contains about 700 different plant species, many of which are on the ‘endangered species’ list, along with a diverse range of native animals, birds, and fish, being nurtured in their wild habitat, and where applicable, in enclosures.
A nocturnal house was opened in 2010 in the presence of the Governor General Sir Paul Reeves, giving the public an opportunity to view the Kiwi in as close to its natural environment as possible. The wild-life ponds with their vast range of water-fowl add to the reserve’s ability to encourage interest in our natural heritage.
The daily bird feeding by the staff is enjoyed by visitors as is the feeding of the Native long-finned eels. Bush and fern walks are all accessible by wheelchair. The lookout tower provides views over the sanctuary, and beyond, to Kapiti Island in the West, and the Tararua Ranges in the East.
Picnic sites with gas bar-b-q add to the attractiveness of the reserve to families.
Educational visits are encouraged, and are assisted where required with lectures and organised programmes. A one bedroom cottage on the premises is made available for the use of research scholars.
The Nga Manu Reserve is administered by the registered charitable trust Nga Manu Trust, with the following objectives:
To preserve our unique native flora and fauna.
To provide an outdoor education resource based on conservation and preservation.
To support recovery programmes for our native flora and fauna.
To promote public awareness of our native flora and fauna.
The Nga Manu Trust supports scholarships with Victoria University Wellington and Massey University Palmerston North.