The future

In 2005, Longbush Reserve was recognised as a Priority 1 RAP (recommended area for protection) by the Department of Conservation.

The Longbush Ecosanctuary has many advantages for long-term ecological restoration. The riverside bush and the hill area are protected by QEII covenants, with several other large QEII covenanted blocks across the western ridge, making this a viable habitat for many species.

The corridors for wildlife are already in place, with good seed stocks and established populations of many species of native birds in the Longbush Ecosanctuary and the PMA across the river. Three creeks run from the ridgelines across the flats to the Waimata River, providing a variety of habitats.

The Longbush Ecosanctuary is also close to Gisborne City, and is thus an ideal site for educational purposes. Steve Sawyer of Ecoworks, an acknowledged expert in the protection and restoration of endangered species, including petrels, geckos and kiwi, is responsible for the planning and execution of the project.

The Longbush Ecological Trust, which is responsible for the restoration of both Longbush Reserve and the Longbush Ecosanctuary, has been set up to manage and restore the covenanted areas. It is the owners’ intention that once the Trust’s long-term viability is secured, the covenanted areas will pass into the Trust’s ownership. A Management Plan has been produced outlining future opportunities for the conservation of Longbush Reserve and the Longbush Ecosanctuary.

Medium-term initiatives include Make Longbush Longer, a community project to restore bush to the banks of the Waimata River; and Friends of the Waimata, a community network which aims to return the waters feeding the Waimata to their original state, with clear, slow-flowing streams and ponds, full of life and indigenous freshwater species.

A five year plan for Longbush Ecosanctuary
A five year plan for the Ecosanctuary until 2019, the 250th anniversary of the first meetings between Maori and Europeans at the mouth of the Waimata River.

East coast kaka beak Black Orchid
Hooded green orchid East coast broom
Black Robin Whitehead