Kia ora – welcome to the Hurunui College Nina Valley Restoration Group!
The Hurunui College Nina Valley Restoration Group was established in 2008. The group consists of students aged eleven to eighteen years old, teachers, and parents. The principal aim of the group is to give students ownership of a conservation project, through which they can learn about conservation and applied research. The group works closely with the Department of Conservation to achieve these aims. The Nina Valley is home to many endangered species, both animal and plant. The Nina Valley Restoration Group’s conservation focus is: a.) the control of invasive mammals which harm our native fauna and flora b.) the reintroduction of declining native species to the Nina Valley The group manages 200 DOC 200 traps spread along both sides of the Nina River from the road to the Nina Biv. These traps kill predators outright. The predator trapped most commonly in the Nina Valley’s DOC 200s is the stoat (about 85% of kills), followed by rats, hedgehogs, and weasels. The group also undertakes regular possum trapping in the area. Hurunui College is NZQA accredited to teach possum trapping techniques, so students with sufficient trapping experience can gain credits towards their qualifications. Some of the endangered species that benefit from our trapping programme include: Great Spotted Kiwi – nationally, 95% of kiwi young are killed by stoats before reaching maturity
Whio, or Blue Duck – this bird is even more endangered than the kiwi. In the Nina Valley its eggs and chicks are predated by all introduced mammals.
Kea, kaka, and kakariki – all endangered members of the parrot family.
The West Coast green gecko
Mistletoe and other endangered flora.
In addition to trapping, we have a programme of reintroduction and monitoring Great Spotted Kiwi and Whio (Blue Duck). The Nina Valley Restoration Group also has a strong research focus. Students take part in trialing of conservation tools (e.g., efficacy of different lures), mustelid gut contents analysis, etc. The group has working links with Lincoln University and industry bodies, such as Goodnature Ltd. In recognition of its work thus far, the Nina Valley Restoration Group has won a number of awards, including the prestigious Ministry for the Environment Green Ribbon Award for Education and Communication in Conservation (2012). We have received over $100,000 in funding to date from a number of organisations, including:
Kids Restore New Zealand (a branch of the Air New Zealand Environment Trust)
The Ministry for the Environment Community Environment Fund
BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust
Genesis Energy Whio Recovery Programme
If you would like to keep up with the group’s activities, please visit and ‘like’ our Facebook page: