People working with takahē in the mountains
Image: Glen Greaves | DOC


The success of Takahē Recovery has been made possible through a positive working relationship with Māori, corporate partnerships, volunteer contributions and the support of a growing number of people throughout the world.

Takahe Recovery logo.

Takahē Recovery Team

DOC has a dedicated Takahē Recovery Team of ten staff, who are continually researching and employing effective management techniques to ensure this special bird is not lost forever.

Seven of the staff are based in Te Anau, with responsibilities for takahē and the running of the Programme at the Burwood Takahē Centre, the Murchison Mountains, and the remaining takahē sanctuary sites throughout New Zealand.

The three other staff have specialist skills. They are based in Invercargill and are shared with the Kākāpō Recovery Programme.

The Takahē Recovery Team is advised by the Takahē Recovery Group which is a group of independent experts in various fields of species conservation. The group is made up of representatives from the Takahē Recovery Team, Ngāi tahu (Ōraka-Aparima Rūnanga), University of Otago and Manaaki Whenua, Landcare Research. 

NZ Māori and takahē

The Māori tribe (iwi) of New Zealand's South Island, Ngāi Tahu, has strong cultural and traditional associations with the takahē.

Takahē – a taonga of Ngāi Tahu

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu

The takahē is a taonga (treasure) of Ngāi Tahu.

The Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 enshrined into law the special cultural, spiritual, and traditional importance of takahē to Ngāi Tahu. In recognition of this special relationship, Ngāi Tahu is the primary partner of DOC in the Takahē Recovery Programme.

Ngāi Tahu works with DOC to set recovery direction and shares in the decision making on the implementation of the Takahē Recovery strategy. In addition Ōraka-Aparima Runaka of Ngāi Tahu is actively involved in the takahē breeding programme within their rohe.

Whenever takahē are transferred to a new site they are accompanied by representatives of Ngāi Tahu who hand over the kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of the bird(s) to the iwi of the new site.

Fulton Hogan

Fulton Hogan logo.

In July 2016 Fulton Hogan signed a 5 year agreement with DOC to become the National Partner for the Takahē Recovery Programme.

"This is a great opportunity for our people to help save a precious New Zealand species. Fulton Hogan takes a long-term outlook and is delighted to be helping preserve New Zealand's natural heritage. We see this as an excellent example of industry working with iwi and government to deliver a world class conservation project."
- Bob Fulton – Executive Director, Fulton Hogan Ltd

The partnership with Fulton Hogan enables DOC, with their Treaty Partner Ngāi Tahu, to build on the programme's success.

It is a way for Fulton Hogan staff and families to connect with conservation and be involved with the recovery of one of New Zealand's taonga species.

Fulton Hogan's support will enable the Takahē Recovery Programme to tackle the next big challenges for recovery of the species, including the identification of a new recovery site for the expanding population.


New Zealand Nature Fund

NZ Nature Fund logo.

The New Zealand Nature Fund (previously New Zealand National Parks & Conservation Foundation) has a long history with the Takahē Recovery Programme.

They are supporting the programme by providing expertise in funds management and independent assurance of the investment.

Specialist services

The programme is also supported by several agencies providing veterinary and rehabilitation services and scientific research.

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