Aerial 1080 drops play vital role in flourishing private native bush block

A private conservation block in the Coromandel is teeming with life thanks to four generations of one family.

Almost 100 years of care has secured a 4000-hectare pocket of flourishing native bush home to a healthy population of 150 endangered brown kiwi and flocks of kererū up to 100 strong.

"The morning song is just amazing," says conservationist Janice Hinds. "You can hear the kiwi calling from all directions sitting on my deck. Yea, it's special."

The Hinds family purchased the property near Tairua in the 1930s. They initially came under pressure to mill their forests of ancient kauri. They refused, and a family tradition of conservation was born.

It was the decision by Diane Hind's father-in-law Herbert that got the ball rolling.

"It was part of our everyday life, and you did take it for granted but it was wonderful to be part of it," she says.

In 2000 their property was marked as the last pocket of land on the Coromandel that was home to brown kiwi.

Thanks to a partnership with the Department of Conservation, Waikato Regional Council and Kiwis for Kiwi, they're now thriving right across the peninsula.

And it's all thanks to an extensive network of around 500 traps that have caught more than 12,000 predators.

Wild cats are often caught in traps throughout the conservation estate.
Wild cats are often caught in traps throughout the conservation estate. Photo credit: Newshub .

But it can't be done by trapping alone.

The Hinds say aerial 1080 drops have played a vital role. The first began in 2006, and now their fifth is set to begin shortly.

"It takes out the rats we can't catch, our mustelids that we keep missing. They do so much damage," Janice says.

"You can hear the difference, see the difference. We've got trees that never flowered when I was a teenager, now they're in full bloom because all the possums are gone."

It hasn't been an easy ride, with their use of the poison drawing protest action and violence.

They've been the victim of assaults, damage to property and threats against their children.

But with the results they're seeing, Diane Hinds say they'll never give up.

"We've just got to carry on that work; it's a forever project that will never end."