Conservation park Tui Nature Reserve

Conservation park Tui Nature Reserve

Havelock 7150, New Zealand
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Conservation park Tui Nature Reserve is a 42 hectare native bush in the Marlborough Sounds of New Zealand. It is run by the dedicated Plaisier family for the past fourteen years. Pest programmes are in place to protect the forest from invasive preditors like stoats, possums, rats and pigs. Three enclosures are build to breed local species of lizards and the Kakariki bird. Our future goal is to build a predator free fence to protect the whole 180 hectare peninsula where Tui Nature Reserve is located on. After it is declared pest free we can start a release programme in conjuction with the local Department of Conservation. Accommodation is available so visitors can come and visit and stay ...

About You
Contact Information
Title

Mrs.

First name

Ellen

Last name

Plaisier

Your job title

Co-Director

Name of your organization

Tui Nature Reserve

Organization type

Organization Type

Annual budget/currency

Annual Budget/Currency

Mailing address

Private Bag 65023 - Havelock 7150 - Marlborough

Telephone number

Telephone Number

Postal/Zip Code
Country
Alternative email address

Alternative email address

Your idea
This will be the address used to plot your entry on the map.
Street Address

Private Bag 65023

City

Havelock 7150

State/Province

Marlborough

Postal/Zip Code
Country
Geotourism Challenge Addressed by Entrant

Organization size

Indicate sector in which you principally work

Tourism-related business

Year innovation began

1995

Indicate sector in which you principally work

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Innovation
What is the goal of your innovation? Please describe in one sentence the kind of impact, change, or reform your approach is intended to achieve.

We like to bring natural awareness to everyone, young and old, in a fun, informative and beautiful way.

Please write an overview of your project. Include how your approach supports or embodies geotourism or destination stewardship. This text will appear when people scroll over the icon for your entry on the map located on the competition homepage.

Conservation park Tui Nature Reserve is a 42 hectare native bush in the Marlborough Sounds of New Zealand. It is run by the dedicated Plaisier family for the past fourteen years. Pest programmes are in place to protect the forest from invasive preditors like stoats, possums, rats and pigs. Three enclosures are build to breed local species of lizards and the Kakariki bird. Our future goal is to build a predator free fence to protect the whole 180 hectare peninsula where Tui Nature Reserve is located on. After it is declared pest free we can start a release programme in conjuction with the local Department of Conservation. Accommodation is available so visitors can come and visit and stay as long as they like. Our aim is to have small groups of people, young and old, and let them connect with nature in a fun, educational and beautiful way. Our aim is to have the property self sufficient in power, water and a with a good vegetable garden, we use plantbased cleaning products to be gentle on the environment.

Explain in detail why your approach is innovative

The land has a total area of 42 hectare and is located on a 180 hectare peninsula. A large part of our land, 38 hectares, we have put under a covenant from the Queen Elizabeth Trust that will protect it for generations to come. This means that on the protected land it is not possible to have trees chopped down or cultivate it in any other way. There are other projects in New Zealand like this but it is quite rare that it is privately owned with the level of dedication we have put into it for the past fourteen years and up till now it is almost solely funded from our own money and income generated from the visitors.

Impact
Describe the degree of success you have had to date. How do you measure, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the impact on sustainability or enhancement of local culture, environment, heritage, or aesthetics? How has it transformed or contributed to the power of place or demonstrated the sustainability of tourism? How does your approach minimize negative impacts?

Our degree of success is measured by the visitors that visit us. Their emotional and positive reactions keep us going. The forest makes a come back, with flowers and fruits growing where there weren't any before, bird numbers are up but also the insect life is improving. We have regular visits from the Department of Conservation and the Queen Elizabeth Trust members, that mention we make great progress and even have written testimony letters. We are also proud to say that recently we won the Marlborough Environmental Award for Habitat Enhancement and the overall Supreme Award.

In what ways are local residents actively involved in your work, including participation and community input? How has the community responded to or benefited from your approach?

Tui Nature Reserve is very isolated with only access by boat, there are only few local residents most of them own farms but the locals that visited us responded very positive to our initiative after they've seen what we were doing. There is more environmental awareness in general, right through the area, not just because of our work but mainly because of the decline in fish and bird numbers.

The end of May, we are organizing an Open Field Day where locals are invited.

How does your program promote traveler enthusiasm, satisfaction, and engagement with the locale?

Our biggest difference with other eco-destinations is that this is a family run business, where we only have a small number of visitors so that there is lots of time for everyone that comes and visit us. We organize tours through the bush where we tell stories of how we started and all the funny things that happened along the way. It is our own enthusiasm that people like the most. Our two oldest children (12 and 14 year) will also tour people in the enclosures where there is a breeding programme for a native parakeet and native Gecko's.

Describe how your work helps travelers and local residents better understand the value of the area's cultural and natural heritage, and educates them on local environmental issues.

All visitors will be offered a conservation walk through the forest. Brian will explain the efforts we made so far and will point out the results of the pest control. Furthermore we also offer a sponsor programme where people can adopt one hectare of native bush. This will help us to cover some of the cost to look after it and will conserve the important eco-system.

Sustainability
How is your initiative currently financed? If available, provide information on your finances and organization that could help others. Please list: Annual budget, annual revenue generated, size of part-time, full-time and volunteer staff.

Up to now, we mainly paid for the project out of our own pocket by way of mortgage however lately we have been able to get funding for an upgrade in predator control from both the government and the local council this counts for 30% of the needed overal funding. Tourism and Eco tours provides about 25% and we have set up a business partnership programme and a private sponsorship taking care of 45% of the yearly funding.

Is your initiative financially and organizationally sustainable? If not, what is required to make it so? Is there a potential demand for your innovation?

Yes, our conservation programme is financially sustainable however it will require continious looking for funding and businesses that will sponsor the project in return for a positive 'green' image. .

What are the main barriers you encounter in managing, implementing, or replicating your innovation? What barriers keep your program from having greater impact?

This project is mainly run by the family, which means there is always a lot of work and it is hard to take a break, we do work with volunteers that can help with the physical jobs.

Also as our land is very isolated it is harder to get the number of guest we would like as there is quite a bit of travel time involved.

What is your plan to expand or further develop your approach? Please indicate where/how you would like to grow or enhance your innovation, or have others do so.

We have build three large enclosures to breed native reptiles and Kakariki birds. At the moment we are building our knowledge with captive species, but once we are experienced enough the Department of Conservation will supply us with wild lizard and bird species from local areas that can be bred for release either here, once the land is predator free, or in other predator free areas.

It is our goal to have the peninsula we are on either predator free or if that is not possible, with very low numbers of predators.

The Story
What is the origin of your innovation? Tell the Changemakers and media communities what prompted you to start this initiative.

We left Holland in 1992 in search for a beautiful, clean, natural place to live. When we finally found that place three years later we noticed that this beautiful place was also under threat. Not from pollution but from pest invaders such as possums, stoats, pigs and rats. Straight away a new plan was formed to do whatever we could, to protect the environment and the first trap programme appeared. And contact was made with the Queen Elizabeth Trust to place the land under a covenant. To create a form of income we decided to share this beautiful place with people that would like to visit and have build accommodation for them to stay.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers' marketing material.

Brian is a trained electrician and Ellen has done mainly office jobs, together we have been self employed for a total of six years before we arrived in the Sounds.

We arrived as dutch immigrants in the Marlborough Sounds about 15 years ago. After a rough start adjusting to the new way of living from the suburbs to a 42 hectare block of bush that had no buildings on it, not even water or a power supply.

Adaption slowly followed, buildings started to rise and water was coming out of the taps. Three children were born and totally love the 'new' way of living.

Describe some unique tourist experiences that your approach provides. Be specific; give illustrative examples.

We offer an natural environment, a long way from town, with no neighbours or shops in the area and boat access only. The location of the accommodation is 180 meter above sealevel on top of a plateau forested hill. This project runs mainly on the energy of the family and ocassional volunteers. Visitors appriciate the hard work that has gone into this project to create the buildings and to set up a conservation programme to secure the environment for future generations.

What types of partnerships or professional development would be most beneficial in spreading your innovation?

For private projects like Conservation park Tui Nature Reserve it would be crucial to work together with businesses that like to be involved with green projects in return for financial support. In our next stage we would like to place a pest free fence on the peninsula we are located. This would be an opportunity for a business to realy make an impact and get a positive 'green' profile. We already have a good relation with the Department of Conservation.