Success Stories

Little Blue Penguin, Rod Morris

Little Blue Penguin, Rod Morris

Since its inception in 1923, Forest & Bird has worked hard to champion the cause of our threatened native species.

While the fight to save some of our most precious natural heritage is far from over, our campaigns have made significant gains in achieving better environmental protection.


 Some of our recent achievements include:

  • A ban on shark finning in New Zealand waters. The new laws mean New Zealand will join many nations including Australia, the EU and US that have stopped shark finning. 
  • Due in large part to lobbying by Forest & Bird and other environmental organisations, the government failed to get the numbers in Parliament for RMA reform and has shelved its plans until after the general election.
  • New conservation parks in the South Island high country, including Ruataniwha, Molesworth, Hakatere, Ahuriri and the Eyre Mountains; protection secured for lakeside land in the high country.
  • New regulations protecting Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins from threats such as set netting.
  • New marine reserves, including Taputeranga on Wellington’s south coast, Taranaki, Whangarei, Bay of Plenty, Kermadec Islands and Nelson.
  • World Heritage status for New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands and south-west Fiordland.
  • Recognition for the Manawatu Estuary as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  • Protection of lowland rainforest in the West Coast in new national parks and a World Heritage Area.
  • Government funding for the establishment of five ‘mainland island’ sanctuaries for kiwi and kokako.
  • New rules to reduce the number of seabirds and sea lions killed by commercial fishing vessels, and legal protection for great white sharks.
  • In Hawke’s Bay, Forest & Bird’s branches worked with staff to ensure water quality and wildlife would not be sacrificed for the proposed Ruataniwha irrigation scheme, appearing before the Board of Inquiry appointed to consider the project.
  • Bringing kokako back to the Auckland mainland for the first time in 80 years
  • Partnerships which have helped recover populations of endangered species including the kiwi, kakapo, kokako and blue duck.
  • Protection of our national parks from mining. 

Despite these successes, we have plenty more work to do in our high country, forests, lakes, rivers, wetlands and oceans.

Forest & Bird is undertaking campaigns, projects and initiatives to help our threatened albatrosses, penguins, kakapo, kiwi , Hector’s & Maui’s dolphins, sea lions and kokako.

 We need your help to achieve better protection for these unique and threatened species.