6 Sep 2011

Dairy land conversion will help increase rare native species

8:11 pm on 6 September 2011

An adviser to the country's largest inland restoration project, converting dairy farmland into native bush, says the initiative will help increase the number of rare native species.

Trees such as kahikatea, totara and kauri have already been planted on 15 of the 60 hectares of the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park in Hamilton City.

The land's owned by the Hamilton City Council.

An adviser to the Waikato University, who researches Maori culture, Wiremu Puke, says the project will restore the land to how it once looked before the arrival of European settlers.

He says the site is currently home to low numbers of kokopu or whitebait species, tuna or eel and native birds, and he says it's likely those stocks may thrive as a result of the conversion.

Mr Puke says it will take about 30-years before the park is finally completed.