Urban Ark – Manawa Taiao supports conservation across 35 square kilometres (3500 ha) of Tāmaki Makaurau’s inner west – from Ponsonby to Pt Chevalier and from Mt Albert to Mt Eden. By enabling and supporting the work of community conservation groups we see thousands of households, plus schools and businesses working together to create a place where our native species can thrive. A place where kererū come in flocks, endemic skinks and geckos are abundant and native plants grow free of smothering weeds.
We want our Urban Ark to be the Manawa Taiao – the heart of the environment. We work around the maunga of Maungawhau and Ōwairaka to care for protect these important taonga. Along the awa and scattered patches of te taiao (forest) we seek to create biodiversity corridors to encourage our native species to spread and thrive.
With the help of 45,000 households across the region, we can bring back the native biodiversity that has been largely removed from our urban environment.
Our Trust Board
Stefan has always been fascinated by the success of projects around New Zealand in bringing back native species. Then there was a rat in his garage and this is how it all started.
Martino joined Urban Ark in November 2021 and recently took up the role of treasurer. In his day job Martino is in a senior finance role in the banking sector, so we’re confident that he’s more than qualified to help keep us acting with financial prudence at all times! Outside of work Martino keeps busy with 3 young kids and enjoys running, mountain biking and generally spending time in the great outdoors. Martino wants to see native flora and fauna thrive in Auckland and across Aotearoa and is involved in the Pest Free Balmoral group.
Siân Buley has been the Pest Management Coordinator at Auckland Zoo since 2015. If you go to the Zoo and see a rat, you must let her know! She is passionate about the Zoo’s mission to bring people together to build a future for wildlife and sees the control of invasive species and community action as vital in trying to protect New Zealand’s biodiversity. Siân also services bait and trap lines as a volunteer for a couple of projects in the Waitākere Ranges, where she lives.
Andrew joined Urban Ark as a trustee in May 2022. He is a proud resident of Westmere and works in the property development sector. In his spare time Andrew gets away to Kawau Island whenever he can with his partner and dog, mostly likely to be seen weeding, digging holes and planting something. Andrew is keen to see the natural character of the Inner-West restored and an increase in the variety of native birdlife.
Paul is originally from England but spent some of his teenage years in Auckland, briefly attending what is now Western Springs College. After careers in chemical engineering, writing travel guidebooks and outdoor education, Paul got swept up in the Predator Free movement. He started trapping in his local reserve, Eric Armishaw Park, then founded a suburban backyard trapping group. Pest Free Pt Chevalier then came together with other groups in the inner west of Tāmaki Makaurau to form Urban Ark – Manawa Taiao. Paul has been its coordinator ever since.
The Urban Ark logo was created by Glenn Jones who was inspired by the native kōtare (kingfishers) he frequently observes around Te Tokaroa Meola Reef. The paired birds form a heart shape, reflecting our desire to be the Manawa Taiao – the heart of the environment. To Māori, the motionless kōtare is a watchful sentry. It lends its name to the pā platform used to watch out for enemies, just as we watch out for invaders threatening our natural taonga.