Our Community

We have a team of nearly 2,000 people who support the island in many ways; in governance, field work, guiding, and financially supporting the island’s many projects to ensure that we can build a world-class sanctuary for wildlife and visitors.

First established in 1988, the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi (SoTM) is a non-profit conservation group that works in partnership (link to Community Agreement) with the Department of Conservation to co-manage projects on the island. 

The Supporters played a critical role in creating the forested sanctuary that you see today (link) by working with DOC to plant over 280,000 native trees between 1984 and 1994 using a volunteer workforce. Over the past three decades, the Supporters organisation has worked on a number of translocation and capital projects.

SoTM Highlights

  • Funded and carried out the introduction of 12 bird species, three reptile species and one insect species, including kōkako, titipounamu/rifleman, Duvaucel’s gecko and wētāpunga. 
  • Funded, erected and maintained a range of interpretative signs to inform visitors about the island's fauna, flora and history. 
  • Built a Visitor Centre that houses informative displays about the island. 
  • Built an extensive vehicle and equipment storage facility. 
  • Purchased various vehicles including the island’s tractor, utility vehicle and trailer. 
  • Funded an annual weed management programme. 
  • Contributed to the funding of over 30 scientific research projects. (link)
  • Developed and maintained a programme of guided walks for visitors, with over 200 volunteer guides. 
  • Built and run a shop on the island, with all proceeds reinvested in the project.

You can help support us by becoming a SoTM member, and if you choose, volunteering for us.


Life Members

The Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi have recognised the huge contribution made by some of our volunteers over long periods of time by awarding them Life Membership. Our Life Members are:

  • Jim Battersby (2003) (deceased)
  • Ray and Barbara Walter (2003)
  • Mel Galbraith (2005)
  • Carl Hayson (2007)
  • Nan Rothwell (2012)
  • Isabel Still (2012)
  • Sally Hally (2012)
  • Simon Fordham (2013)
  • David Meldrum (2016)
  • Ian Higgins and Cathy Catto (2018)
  • Peter Lee (2022)
  • Yvonne Vaneveld (2023)