Poronui has been identified as a site with special environmental values. The isolation of Poronui, combined with the foresight of its owners, means that large areas of native (indigenous) ecosystems still persist today. In order to enhance these values, we are working pro-actively to manage our outstanding natural environment and create a wilderness retreat for all to enjoy.
Ecology – Plants and Animals
Over a third of the area of Poronui is covered by indigenous beech forest. Beech forests also border the property on the west and east and attract abundant and diverse bird life. Native bird life includes the distinctive song of the tui, bellbird (korimako), morepork (ruru), native wood pigeon (kereru), hawks and falcons, and sometimes the rare kiwi or blue duck (whio). Some species present on Poronui are rated as vulnerable or threatened, particularly the New Zealand ‘bush’ falcon. New Zealand’s only two native land mammal species (the long and the short-tailed bat) are also present.
Poronui is also characterised by numerous wetland (frost-flats) and shrubland ecosystems, comprising mostly native plant species, scattered along the edges of the Taharua River running through the centre of the property.
Ecological restoration of selected areas is also being undertaken on Poronui.
Mohaka and Taharua Rivers
The Mohaka River and its tributaries (including the Taharua River) were granted status among New Zealand’s most important water bodies by being given the full protection of a National Water Conservation Order. This protection was granted on the basis of outstanding scenery, amenity for water-sports, and the outstanding trout fishery.
The Conservation Order protects these features from degradation by other water uses (like damming for hydro-electricity power generation and excessive water takes), now and for years to come.
Regular monitoring of the Taharua River by the Hawkes Bay Regional Council has shown the water quality to be of a consistently high quality. The rivers are known to provide perfect habitat for the nationally important trout fishery. Research and surveys conclude the abundance of trout reflects the high quality habitat for spawning, juvenile rearing and adults.
We implement our own fisheries management practices to preserve the quality of our fisheries. This includes a strict ‘catch and release’ policy enforced for all guests of Poronui Lodge; and the rotation of fishing ‘beats’ on a 7-10 days cycle.
Trout fishing is controlled via regulations and the granting of permits through Fish and Game New Zealand.
Kaimanawa Forest Park
Poronui shares its western border with the Kaimanawa Forest Park. This Forest Park is managed by the New Zealand Department of Conservation in order to preserve its’ soil and water, native vegetation, wildlife and scenic values.
Access to the Forest Park through Poronui is preserved for hunters and trampers (via the Poled Route) in an agreement with the Department of Conservation. Click here for more information about the Kaimanawa Forest Park at the Department of Conservation.
Control of introduced pests is important to reduce the risk they pose to native plants and animals. Plant and animal pests are actively being managed on site, by both the statutory agencies responsible, and by Poronui’s employment of a full time Ranger. Pests include possums, feral cats, ferrets, stoats, rats, magpies, and goats. Deer are also classed as pests on the National conservation estate. It is important to control these pests to encourage native wildlife to flourish and improve biodiversity. The success of the pest control program so far is one of the main reasons why native birdlife is flourishing at Poronui.