Trust emerges from the forest

12-month PR programme seeks to find partners, create opportunities

The Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust, a conservation and forest rehabilitation group headed by Auckland businessman Simon Hall, is looking for new relationships and opportunities with public and private-sector organisations involved in New Zealand wildlife management.

It has appointed PR consultancy Due North to develop and run a 12-month programme designed to raise its profile among potential commercial and research partners. A website has been established and the first major profile-raising event – the release of the 100th kiwi chick to have been reared by the Trust – took place in February with the help of another national icon, supermodel Rachel Hunter.

“The Trust has been operational for six years and has been quietly building its expertise and credibility in the area of forest restoration and rehabilitation,” said Due North managing director Peter Heath. “It’s now involved in several leading-edge conservation projects and the time is right to start building relationships with potential partners to create new commercial, professional and research-based opportunities.”

The Trust provides direction and funding for the restoration of threatened species of fauna and flora, helping to restore the ngahere mauri (forest lifeforce) in native forests that it manages. It is largely funded by Mr Hall and Tasti Products Ltd.

It runs eight regeneration and restoration projects, involving native New Zealand flora and fauna, on three properties in the central North Island. These include the Maungataniwha Kiwi Project in conjunction with the BNZ Save the Kiwi trust; an initiative to increase the wild-grown population of Kakabeak (Clianthus maximus), an extremely rare type of shrub; and the re-establishment of native plants and forest on 4,000 hectares currently, or until recently, under pine.

The Trust also manages a property in the South Island’s Fiordland National Park.