Kawau Island Residents and Ratepayers Association

KIRRA is one of two organisations (the other is KIAC) on the Island whose primary focus is to protect and promote the interests of landowners and residents, not infrequently against the incursions of mainland bureaucracy.

KIRRA has a membership of over 300 individuals and families and membership is welcomed from all newcomers. KIRRA is charged with publishing the quarterly island magazine Kookaburra (curiously named, as these ordinarily Australian birds are one relic of the Governor Grey heritage).

For more information see our detailed KIRRA page.


Kawau Island Advisory Committee

KIAC as the Kawau Island Advisory Committee, originally set up as an Act of Parliament in 1963 to reflect and protect the unique characteristics of the Island. In particular, KIAC was charged with interfacing with both local and central government on the mainland to ensure that the particular qualities of the island were not compromised by overbearing “one size fits all” bureaucracy. One huge achievement by KIAC in recent years has been the production of the Kawau Island Vision Statement – a collaborative document with the then Rodney District Council.

Since the recent introduction of the Auckland Unitary Plan the formal status of KIAC has been uncertain, but KIAC itself has continued and liaises mostly on a political level with the Rodney Local Board.

Kookaburra Magazine

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The Quarterly journal published by KIRRA

Take a look at archived editions of the quarterly Kookaburra magazine. For the latest edition, see our members only section. Topical articles from our quarterly Kawau Island Magazine. For more information contact Michael Marris:

Winter 2018

Autumn 2018
Summer 2017
Spring 2017
Summer 2016
Spring 2016


fire and emergency new zealand

Have you ever wondered what happens when a 111 emergency call occurs on Kawau Island?  First responders can't just hop in a fire appliance and drive to the incident. 

The solution to this problem is FENZ Kawau Island, a fully volunteer group made up of dedicated locals. This group is highly trained and responds to all emergencies on Kawau Island, including medical, civil defence and fire.

There are very few roads on Kawau so the logistics of transporting fire crews and equipment are not always an easy task. To help with this situation FENZ Kawau now use the very latest  UHF/VHF communication radios and they have direct communication with Westpac and air logistics helicopters, allowing efficient and quick actions.

All trained FENZ members carry a personal pager and are on call 24/7 giving Kawau Islanders the best response advantage in any emergency situation day and night.

Fire is a major risk on Kawau Island and having a local FENZ team is a considerable factor in reducing the risk. 

Any assistance by way of donations is much appreciated and if you're thinking you might want to be a FENZ Kawau member please give us a call.

CFO (Chief Fire Officer): Gavin Brunton 021 260 7086

Firefighter and Fire Permits: Chris Carding 027 319 4040

Pohutakawa Trust


“To rehabilitate the native flora and fauna of Kawau Island”
“To promote the conservation of indigenous species in New Zealand”
“To achieve sustainable land use on Kawau Island"

Pohutukawa Trust New Zealand is a charitable trust incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957. The Trust was established by a group of Kawau Island’s private landowners in March 1992 as a community-led organisation to restore the Island’s native flora and fauna, and achieve sustainable land use on Kawau Island.


Events leading to the Trust’s beginnings go back to 1955 when New Zealand’s looming possum problem was first positively identified on Kawau Island. In 1985 the New Zealand Forest Service wrote: “it was hopeless to consider doing anything about the destruction of the Island’s flora caused by introduced animals”. Kawau Island was “written off”.

Landowners did not agree with this and stepped in with an initiative to save the native flora and fauna. By 1990 pohutukawa trees had been saved in the first large scale use of Timms Traps in New Zealand. The trees were blooming again for the first time in 20 years. Encouraged by this success, the community established the Pohutukawa Trust New Zealand, with the above objectives.

How you can help

All Kawau Island Island landowners and residents are invited to participate.

The Trust also welcomes supporters with an interest in New Zealand’s native flora and fauna who are not Kawau Island landowners or occupiers.

Funds for the restoration project come from donations and sponsorship. The Trust has currently raised about half the amount needed for the essential wallaby eradication phase now in progress.

All of the Trust’s operational costs are sponsored and every dollar donated by supporters is applied directly to meeting the objectives.


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Kawau Emergency Response Trust

The Kawau Emergency Response Trust was established in 2006 to undertake a fundraising programme to support existing services for a fast response capability on Kawau Island. This covers medical, fire, civil defence and environmental emergencies.

To date this has included medical response packs, defibrillators, stretchers, emergency radios, large volume water storage tanks and pumps, emergency depots and storage sheds, an emergency response jet ski, helipads and so on.  The Trust has also funded a series of three-hour First Aid courses for Kawau Islanders which were delivered by St Johns.

Whilst several trustees have a medical, fire services or civil defence background, and provide valuable insights into what is needed for emergency response on the Island, many others are untrained, yet enthusiastic, volunteers working behind the scenes in ongoing fundraising activities. We are dedicated to ensuring the Island can be self- sufficient in providing First Response fast.

The Trustees work very closely with FENZ (Fire and Emergency New Zealand) to ensure that funds raised are used in the most effective way possible.

Donations to KERT can be sent to Private Bag 945, Kawau Island, Auckland Mail Service Centre or by direct credit to KERT, The National Bank of New Zealand, Account Number 06-0483-0091225-14.

Camp Bentzon

On the eastern shore of North Cove is 29 acres of spacious and sheltered land. The large area of land makes it most suitable for its purpose. The Camp was bequeathed to the youth of New Zealand by Captain Neils Bentzon, a Danish seaman in 1935.

He lived most of his time on his little mulletty type boat, but went ashore when old age and increasing arthritis meant that life in the tiny cottage on the land would be more comfortable. After his death the Education Board, in 1936, brought over a small schoolroom by barge, to be used as a school for 13 Kawau children. This didn’t last for very long due to the decrease in pupil numbers.

It was 1969 before plans were put into place to turn the property into a camp. In the years since, there has been a lot of work with voluntary labour, lots of assistance from Rotary and Lions and funding sponsorship, put into developing the camp to what it is today. The Captain would be very proud and pleased to see how it is now and how much pleasure it gives to so many young people.


Department of Conservation

DOC’s mission statement:
To conserve New Zealand’s nature and historic heritage for all to enjoy now and in the future.

Ko ta Te Papa Atawhai he whakaute he tiaki I nga taonga koiora me nga
taonga tuku ibo bei painga mo te katoa inaianei, mo ake tonu ake.

Kawau Island Historic Reserve Project

The Kawau Island Historic Reserve was created to protect Mansion House, Sir George Grey’s former home, and the gardens and landscape he created, together with sites and relics from the historic copper industry. The Reserve is a popular destination for visitors arriving by ferry or pleasure craft. The island remains an exotic gem in the middle of the Hauraki Gulf. Mansion House and the extensive gardens surrounding it, were bought by the Government and became part of the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park in 1967. Ten years later work began restoring the house and grounds to the form they were given under Sir George Grey.

Kawau offers a unique experience amongst DOC volunteer opportunities – its focus is on historic values and visitor facilities.

Contact: Sue Cameron, Volunteer Co-ordinator, Auckland Conservancy
Phone: + 64 9 425 7812  Email:

Kawau Pine Harvest Factsheet

The Department of Conservation (DOC) and a number of Kawau Island landowners have expressed concerns about the pine forest on the Kawau Island Historic Reserve. Public safety, protection of property, marine navigation hazards and landscape values are the key concerns.

DOC, in wanting to move towards safer and more sustainable management of the forests reviewed advice from technical specialists, carefully considered all issues.

Read Management of Pine Forests on Kawau Island Historic Reserve – Fact sheet.