Mangroves &
Sand Dunes:

Intersection of
Land & Sea

TAHI's unique landscape spans farm and coast, including hills, lakes, streams, forests, wetlands, estuaries, beaches, and ecologically significant sand dunes.

Only 11% of original sand dunes remain in New Zealand - it is critical now that with unprecedented development, we protect them.

The sand daphne (Pimelea villas) is a distinctive low woody shrub that occurs within the semi-stable dunes, the transition zones between the foredunes and the more densely vegetated back dunes. Nationally, the endemic species is in decline and, in some places, has disappeared altogether.

TAHI has one of the largest northern populations of the threatened sand daphne (autetaranga, Pimelea villas) which is protected in a 4.7ha QEII National Trust covenant. 

Together with the New Zealand Dunes Trust and QEII Trust, we’re involved in an experimental restoration programme, which involves re-establishing native dune species along the coast of TAHI.

The Pimelea Project was aimed to develop practical methods for reversing the decline of sand daphne by evaluating the habitat of the species, testing a range of field-based treatments, and undertaking monitoring. The 4-year study found that:

– Application of slow-release fertiliser gave an immediate boost in plant vigour

– Placing a minimum of 5 cm of fresh sand over the plant, carefully brushed from the upper foliage and covering the lower stems, simulating moderate levels of sand movement characteristic of foredunes, boosted growth and vigour

– Providing partial shade using 50% grade shade cloth designed to simulate shade and shelter provided by neighbouring vegetation appeared to boost vigour

– Placing a cage of predator-proof mesh over the plant resulted in the retention of seed on some plants useful for seed collection, and an increase in newly germinated seedlings mostly within the cage

The Pimelea Pilot Study Tools for Survival

Mangroves: Our
Coastal Nursery

Mangrove forests serve as natural buffers against climate change and provide rich habitats for fish, crustaceans and other organisms seeking food and shelter.


Global mangrove cover
lost in the last 50 years


Sand dune ecosystems
nationwide lost in 80 years


Strategic Restoration

Strategic restoration is a whole systems approach. The success of restoration lies not only in individual tree choices, but also in how these choices align within the broader ecological context.