Maketu Ongatoro Wetland Society (affectionately known as MOWS!), is a community conservation group concerned with the protection and ecological restoration of native habitats and wildlife in our local area.
We carry out work such as pest mammal trapping, pest plant control, planting native species, dune and vegetation surveys, and monitoring the populations of birds, reptiles, and invertebrates.
Maketu is an important nesting area for the northern New Zealand Dotterel, which has become our flagship species, as well as other threatened and endangered wildlife. Our regular monitoring has shown an increase in bird and skink populations since our work began, which is encouraging, and shows the important role of community groups in the conservation of New Zealand’s native species.
We are a not-for-profit, registered charity, and could not survive without our amazing members and volunteers, as well as donations and funding from generous individuals, local councils and government organisations.
Please see our ‘How to Help’ page for more information about how to get involved. As a member there is no obligation to get hands on, but if you would like to then there are many aspects of our work, from ecological restoration, to having a stall at events, and running an education program in local schools, so we welcome your support in any capacity. Our volunteers are a friendly bunch, so it is a great way to meet like-minded people, while contributing towards conservation in your local area.
Wetlands are natures filters, improving water quality, as well as providing habitat for wildlife, and offering flood protection. They are a vital part of the ecosystem, and their restoration is extremely valuable to the environment.
We currently have four conservation areas within the Maketu area:
- Maketu Spit
- Newdicks Beach
- Dotterel Point, Pukehina
- Waihi Harbour Wetland
These areas are a mixture of wetlands, dune systems, estuaries, and beaches. This means that they are home to a wide range of species, making them extremely diverse and important ecosystems.
Please see our ‘Conservation Projects’ page to find out more about the important work we are carrying out at these valuable sites.