Glenfern Sanctuary as we know it today is a regional park open to the public for all to enjoy. There is a rich history to the land and to the name itself. ‘Glenfern’ was the focus of Tony Bouzaid’s initial restoration and predator control work, which was soon extended to the entire Kotuku peninsula. Tony constructed the 2 km ‘Glenfern walk’ to enable tourists to access and experience the outcomes of the restoration work he was doing, and Glenfern became a well recognised tourist feature on Great Barrier Island. In 2007 a Trust was formed to assist with the establishment of a predator proof fence across the peninsula. The fence was installed in 2008 and an aerial eradication was completed in 2009.

Glenfern Sanctuary Charitable Trust was renamed Kotuku Peninsula Charitable Trust in December 2013 to better reflect the responsibilities of the Trust in managing the entire peninsula and to ensure continuity and security of the Sanctuary following former Chairperson, Tony Bouzaid’s death in October 2011. In 2017 Auckland Council purchased Glenfern together with funding from the Nature Heritage Foundation (DOC) and Foundation North. In 2017 Glenfern Sanctuary Trust was formed and commenced management of the Auckland Council owned property.


The predator fenced Kotuku Peninsula currently involves five landowners: Department of Conservation, Orama Christian Fellowship, Auckland Council, Wingers and Leys. The ~80 ha Department of Conservation land is a Scenic Reserve termed Kotuku Point Scenic Reserve. Orama is the other main property owner with 80 ha enclosed within the predator proof fence. Glenfern has a QEII covenant over 67% of the total area and an extension of the QEII covenant is currently being pursued over part of the Orama/Leys and Winger properties.

Kotuku Peninsula Sanctuary showing land ownership and QEII covenanted areas

Glenfern  Sanctuary has achieved the following outcomes in the past 20 years, principally driven by the late Tony Bouzaid, his family and friends, and since, by on-site Sanctuary managers and the team of people that have donated many, many generous voluntary hours of work both on and off-site;

Overview 1994-present

(yearly accomplishments are detailed at the end of this document)

  • Intensive pest control network established over 18 years throughout 230 ha to reduce pest impact to native species, including building predator proof fence and rodent eradication.

  • 2 km of interpretative trail established, including extensive boardwalk, bridges, and suspension bridge and platform into a remnant Kauri Tree.

  • Creation of nurseries for propagation of locally collected native seeds.

  • Extensive re-vegetation and restoration of 200 ha of previously farmed, cleared land to native bush.

  • Monitoring of endangered and threatened species (eg. Black Petrel, Pateke, Chevron Skink).

  • Establishment of specific habitat for Pateke (Brown teal).

  • Reintroduction of North Island Robin and monitoring.

  • Annual monitoring of native bird populations, including Black Petrel.

  • Development of promotional material for increasing awareness of Great Barrier Islands’ uniqueness.

  • Provision of guided and self guided walks.

  • Involvement of local community (especially schools) and Hiliary Outdoors students in experiential environmental education.

  • Provision of onsite accommodation in historical cottage and house.

  • QEII covenant over 73% of Glenfern Sanctuary.

  • ‘Environmental Initiatives Award’ presented to Tony Bouzaid for contributions to private Conservation land.

  • International tourism award ‘The Society of American Travel Writers Phoenix award’ presented to the Sanctuary.

  • 2016 Glenfern Sanctuary purchased by Auckland Council together with funding from the Nature Heritage Foundation (DOC) and Foundation North.

  • 2017 new Glenfern Sanctuary Trust formed and commence management of the AC Regional Park

  • 2017 new Sanctuary Managers begin and re-vitalise Glenfern Sanctuary and Kotuku Peninsula pest management.

Community involvement, media profile, public perception.

Glenfern Sanctuary offers guided and unguided walks, including an presentation prior to the walk along the 2 km Glenfern Walk loop track. A second ‘memorial’ trail is under construction, which will enable further access and options for visitors. Our visitation includes the public (international, NZ and local visitors), organized group tours, and specialized conservation orientated school visits, including aligning courses with the Outdoor Pursuits Centre (located at Orama in Karaka Bay, immediately north of Kotuku Peninsula).


On-site accommodation is available in the self-contained historical Fitzroy House and Glenfern cottage, which accommodates six and 10 respectively. Both rental properties are heavily booked throughout the summer season and sporadically throughout the remainder of the year.


Yearly accomplishments


  • Built Pateke (threatened brown teal) pond

  • Built quad track along ridge line and into Glenfern gully

  • Established glasshouse and nurseries and began collecting and propagating native seeds collected from the property and surrounding catchments.

  • Targeted feral cats, trapping 17

  • Established native garden


  • Begun construction of large Pateke pond in upper paddock

  • Continuation of Glenfern Walk boardwalk and suspension bridge to Kauri tree

  • Continuation of planting and propagation


  • Planted a botanical walkway in the forest featuring the range of native trees growing on the island with descriptive plaques

  • Continuation of Glenfern Gully tracks, steps and boardwalk.

  • Completed and signed off suspension bridge to Kauri Tree.

  • Began planting 10,000 native trees which were propagated from local seed.


  • Established additional nursery area to contain trees propagated to date.

  • Continuation of restoration planting throughout Sanctuary

  • Completion of Glenfern Gully tracks, steps and boardwalk.


  • Continuation of restoration planting throughout Sanctuary.

  • Produced a video on damage done by cats to native fauna.


  • Name plaques on trees in native gully and Glenfern Walk.

  • Extended quad track to improve access for tree planting and restoration.

  • Continuation with feral cat control.


  • Completed handrails and boardwalk to specified engineering regulations.

  • Extended, and improved quad track to minimize erosions and improve access in wet weather.

  • Planted Pateke ponds with native species.

  • Rodent bait stations established along tracks and around houses.

  • Black Petrel pair discovered in tree along Glenfern Walk.


  • Installed a 100m x 50m grid of rat bait stations over Glenfern, which was expanded to a network of 517 rat bait stations and cat traps progressively over the peninsula from 2001 to 2004.

  • Re-vegetation of large Pateke pond.

  • Received the Environment Initiatives Award from the ARC and the Department of Conservation for contributions to the environment and promoting conservation on private land.


  • Monitoring of Black Petrel pair and banding of chick.

  • Partnered other conservation projects on the island and communicated nationally with others and with international agencies.

  • Extended rodent bait station network on Orama land.

  • Chevron Skink discovered in Glenfern Valley.

  • Bird count stations established.


  • Installed four tracking tunnel lines to improve information on rat density.

  • Bird counts, rat and cat control and planting/revegetation continued.

  • Chevron Skink t-shirts designed and produced.

  • Pigs targeted, as presenting a problem with erosion.

  • Glenfern Sanctuary brochure completed.


  • Extended rodent bait stations network into Kotuku Scenic Reserve.

  • Registered Glenfern Sanctuary as a Charitable Trust.

  • Established a QE II Open Space Covenant over 73% of the property.

  • Guided walk through Sanctuary promoted.


  • Reintroduced North Island robins to the peninsula in 2005, 2009 and 2012, after being extinct on the island for 140 years. Monitored the robins intensively including banding juveniles before fledging.

  • Black Petrel and bird counts continued.

  • Bird counts, rat and cat control and planting/revegetation continued.

  • Involved the local school children in the release of the robins and banding of the endangered black petrel chicks.

  • Designed and produced T shirts illustrating robins, kaka and chevron skink with the slogan “Saving our Species” to highlight the predicament of these endangered wildlife.

  • Promoted pest proof fence and begun seeking funding.


  • Built a 2.06 km pest proof fence and produced a DVD on the construction and reasons for the eradication of pests from the Kotuku Peninsula.

  • Ben Barr completed his study of chevron skinks in Glenfern Sanctuary compared to a control area outside the Sanctuary in Port FitzRoy .

  • Produced brochures on the robin project and the guided walk before and after the pest fence and promotion for funding the fence.

  • Produced a website for Glenfern Sanctuary with information on the fence as it was constructed and on the various endangered species within.

  • Published e-mail newsletters and articles promoting biodiversity enhancement


  • Installed a 50m x 50m grid of tracking tunnels across the 230ha peninsula for the identification of survivors and invaders after the eradication.

  • Eradicated all remaining pests (rabbits, rats, mice) with two aerial bait drops in 2009, implemented a Biosecurity Re-invasion Plan and started monitoring for survivors and invaders.

  • Built an Interpretive Display Centre for educating visitors on the history and operation of the Sanctuary and maintaining the Kotuku Peninsula as a pest free area.


  • Extended pest proof fence along Pt Fitzroy to assist with preventing rat invasions.

  • Continued rodent monitoring.


  • Changed the pest monitoring regime to a pulsed baiting/trapping network of over 1400 bait stations and tunnels and instigated ARC Gis to interpret and communicate our results

  • Tony Bouzaid dies unexpectedly. Property put on the market.

  • Completed the second Pateke pond and reintroduced orphaned ducks, which are now successfully breeding.


  • Introduced self guided tour to increase visitation to the Sanctuary.

  • Began establishing a second trail to extend public access within the Sanctuary.

  • Restoration of paddock to Kauri initiated liaising with OPC students in sustainability program.

  • Translocation of 25 North Island Robins to Sanctuary.

  • New website ( and quarterly newsletter produced.

  • Second brood of Pateke ducklings from orphaned ducklings that were released in 2011.

  • Fitzroy House available for rental to public

  • First season of Black and Cook Petrel monitoring program

  • Shearing shed converted into volunteer accommodation


  • Stage 1 of Pateke wetland restoration completed liaising with OPC students sustainability program.

  • Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund Rehabilitation Aviary constructed.

  • Second season of Black and Cooks Petrel monitoring program with increased burrows located and monitored.

  • Formation of Kotuku Peninsular Charitable Trust to ensure security and continuation of Kotuku Peninsula Sanctuary independent of Bouzaid property (supported by Kotuku Peninsula land owners)

  • Awarded an international tourism award - The Society of American Travel Writers Phoenix award.  

  • Kaka study liaison with Auckland University

  • Native bird study liaison with GBI environmental Trust


  • Stage 2 of Pateke wetland restoration completed liaising with OPC students sustainability program.

  • The Big Storm – ruins most of the stream section of Glenfern Walk, wipes out our access bridge to the property and causes general havoc in northern GBI

  • Internship established to enable up-skilling of graduates to improve transition to employment

  • Emma travels to Peru to advocate for Black Petrel

  • Kotuku Peninsula Environmental Plan being written to guide ongoing restoration and future directions of the Sanctuary.

  • Environmental Education curriculum created in conjunction with Outdoor Pursuits Centre for their new programs to be run partly within sanctuary

  • Love Birds tour and Aotea Health Garden Tour


  • Kotuku Peninsula Sanctuary Environmental Plan completed

  • Improved biosecurity approach, using peninsula wide tracking tunnels cards with follow up baiting

  • Trap minder trial established at Glenfern Sanctaury – remote sensing device for traps


  • Survival mode – skeleton operations maintained

  • Glenfern Sanctuary purchased by Auckland Council together with funding from the Nature Heritage Foundation (DOC) and Foundation North.


  • Glenfern Sanctuary Trust formed to manage Glenfern Sanctuary via a management agreement with Auckland Council.

  • Skeleton operations occurring to tide GS over whilst Trust establish and re-orient

  • Audit and beginnings of renewal of Sanctuary

  • QEII funding secured to engage Sanctuary Operations Managers

  • Chris and Sarah engaged as 1 FTE Sanctuary Operations Managers


  • Full biosecurity operation overhaul - all tracks and bait stations upgraded, instigation of traps in preference to baiting whenever possible

  • Pateke wetland stage 3 commenced and restoration projects revitalised

  • Cat dogs (Tui and Max) improving cat vigilance within the Sanctuary

  • Easter advocacy event, school groups and volunteers

  • Guided tours including night tours introduced

  • QEII trust annual general meeting hosted at GS

  • New website launched, new shoutouts/newsletters, new GS branding

  • Major upgrades to infrastructure begun

  • New systems implemented

  • Summer internship instated

  • Auckland Zoo grant secured to achieve Petrel monitoring

  • Econode system installed within Glenfern (remote sensing of cat traps)

A quick glance

Kotuku Peninsula includes; Auckland Council Regional Park property 80 ha (including 61ha under QEII covenant), Kotuku Point Scenic Reserve (~ 80 ha) owned by DOC and Orama, Leys and Wingers (~80 ha).

Pest proof fence 2 km installed 2008

Eradicated 2009 using helicopter spread brodifacoum

Threatened species include black petrels, cooks petrels, pateke, kaka, chevron skink