Orokonui Ecosanctuary

Orokonui Ecosactuary – Te Korowai o Mihiwaka is a community-led, not-for-profit conservation project near Dunedin in the lower part of the South Island of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

We manage 307 hectares of Coastal Otago forest, which thanks to a 9km predator fence is free of introduced mammalian predators allowing native wildlife to thrive. Pests have been removed, habitat enhanced with weed control and planting, and many rare and endangered species re-introduced. Find out more about the species that call Orokonui home.

Our vision: A healthy, self-sustaining ecosystem, free of all introduced mammals and comprising indigenous species that are appropriate to the Orokonui forest, where people can enjoy a peaceful encounter with nature, and from which they may take recreation, refreshment, new knowledge, new skills and a new commitment to conservation.

The Orokonui valley lies under the kaitiakitaka/gaurdianship of our local rūnaka, Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki. The rūnaka are engaged with the conservation of wildlife at Orokonui, especially for taoka species.

Orokonui is a local Kāi Tahu name, referencing a peaceful planting phase of the moon (Orongonui). The Orokonui awa/stream runs through the valley to Blueskin Bay in Waitati.

Our gifted name ‘Te Korowai o Mihiwaka’ (The Sacred Cloak of Mihiwaka) speaks to the sloping forest-covered mountain forming one side of the valley.

Our second mountain, Māpounui, is identified by its flat basalt top. Together these mauka cradle incoming mist, providing moisture and life to the native cloud forest. Mauri ora!

Donate to support Orokonui Ecosanctuary in our work to help wildlife, the forest, and our future thrive.

Our People

Orokonui employs around 20 staff (10FTEs) including conservation rangers, guides, education assistants and café workers. Staff are complemented by a strong team of volunteers who contribute more than 12,000 hours per year.

Otago Natural History Trust

  • Allie Cunninghame – Chair
  • Geoff Plunket – Treasurer
  • Lyn Carter – Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki
  • Yolanda van Heezik
  • Georgina Pickerell
  • Deb Wilson
  • John Barkla
  • Alison Cunningham

Orokonui Ecosanctuary Ltd

  • Alister Robinson – Chair
  • Geoff Plunket – Treasurer
  • James Nation
  • Cheryl Adams
  • Kent Calmers
  • Alison Cunningham
  • Allie Cunninghame

Orokonui Foundation

  • Sir Julian Smith
  • Geoff Plunket
  • Grant McKenzie
  • Allie Cunninghame