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Partnerships Project

Together we can help some of the most endangered birds in New Zealand.


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Seen a flock of ‘whitish’ birds nesting in a river, on a property, or near irrigation ponds (Aug-Feb)? Please email or call or text 02 26378931.


Globally, there is an increasing demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly products. Businesses that can meet this demand have a competitive market edge. Hence, gaining accreditation for environmental stewardship is simply good business.

The Braided River Partnerships Project (BRPP) is working with commercial and recreational river users who, through their normal operations, can help reverse habitat decline through a range of strategies tailored to suit their situation.Your involvement can be as little as reporting the presence of braided river birds during the breeding season, to, with technical and material support, creating and managing an area where rare and endangered colony birds nest, such as on this Waikuku Beach dairy farm:

If you would like to know more about how your business can benefit from this project,  download the PDF: Braided Rivers Partnership Project or read on: goingone


To halt the decline in braided river bird species by enabling stakeholders, whose interests and activities involve braided rivers, to assist in their protection.

Braided rivers are the only ecosystem in the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) to have its own set of targets. One of these targets is to implement actions to correct the decline in usable braided river bird habitats.
Commercial operators include but are not limited to:

    • Tourism, such as jetboat, kayak and rafting operators, offroad, eco, and adventure tourism operators, fishing & hunting guides, farmstays & wilderness lodges
    • Irrigation companies/co-operatives
    • Gravel extractors
    • Farms

How your business can gain environmental accreditationBRaid accreditation levels

Farms, irrigation companies, gravel extractors
You can enhance braided river bird habitats through a slight change in operations, often at little or no short-term economic cost to your business. Through the Braided Rivers Partnership Project, we can assist by offering technical expertise and material support. We can also offer accreditation that, where applicable, will help your business to meet environmental and biodiversity components in your existing or planned Environmental Management System (EMS).

For farmers, this project will help tick some of the biodiversity requirements in farm management plans (see the Canterbury Land & Water Regional Plan).

You can benefit by introducing value-added components to your business. Aligning with the ‘100% Pure’ marketing brand, we can provide marketing materials and strategies to promote the unique nature of New Zealand braided rivers, the birds and their cultural significance as taongo species, what your business is doing to help these rare and endangered species, and how your clients might also help. Involving customers in your conservation efforts, even at a very basic level such as counting birds, has proven to be a very effective marketing strategy.

Meet some of our partners:

  • Clarence River Rafting is involving their guests in bird counts on the 5-day rafting trips down the Clarence River.
  • Amuri Jet is checking traps around a colony of black-fronted terns nesting on the Waiau River, where they take their clients
  • A Waikuku dairy farm has played host to a very successful breeding colony of the world’s most endangered gull (see video at the top of this page).
  • Christchurch International Airport is working to control highly predatory black-blacked gulls and sponsors helicopter bird surveys on the lower Waimakariri River.
  • Members of Jetboating NZ are helping with the monitoring of 3 black-fronted tern colonies (70 nests) and predators on 15 islands in the Lower Waitaki.
  • Trustpower is clearing weeds on the Harper River Delta (photo below), trapping, and putting up signs to educate the public about the presence of rare and endangered river birds.

BRaid offers different levels of accreditation to organisations and commercial operators according to their level of participation. We aim to work with Tourism NZ to align our accreditation system with elements of the Qualmark Green awards.

Simple ways you can help

One of the biggest problem facing braided river birds as that there simply aren’t enough eyes on the ground to locate colony nesting sites on braided river beds during the breeding season (August-February). If we know where the birds are, we can develop strategies to help protect them. This is where you come in. Jet-boaters, canoeists, rafters, hunters, trampers, walkers, campers, and all use braided rivers. Our goal is to create a network of observers across the South Island and where possible, gain access to nesting colony birds in hard to reach places. How you can help will depend on your individual or organisational resources.


The BRPP is being rolled out in stages according to the different levels of interest and involvement of participants.

  • Stage 1: Identify commercial and recreational braided river users who may be interested in participating  (underway, please contact us if you are interested)
  • Stage 2: Introductory meetings to explain the project in detail (ongoing)
  • Stage 3: Provide resources (see below) to report bird sightings
  • Stage 4: Provide resources (see below) to actively help protect nesting colony birds using a toolkit of resources and strategies tailored to each circumstance


Developed with assistance from DOC’s Braided River Technical Group and ECan biodiversity (in Canterbury) in conjunction with each partner (business, organisation, or individual) to suit their operations and level of involvement. Available on a case-by-case basis as needed, these include tools and resources for:

  • Habitat improvement (weed control, island creation) in and around breeding sites
  • Predator trapping (plans, training, and the loan of DOC 200 and Timms traps)
  • Minimising human disturbance through signage and controlling access
  • Monitoring results
  • Raising broader community awareness and buy-in through
    • Education and marketing strategies (including website and social media)
    • Educational and promotional materials
    • Material to ensure the sustainability of the Project through sponsorships, donations, and ‘adopt-a-bird’ programmes

(Braided River Birds Part 2 is available here)

BRaid would like to thank the Department of Conservation  Community Conservation Partnership Fund and the Department of Internal Affairs Lottery Grants: Environment and Heritage for funding this Project


If you are interested in becoming involved in this Project, or would like more details, please contact or phone 0226378931.

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