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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.

Karikaas award winning cheeses feature braided river birds on their packaging and donate a percentage of sales revenue to local river care group, ARRG.

The Braided River Partnerships Project (BRPP) is working with commercial and recreational river users who, through their normal daily operations, can help reverse habitat decline through a wide range of strategies. Please contact us (  or ph: 0226378931) to discuss the ways you may be able to assist and how your business can benefit from this project. You can also download the PDF: Braided Rivers Partnership Project  or read on…

Project Goal

To halt the decline in braided river bird species by helping those 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.

How your business can gain environmental accreditation
BRaid accreditation levels

Tourism operators can benefit by introducing value-added components to your business (see two of our partners, Amuri Jet and Wilkin Jets). 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 in other countries.

Farms, irrigation companies, gravel extractors can enhance braided river bird habitats through a slight change in operations, often at little or no short-term economic cost to your business (see the video below).

Other businesses (see Karikaas for example) can assist by raising awareness of the birds and/or donating funds to support local river care groups.

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).

Meet some of our partners:

  • Amuri Jet, Bronze Accredited partner checks traps around a colony of black-fronted terns nesting on the Waiau River, where they take their clients, and actively assists with annual river bird surveys through their jetboat business. They have also started a Wilderness Safari that includes taking clients to see black-billed gull and and black-fronted tern colonies (when present).
  • Wilkin Jets, Bronze Accredited partner with Aspiring Biodiversity Trust which traps along the Makarora River bordering Mt Aspiring National Park
  • Karikaas Dairy package their gold and silver medal award-winning cheeses in beautiful ‘braided river bird’ boxes. Six different cheeses feature information and images of different braided river birds. A collectable fridge magnet is included in each box, and a percentage of sales is donated to the Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group to help protect the birds along the river.
  • Craigmore Station, Bronze Accredited partner protecting a colony of critically endangered black-billed gulls
  • Fulton Hogan, Bronze Accredited partner, for work to create habitats on the Orari River (see video)
  • Taggarts, Silver Accredited partner, for several years working with the Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group to clear weeds and create habitats
  • Trustpower, Bronze Accredited partner 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
  • Waikuku dairy farm, Bronze Accredited partner 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
  • Clarence River Rafting involved their guests in bird counts on the 5-day rafting trips down the Clarence 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 River

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, gravel extractors, landowners, 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.

This Project was 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 (video showing Fulton Hogan’s work clearing weeds from islands)
  • 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.