WAIRAKEI

From Golf Course to Golf Course & Sanc­tu­ary.

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - CONTENTS FEATURES -

As one of the most pop­u­lar cour­ses in New Zealand for both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors, the gen­eral lay­out of Wairakei re­mains true to the orig­i­nal de­sign, but over the last four decades there have been a num­ber of en­hance­ments to the golf course and ex­pe­ri­ence.

Lakes, wa­ter­falls and streams are some of the fea­tures that have been added over the years, com­ple­ment­ing the nat­u­ral beauty of the land­scape and test­ing the skill of play­ers.

Gary Lane, the course owner, wanted to en­hance the eco­log­i­cal habi­tats for the lo­cal wildlife. It was de­cided that a preda­tor proof fence was the only ef­fec­tive way to achieve that ob­jec­tive. Hence a mas­sive project to erect a 2-me­tre­high, 5.5km long bound­ary fence around the course, pre­vent­ing both climb­ing and bur­row­ing an­i­mals from en­ter­ing the prop­erty was un­der­taken.

To fur­ther en­hance the sanc­tu­ary habi­tats, in 2012 an agree­ment was es­tab­lished be­tween Wairakei Golf + Sanc­tu­ary and the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion to work co­op­er­a­tively to­gether to make the most of con­ser­va­tion and restora­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties within the sanc­tu­ary. That in­cludes us­ing the preda­tor free en­vi­ron­ment as a crèche for kiwi chicks, a safe place for them to "find their feet" and grow.

In March 2015, Wairakei wel­comed re­tired breed­ing takahē, Grant and Flot­sam, fol­lowed by Matariki and Hauhanga in the Au­gust. For the takahē, the Wairakei re­tire­ment op­por­tu­nity is an es­cape from com­pe­ti­tion while clear­ing vi­tal breed­ing space for younger takahē pairs on their pest­free home bases.

Late in 2015, Matariki and Hauhanga (un­ex­pect­edly) came out of re­tire­ment to pro­duce Wairakei's first takahē chick, Sammy. Sammy is a very spe­cial chick; es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing there are only 280 takahē left in New Zealand.

As well as the takahē chick, five kārearea (New Zealand fal­con) chicks have been raised within the

Tui and takahe at Wairakei In­ter­na­tional Golf Course and Sanc­tu­ary.

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