Vacations & Travel - - Global Village - Kapi­ti­is­

Rugged Kapiti Is­land, north­west of Welling­ton, New Zealand, was once the strong­hold of fear­some Ma¯ ori chief Te Rau­paraha, who launched raids into the mid­dle part of New Zealand in the 1820s. Later, whalers based them­selves there, but since 1897 Kapiti Is­land has been des­ig­nated by the govern­ment as a wildlife sanc­tu­ary. Lo­cal tan­gata whenua (Ma¯ ori peo­ple of the land), con­tinue to own a small piece of the is­land and to­day they wel­come tourists, serv­ing as kaiti­aki (guardians) of the land and its taonga (trea­sures). In 2009, Kapiti Is­land Na­ture Tours and Kaiti­aki o Kapiti Trust sup­ported the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion’s stoat erad­i­ca­tion pro­gram to re­turn Kapiti Is­land to its for­mer preda­tor-free sta­tus. The Kapiti Marine Re­serve links the Kapiti Is­land Na­ture Re­serve and the Waikanae Es­tu­ary Sci­en­tific Re­serve on the main­land. Vis­i­tors to Kapiti Is­land can take a day tour or stay overnight in the lodge and go kiwi spot­ting.

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