TREASURES OF KAPITI
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.