Matuku Moana

Matuku Moana Eco-Village is a nature reserve and eco village development planned for Pukehina.

The concept - transforming and repurposing beachside Pukehina farmland into wetlands and reserves alongside sustainable homes - is expected to deliver 350 acres of natural wetlands and 139 energy-efficient eco homes to the Bay of Plenty.

So why build a nature reserve within a housing development? “The development will restore historic wetlands in Pukehina,” says Matuku Moana Project Environmental and Cultural Manager, Buddy Mikaere.

“In our proposal, every home will be offset with one hectare of wetlands, which act as a natural filter and help clean run-off water from local properties.”

Wetlands also provide a natural habitat for native flora, fauna and birds. The Bay of Plenty region has lost an estimated 97 per cent of its fresh water wetlands, which is more than the national average of 90 per cent. Some 100 years ago, the Pukehina site was a wetland and flourishing natural habitat for wildlife. The intention is to return the ecological values to the land which have been lost through draining and other farming activities over this time.

It is also intended to restore the original landscape values by way of a significant planting and weed eradication regime.

“This project is essentially about reinstating the land to its former glory, how nature intended it to be,” says Buddy.

“Matuku Moana is a chance to prototype a world class sustainable model for housing developments; the Bay of Plenty will be able to hero this project as the gold standard for future developments in New Zealand and around the world.”

The 139-home eco village will incorporate the latest green technology. Each home in Matuku Moana will be energy efficient - complete with solar energy, solar hot water and water tanks to recycle grey water.

They will also use the world’s most advanced sewerage recycling and disposal system similar to that recently adopted in both the Rotorua Lakes and Lake Taupo catchments. These standards require a significantly higher standard of wastewater treatment given the need to “clean up” the catchments.

These standards do not apply to this land, however the project wants to adopt them as they sit well with the eco-village concept and sustainability.

Maori heritage and culture will be incorporated into the design elements of the development.

Not only are local Iwi being engaged from the outset, but the concept of Kaitiakitanga (guardianship of the land) will be woven into the fabric of the development with local Iwi set to play a role in the governance of the restored land.

If the project gets council approval, the plan will be for the wetland to be managed by a trust set up by Property Seven in partnership with Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tangata Whenua and Fish and Game.

Managed by Fish and Game, under the guidance of the trust, it is intended that parts of the new wetland areas will be available for use by the public for a wide range of recreational activities.

More information on this unique development can be found at:  www.matukumoana.co.nz