top of page
Okarito Native Plants Trust Logo
Great White Heron Feeding At Okarito Lagoon

Ōkārito Plant Project

Grasping the mission of the Ōkārito Plant Project begins with recognising the intrinsic interconnectedness of our natural world. Located in South Westland, New Zealand, our work unfolds at various intersections between the Southern Alps' snowfields and the complex network of waterways flowing into the Ōkārito Lagoon.

Inspired by the Ōkārito Lagoon's susceptibility to pollution combined with a surplus of plant inventory at the Ōkārito Nursery, this innovative circular economy project was born and is made up of four key pillars; businesses, visitors to the area, landowners and the community. It is so much more than just a donation-based initiative and offers multiple channels in which all can get involved and benefit. Planting projects, hand-picked by our specialist team offer businesses a chance to contribute both physically (getting their hands dirty out in the field) and financially to environmental restoration efforts. Our focus is on enabling communities to rejuvenate and protect their natural ecosystems for future generations. We endeavor to restore and purify waterways, wetlands and forests, enhancing biodiversity and promoting wildlife prosperity along the way.  This project embodies the principle that everything in nature is interlinked, and it's vital to preserve these connections from their source to the sea, mirroring the interconnectedness of all parties involved in this vital conservation effort.

Restoring natural habitat for our future. 

Okarito Plant Project Logo

Latest Plant Project News

Circular Model

  • Businesses can become corporate members of the project and reap benefits by attracting visitors and tourists who are interested in immersive experiences and are committed to supporting businesses that are actively contributing to the enhancement of biodiversity and sustainable tourism. In turn, these businesses not only enrich the visitor experience and help to build awareness of the vital need to work towards a sustainable future but also assist landowners in improving biodiversity and water quality by making financial contributions and providing volunteer labor for planting activities. This collaborative effort fosters stronger connections among various community sectors, creating a more integrated and sustainable environment.

    Learn More

  • Landowners reap substantial benefits by partnering with our project, such as increased biodiversity on their waterways leading to healthier lands, an advantage further enhanced by receiving the koha of plants from our nursery, labor, and expert advice with planting plan consultation from our team and New Zealand Landcare Trust. Some landowners purely wish to establish an area of land to be untouched and preserved for wildlife. This collaboration not only strengthens landowners' connection with the tourism sector and partner businesses but also boosts community integration. Landowners contribute to the community by creating quality habitats for bird life and native species to flourish on their properties - a significant community boon. Additionally, they offer practical learning spaces for volunteers, students, and community members, fostering an environment of hands-on education and engagement.

    Learn More

  • Visitors to the area can gain gratifying, educational and enriching experiences by engaging with the local tourism businesses that are official members of the project.   Each member business integrates learning about the significance of the plant project and its contribution to regenerative tourism into its product/service. Visitors have the opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the West Coast simply by supporting local and member businesses, boosting the local economy and fostering more plantings, as these businesses leverage visitor contributions to coordinate volunteer efforts and time.

    Learn More

  • Communities prosper through the restoration of the natural environment that surrounds them. The project acts as an enlightening tool, fostering increased community awareness about the critical need for regenerative tourism, which in turn promotes sustainable practices and businesses. This further enhances biodiversity, subsequently nurturing stronger ties among diverse community sectors. Visitors are presented with opportunities to gain a more profound understanding of how communities can effectively work together at all levels, thus facilitating a sustainable tourism framework that benefits all. The cycle continues, reverting these benefits back to businesses, landowners, and beyond, thereby creating a perpetual cycle of sustainability and expansion.

    Learn More

Circular Economy Model Conservation Project Showcasing Landowners Businesses Community And Visitors And How They Constantly Flow

How To Get Involved