Rarakau Programme – New Zealand // GO BACK

The first rainforest carbon project in New Zealand- Protecting 738 ha of Māori-owned indigenous rainforest

Adjacent to Fiordland National Park, this wet rainforest has a silver beech canopy, intermixed with miro and tōtara. By creating and selling carbon credits instead of timber, the Māori orgisation can manage their indigenous forests for conservation and cultural purposes.

Actively Contributes To

Climate Change Goals icon

Life on Land Goals icon


“The Land”, as the descendants call it, is owned by the Rowallan-Alton Incorporation (comprised of Maori decedents of the region) and is loated in Te Waewae Bay on the coast between the Wairarakau (Rowallan Burn) and the Waikouau Rivers. These landowners hope to interact with their environment in the ways that their ancestors did before the “first contact” in New Zealand.


“A goal of the management and shareholders of the Rowallan-Alton Incorporation is to develop a sustainable revenue stream from our indigenous forest resource. We want to use these revenues to enhance the quality and diversity of the forest by ongoing pest management, so that we, and our as yet unborn mokopuna can forever enjoy the sounds of the Tui, the Kaka, the Kiwi and maybe even the Kakapo. A further goal is to demonstrate by example, responsible sustainable management of “The Land” passed down to us by our ancestors who, through the actions of the Crown, found themselves recorded forever as the Landless Natives of the South Island.”
Ken McAnergney, May 2008. (Weaver et al 2008:7).


In 2007, Ekos reached out to the community to help them achieve this goal and change forest land-use from logging to ecosystem-protection. With further support from the Carbon Partnership and Ministry for Māori Development, this has been made possible through the creation of Plan Vivo carbon credits. Overall, this has created the first rainforest carbon project in New Zealand.


The Rarakau landowners will apply sustainable land management excellence, running high quality cattle grazing land alongside high quality protected rainforest. Through this, they hope to:

1. Remove CO2 from the atmosphere,
Enhance development of the Maori culture,
3. Improve biodiversity conservation.


Western Southland, New Zealand

Operational Since:


Project Coordinators:

Carbon Partnership

PVCs Issued to date:


Area of Land under Management:

738 ha


500 households

Project Interventions:

  • Improved Forest Management

2018: Validation and Verification
2019: Registration

Coordinator Details:

Visit Carbon Partnership Website
Contact Carbon Partnership

Further Programme Details:

Visit the Rarakau Programme Profile
Visit Ekos Website (the Programme Operator)

Project Location

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June 2019 | Congratulations to the Rarakau project for becoming the latest Plan Vivo Registered project! We hope that, through the provision of Plan Vivo Certificates, we can help the Maori community protect their environment and ancient culture. You can view their first annual report here