The first rainforest carbon project in New Zealand - Protecting 738 ha of Māori-owned indigenous rainforest, allowing the indigenous Māori to keep it for conservation and cultural purposes.



Benefits that Rarakau provides



Start date 2013
Certified beneath PV Climate Version 4
Coordinator Ekos
Activities Improved land management
Participants 500 indigenous households
PVCs issued to-date 16,589



The detail

This project was developed between 2008 and 2013 by Carbon Partnership Ltd and Ekos, with funding from Te Puni Kōkiri (Ministry for Māori Development) and Carbon Partnership.

“The Land”, as the descendants call it, is owned by the Rowallan-Alton Incorporation (comprised of Maori decedents of the region) and is located 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,
  2. Enhance development of the Maori culture,
  3. Improve biodiversity conservation.


The documents




See all documents





SDG details

See how the project provides benefits beyond carbon and contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Sustainable Development Goal How the project contributes
  • Parts of the forest had been logged in the past, and some of the flat terrace land was cleared for farming. The forest is now protected by a conservation covenant. It is supplying New Zealand's first (and so far only) carbon offsets from tall indigenous rainforest. The project produces 2,734 tCO2 carbon offsets annually.
  • The project protects over 738 ha of Māori owned tall indigenous rainforest, in western Southland, New Zealand. This helps preserve the high biodiversity of fauna and flora that the forest supports.