Mahakirau Forest Estate is located in remote native forest on the crest of the Coromandel ranges. Over 94% of the 600 ha Estate is protected by QEII National Trust Open Space Covenants, and for almost 20 years the owners have been undertaking conservation work to restore the natural environment and protect several of New Zealand’s most endangered species.
Two years ago the Mahakirau Forest Estate Society Incorporated started the journey to build a Field Base | Community Hub to provide a place where children can discover our natural wonders; where scientists can undertake research and volunteers can learn about best practice predator control techniques.
EcoPod Concepts were approached to supply the Community Hub for the project for which they designed a solution to suit their needs. The Pod will be fully off-grid and includes a composting toilet, shower and kitchen, using natural interior linings and heat recovery ventilation. Seeing this as an opportunity to support the health and restoration of our environment, EcoPods offered to sponsor the project to the tune of several thousand dollars. The project is a fantastic showcase of the ethos of EcoPods, creating quality transportable building solutions designed and built to be environmentally responsible.
Several other suppliers joined EcoPod in generously supporting the project including Whitianga-based Good Energy on the Solar System, Project Floors on organic flooring, StopDigging for screwpile foundations and The Heating Company for the heat recovery ventilation units and heater. Major funders of this community project include NZ Lotteries Commission, QEII National Trust, Trust Waikato, Waikato Regional Council and Pub Charity Limited, as well as many private donors and even the proceeds from the local early learning centre bake stall.
“This project is truly significant in that it is located in a highly rated ecological area in the Waikato region. Given this environment, a minimal ecological footprint and a light touch on the earth was required. We’re delighted to have found a partner in EcoPod who shared our passion for the project, demonstrated an ability to adapt to our needs, and had a strong environmental philosophy. We’re deeply grateful for their generous support.”
Tim Hooson | Mahakirau Forest Estate Society Incorporated | Project Leader.
The Mahakirau Forest Estate Society are seeking further funds to get equipment and resources for volunteers, such as predator traps, monitoring and tracking instruments, storage containers and decking. They’re just over $6,000 away, and if you’d like to help support conservation in Waikato, just search ‘Mahakirau’ on the GiveALittle website to donate. The EcoPod is due to be installed on Oct 5th with a deck and solar panels to follow.
Image Credit: Sara Smerdon