Matiu / Somes Island  - An Unusual and Unique Location for a Pinehaven Shed

 Matiu /Somes Island sits in the middle of Wellington Harbour. Its isolated location has contributed to a range of uniqueness over the last two hundred years.

In its long history it has been the home of local iwi and in the last century been used as a quarantine for new immigrants, an internment camp for Japanese prisoners of War in WW2 and then until recent times,as a stock quarantine station.

Local Iwi now own Matiu /Somes Island. Its isolation lends itself ideally to the protection of native flora and fauna as the exclusion of predators such as rats, stoats and ferrets can be easily managed. The Matui -Somes trust has embarked on a special project to reintroduce the 'Fluttering Shear Water" sea bird to the Island.

In late 2011 Pinehaven supplied a special 2.7m x 2.8m  "Dunstan" Shed clad in "shadow clad". This was to blend into the natural environment and to withstand the harsh conditions especially the southerly storms that can whip up the whitecaps and become a howling gale in Wellington Harbour.

The trust is delighted with their Pinehaven shed that has been used to hand feed the 80 chicks that were brought to the island from the Marlborough Sounds in early January.

Nearly all have have now successfully fledged to the warm coastal waters of South Australia.

Mike Rumble of the Trust says that he expects about 30% of the birds to return from Australia,  to their nests on Matui-Somes in three years time to begin the life cycle all over again.

In all this time away the birds will stay at sea, another 160 chicks will be brought to the Island in january 2013 and 2014.

The trust hopes to see the birds return to their nests on the Island and thereafter the trust has high hopes that the Fluttering Shear Water  will be self sustaining on the Island as they may have been two hundred years ago.

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