Natural Environment


Our Situation

Koputai Peat Dome

In 2017/18 native vegetation made up 11.8% (20,786 ha) of the Matamata-Piako District, of which 19,475 ha is held within the Department of Conservation Estate. Council owns and manages around 12.6 hectares. The largest area of Council-owned and fenced reserve is Hawes Bush, which has an area of 2.2 hectares.

Within Matamata-Piako, the Kaimai Forest Park makes up an area of 14,670 hectares, and the Kopuatai Peat Dome an area of 5,313 hectares (approximately one third of the Dome is within Matamata-Piako). There are 5911 hectares of peat soil in the district. The Te Tapui Reserve comprises 2370 hectares. There are 338 hectares within Matamata-Piako that are protected by covenants from the Queen Elizabeth II Trust.

Activities within the Kaitaiki Zone

A small number of resource consents are applied for to carry out activities within the Kaitiaki (Conservation) Zone each year. This shows development is generally occurring in conjunction with existing land use, facilities and zoning, rather than in areas with conservation values.

There were three resource consents granted in 2017/18 for activities in the Kaitiaki Zone: these were for the construction of a weir on the Piako River, the construction of a back country hut and vegetation clearing and for road embankment earthworks. There were 6 consents granted in 2016/17 for activities in the Kaitiaki Zone. Two related to the harvesting of plantation forestry and two others related to earthworks near, and the construction of a jetty on, Lake Karapiro. There were 3 consents granted in 2015/16 for activities in the Kaitiaki Zone. These were for the construction of a dwelling, the extension of the Hauraki Rail Trail and assorted work including channel excavation and remediation work on the Tui mine site.


Resource Consents granted in the Kaitiaki Zone 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 17/18
Number of consents 1 0 1 5 4 1 0 3 6 3


Protection of Natural Resources

In the 2005 Operative District Plan, Council listed outcomes they wished to achieve relating to protecting and enhancing the natural resources within the district. Significant steps have already been taken towards meeting these outcomes.

In 2012/13 two subdivision consents were granted with conditions requiring the protection in perpetuity of areas of native vegetation, amounting to an area of 8,200m². There were no similar consents granted in 2013/14. There were two consents granted in 2014/15. Both had conditions requiring effluent systems to have specific engineering designs. No consents have been granted since.

In 2006 Council worked with an ecologist to determine significant native vegetation. 667 units of habitat totaling 3,111 hectares were surveyed, resulting in 23% of this area (721 hectares) being considered significant. Of the total area surveyed, 78% was determined to be indigenous (predominantly native species), 20% exotic (mainly non-native species) and 2% was not determined. These significant features include native indigenous vegetation, such as native tree stands, areas of bush and wetlands. Native fauna also exist in significant areas.

 There are a number of rare or threatened species that are still considered to be living within the district. These include:


Threatened Species


Where you might see them


North Island Brown Kiwi

North Island Kokako

NZ Falcon


Australasian Bittern

Branded Rail

Marsh Crake

North Island Fern Bird

Kaimai/Mamaku Ranges



Kopuatai Peat Dome




Striped Skink

Kaimai/Mamaku Ranges

Hochsetters Frog

Kaimai/Mamaku Ranges

Both Short and long tailed bat

Kaimai/Mamaku Ranges

Giant Kokopu

Banded Kokopu

Black Mudfish

Kaimai/Mamaku Ranges

Kopuatai Peat Dome


Te Aroha Stag Beetle

Kaimai/Mamaku Ranges

Stout Milfoil

Scarlet Mistletoe

Red Mistletoe

King Fern

Kaimai/Mamaku Ranges


Kopuatai Peat Dome

Giant Wire Rush

Kopuatai Peat Dome

These rare or threatened species are present in the above locations, but may also be present in other, smaller, areas in our district.