Project Crimson supports groups and individuals throughout New Zealand who aspire to create a long-term benefit to their local community through conservation projects involving eco-sourced pohutukawa and northern or southern rata trees.  

Project Crimson identifies areas throughout New Zealand that have a high need for restoration, and engages local champions to assist us on the ground with revegetation of eco-sourced native trees.  If you have a project you think we may be interested in, that features pohutukawa or rata, please email our Conservation Manager,

48 groups received assistance from Project Crimson in 2015 as part of our Community Restoration Programme. These groups received pohutukawa, northern or southern rata and/or assistance for possum control or site maintenance.  Here's just a few of the great projects we have been able to support.  

Moturata Island and the Moturata Tairei Whanau group

30 years ago severe erosion threatened Moturata Island’s existence. Led by Martin Palmer and his daughter Robyn Ashton (pictured) the Moturata Tairei Whanau group was formed and a soil restoration project was born. With the aim of seeing rata bloom once again on the island, local school children, whanau members, Taieri locals and visitors have all lent a hand to this project. Project Crimson has helped with the yearly provision of southern rata to be planted in the area and progress has been fantastic. Another 50 will be planted this year following our 2015 Community Restoration Programme.

Rimutaka Forest Park Charitable Trust

Replacing previously-felled pines with 350 eco-sourced native northern rata in the Catchpool Valley,Rimutaka Forest Park. The aim is to create a spectacular natural wildnerness impression at the entrance to the park for the 70,000+ local and overseas visitors. Vision: “A thriving forest eco-system rich in indigenous species which can be enjoyed by the wider community”. Working alongside many community conservation groups and additional expertise is received from Greater Wellington Regional Council, Landcare Research, and Victoria and Massey Universities. Hundreds of corporate and community volunteers, and local school children have participated in planting so far in the area.

Wakatipu Reforestation Trust

Wakatipu Reforestation Trust volunteers in action

Committed to restoring and showcasing some of the special native plant communities that once flourished in the Wakatipu Basin, the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust manages the Jean Malpas Community Nursery which grows and propagates native plants and makes them available for local restoration projects. The nursery is a great resource for the local community, providing eco-sourced native species to replace weed species and restoration projects on public land such as the Kelvin Peninsula, Lake Hayes and Whitechapel Reserve and also on DoC Project Gold sites (27 local sites). It is on the Kelvin Peninsula where Project Crimson has also worked with Wakatipu Reforestation Trust to restore southern rata species, with annual planting days with Project Crimson’s local sponsor, Rata Dining.

Bushy Park Trust

Bushy Park, with its 90ha rain forest, has possibly one of the best examples of a New Zealand rata forest, containing significant presence of northern rata. It’s home to the impressive “Ratanui” a 43m high, 12m round tree, believed to be the country’s largest rata. This year, funding from Project Crimson will enable Bushy Park Trust to improve the visitor experience by upgrading the main walking tracks and public viewing areas to Ratanui. The Trust also intends to collect seed from some of their northern ratas and then grow potted rata trees for sale to the public, providing an income for Bushy Park whilst increasing awareness about rata. 

Stewart Island/Rakiura Community Environment Trust (SIRCET)

SIRCET's shadehouse

A nursery located on Stewart Island that has received ongoing support from Project Crimson for a number of years. Committed to keeping the smallest of NZ’s major islands beautiful, SIRCET grows and propagates native plants and makes them available for local various restoration projects. In 2013-14, SIRCET produced 2435 plants (including southern rata) as a result of the hard work of volunteers and SIRCET staff.

Rakino Island Pohutukawa Group

In conjunction with the Rakino Ratepayers Association, the aim is to revegetate and restore the areas surrounding Rakino Island. Local community members have been involved with this project since its inception and the improvement in the area has been significant already.

Plantscape Hokianga

Plantscape Hokianga's Norma Lyon and Marcel Pouly at Project Crimson's 25 year anniversary celebration with the Governor General

Another long time nursery partner supported by Project Crimson. For 26 years Plantscape has been providing plants from locally sown seed for individual, school and community projects. Re-establishing the presence of pohutukawa in the region has been at the forefront of efforts recently, with many local community volunteers pitching in to plant the trees. Opononi Lions Club and Hokianga schools have played a crucial role.