Celebrating five years of Fulton Hogan supporting takahē recovery

Department of Conservation —  16/04/2021

The Takahē Recovery Programme involves DOC’s dedicated Takahē Team and Ngāi Tahu working with a network of people around New Zealand to ensure the takahē is never again considered extinct. A key member of that network is Fulton Hogan, DOC’s national partner in takahē recovery. Having worked side by side for almost five years, we take a moment to reflect on our top five favourite moments with our national partner!

1) Partnership launch in 2016!

The Fulton Hogan partnership with the Takahē Recovery Programme was officially launched on 5 July 2016 at Burwood Takahē Centre. Fulton Hogan’s $1 million dollar investment over 5 years enabled the Takahē Recovery Programme to build on work to date to secure the takahē from extinction, including  re-establishing wild populations in South Island. And, of course, we have had some fun together along the way…

Through the partnership with Fulton Hogan, the team has achieved multiple milestones, and can now rapidly forge a pathway towards the ultimate recovery goal of self-sustaining wild populations.

When asked about his experience of the partnership with Fulton Hogan, Department of Conservation Takahē Senior Ranger Glen Greaves noted, “Fulton Hogan has been a perfect fit with the programme and our team. They are a very genuine partner; they are in it for the conservation outcomes.” And the rest of us couldn’t agree more!

“The more we learnt about the Takahē Recovery Programme and worked together with DOC and Ngāi Tahu, the more we realised we had a shared interest in a sustainable and multi-generational future for New Zealand,” says Bob Fulton.

“This is a great opportunity for our people to help save a precious New Zealand species. Fulton Hogan takes a long-term outlook and is delighted to be helping preserve New Zealand’s natural heritage. We see this as an excellent example of industry working with iwi and government to deliver a world class conservation project.”

Read more about the launch on Newshub.

Partnership launch at Burwood Takahē Centre. Left to right: Robert Jones (then CEO, Fulton Hogan NZ), Jason van de Wetering (Takahē Ranger, DOC), Lou Sanson (Director General, DOC)

2) Kahurangi Takahē translocation in 2018

Takahē were reintroduced into the Kahurangi National Park for the first time in over 100 years in March 2018. This signalled the culmination of years of work by the Takahē Recovery Team, and a huge collaborative effort from the wider recovery network.

The Fulton Hogan partnership enabled the Takahē Team to continue their feasibility studies of Gouland Downs in the Kahurangi National Park. Fulton Hogan staff accompanied the 18 takahē to release them into their new wild habitat.

3) Chick Naming

Naming takahē chicks is a tough job, and Fulton Hogan staff are always up to the challenge!

Ted Bennett – photo courtesy
of Hilary de Boer

One of our favourite stories was the naming of Scoop. It turns out that the Southland journalist who covered the story of the rediscovery of takahē back in 1948 was the father of a Fulton Hogan staff member! The journalist’s nick name was Scoop, and he filed the story late one day, unbekonwn to him that it would make international news! Scoop the takahē now shares this special name.

Bennett’s naming is another story we love. The father of a Fulton Hogan staff member spent a lot of time in Fiordland on expeditions with Geoffrey Orbell (known for the rediscovery of the takahē in 1948). He was with Orbell two weeks after they discovered takahē in 1948!

We love learning about these connections between Fulton Hogan staff and the history of takahē conservation!

Scoop hanging at Gouland Hut. Photo: Jason van de Wetering

4) Volunteering

Fulton Hogan staff from across New Zealand have rolled up their sleeves to support takahē. From volunteering days at sanctuary sites to fix enclosures and replanting native plants, to sharing their expertise in engineering competitions, Fulton Hogan staff are always willing to pitch in and lighten the load!

Fulton Hogan volunteer crew constructing takahē capture pen at Tāwharanui.  Credit Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary
Fulton Hogan and DOC at the Murchison Mountain Release November 2018. Photo: Anna Clare

5) Family Days Out

Fulton Hogan organises an annual Family Day Out to create an opportunity for staff and their families to connect with takahē and the DOC team. From kiddos painting wooden takahē to ranger talks explaining the history of the taonga species and up close encounters with the birds getting health checks, these events are always a fun day of learning and enjoying some delicious kai!

Fulton Hogan Family Day out at ZELANDIA. Photo: Pete Barton
Poppy and Joey Annison from Dunedin, who named Tumanako at Orokonui Ecosanctuary Fulton Hogan Family Day Out

For many, Fulton Hogan is a brand you see on diggers and trucks on the side of the road where construction is taking place on your daily commute. For us at DOC, Fulton Hogan is a key national partner whose support extends well beyond the takahē. From supporting regional initiatives to providing crisis response aid, Fulton Hogan continues to blow us away with their dedicated support to conservation outcomes. Their dedication to the takahē mahi, their desire to connect their staff with nature, and their genuine commitment to restoring New Zealand’s nature makes them an absolute pleasure to work with. And we look forward to the many more memorable moments we will make together!

Fulton Hogan sign-written truck. Photo: Fulton Hogan

Learn more on the Fulton Hogan partnership on the DOC website.

3 responses to Celebrating five years of Fulton Hogan supporting takahē recovery


    Not all heroes wear capes, a cliche thing to say but nothing else describes these.

    Hilary Nobes 30/04/2021 at 11:22 am

    Great Work. I have been able to see them several times and feel most blessed. Thank you.

    ernestina williams-van culin 22/04/2021 at 2:02 pm

    thank-you for saving these beautiful birds. i saw some on Kapiti Island.