Rakitu is a scenic reserve island off the north east coast of Aotea Great Barrier. It was bought from its then owners, the Rope and Foster families, in 1991 for the purposes of conservation. It is of great significance to Ngati Rehua Ngatiwai ki Aotea. About one third of Rakitu (formerly known as Arid Island) is in original forest cover, and another third in regenerating forest, with the remainder retired pasture. Rakitu sits in the seabird highway – a chain of islands stretching from Northland to the Bay of Plenty. Its potential as a sanctuary is enormous. In the winter of 2018 the Department of Conservation successfully eradicated rats from the island. The restoration of Rakitu has now begun and the GBIET will continue to advocate for the return of lost species to this spectacular and treasured place.

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