Since the installation of our acoustic attraction
device (to read the full article click here)
we now have a confirmed new Cook’s Petrel
colony within the sanctuary! The birds
are burrowing near the southwest coast of
the peninsula, as seen on our burrow location
After Jo Sim and her amazing burrow locating
hound Maddi sniffed out a multitude of
Cook’s and Black Petrel burrows within the
sanctuary it has been our job to monitor
them. The first task at hand was to determine
the species residing within each burrow. We
decided upon the least intrusive method,
which involved the use of a trail camera
generously provided by forest and bird… This
camera contains new technology and uses
motion sensors heat detectors and infared
lighting to capture images. It was rotated
throughout the sanctuary and set up outside
each burrow to catch the petrels at their late
night entrance and exits.
The job has now turned to monitoring the
petrels breeding success, for which we have
upon our tried and true burrowscope. This
device also involves a camera with infa-red
lighting wired through a three metre long
goose-neck, which is maneuvered through
the winding burrow tunnels. The camera projects
a picture onto a monitor located outside
the burrow and will allow us to verify the
presence of petrel fledglings.

Winter 2013

A special message from Mal Bouzaid, chairperson
of the Glenfern Sanctuary Charitable Trust:
It is with sadness that we announce to you all that the
property known as Fitzroy House is going on the market in
Following Tony’s sudden and unexpected death in late 2011,
my family and I have approached several organisations with
a view to them purchasing the property, and thus continuing
to provide public access, to no avail. Until now we have
allowed unrestricted access to the public over the Fitzroy
House land, in return for a donation towards defraying the
costs of maintaining the land as a sanctuary.
We are very sorry to advise that from 30th September 2013
the property will be closed to the general public. Guests and
all of those who have assisted us with the protected species,
including DoC, OPC, Auckland University and Auckland
Council will still have access by appointment.We would like to take this opportunity to thank Scott and
Emma, the managers, for their professionalism and expertise
over the last 18 months this has been invaluable. Fitzroy
House and Glenfern Cottage are still available for holiday
Mal Bouzaid & Family

Spring 2013

The season of new life has again arrived.
This is the season that we look up and take stock, and this is
the year that we can see the fruits of two decades of hard
The birds are back.
We have not yet started our official annual bird count this year
but no-one who has stood outside Fitzroy House this spring has
failed to comment on it. Not only annual visitors and guests,
but locals who have lived without a morning chorus their
whole life are telling us – things are different now.
Comments like these are just as much music to our ears
as the bird song itself and so too was the inundation of
supportive phone calls and emails we received after the last
newsletter. The response was humbling. So many people
were concerned for the welfare of the sanctuary and, indeed
of us, that it completely sent home how special this place is.
So let us take this opportunity to assure everybody without any
ambivalence whatsoever;
We are the kaitiaki of Kotuku peninsula. This is our duty and
we shall be here for as long as we are needed.

And further to that, given our current situation – we are now
redesigning how the peninsula is managed. The Glenfern
Sanctuary Charitable Trust (as it is presently known) will be
rebranded as the Kotuku Peninsula Charitable Trust.
With the active support of all the landowners of the peninsula
we are taking Tony’s dream into a sustainable, long term
position. We are using the present situation as an opportunity
to formulate a way to make the Kotuku peninsula a safe
haven for native species always – regardless of names on
For everyone of you who receive this newsletter we invite you
to follow the journey with us. We are here for you, the birds,
the lizards and the trees.

Summer 2013

If you build it, they will come….
When Tony first coined the phrase, “creating a safe haven for our native species” he may not have envisioned the
far reaching consequences of his ambition…
Today, as we sit in the office working on the latest newsletter, a bellbird sings
a haunting melody in the fig tree just outside. He (or she) has been hanging
around all week and has got everyone thinking, “Is this the one? Could this
be the bellbird that re-establishes this long lost species on the Barrier?” If the
keen ears of the guests currently staying in Glenfern Cottage are to be trusted,
then the chances are good, as this morning they claim to have heard a reply
– could there be two?

Our fiery apprentice Dana Cook has just rushed into the office with ground
breaking data – she has just recorded the first ever video of a Cook’s Petrel
chick emerging from a burrow on Great Barrier Island. Perhaps they have
been trying for years for a safe place to raise their young, but this is the first
time a human has witnessed one succeed – and it happened in Glenfern
But it doesn’t end there – not only are te taonga being drawn to the
Kotuku Peninsula but also te tangata – the people.

Tony’s dream has summoned a diverse range of passionate and
skilled individuals from all over the world, united in the simple and
elegant purpose of “creating a safe haven”. Scientists, students,
backpackers, boaties, locals and even paying guests have been
swept up in the momentum and contributed a piece of themselves to
make Glenfern what it is.

And no-one epitomises this more
than the beaming young ecologist
laughing hysterically at her laptop
screen right now as she plays the video of the emerging Cook’s petrel chick over
and over again. Dana came to us as a backpacker – straight off the boat – and
in one incredible year has since taken control of everything from monitoring our
endangered resident seabird population, to producing the newsletter that you are
now reading. She’ll be heading off to broaden her horizons next week. But like so
many others she will be leaving a piece of who she is, within the fence of this very
special place.
To her, and to everybody; from us, from the taonga and from Tony, we thank you

Summer 2014-2015

It’s summertime…
Some days its incredibly inspirational working here.
Recently I had a family group of nine volunteer a
day of their annual holiday time to weed, mulch
and help maintain our Pateke habitat area, all
organised by their 15 year old son – a passionate
conservationist and ornithologist. He had emailed
several weeks earlier enquiring about volunteering
and carried through, arriving with two families all
keen to contribute their time despite the searing
temperature (their reward was a tour of Glenfern
walk to see the black petrel, followed by a refreshing
Whilst they were weeding I had another family group
arrive for a guided tour. This group had three girls from
5 to 12 years old, so I assumed a relatively quick tour.
I was proved very wrong. They were totally absorbed
along the tour, exclaiming at the weta, enthralled
by the Kauri tree swing-bridge and platform and
impressed by the black petrel sitting diligently in its
burrow. They had lots of questions and really inspired
me as to the value of the work we are doing here.
This enthusiasm makes the more mundane tasks of
rodent control all worth it, although we have had
many wins recently in this area as well. More on this
DOC continue to be our primary funding source with
a successful bid to the Community Conservation
Partnership Fund secured late last year. This will
provide funding for biosecurity and help towards

restoration projects for 2015. Other funding is being
sought towards bird monitoring and tracks for this
As we launch ourselves into another anticipated
busy year, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank
all the people that have contributed their time
and resources to support this Sanctuary, helping to
‘create a safe haven for our native species’.
Emma, Scott and Pippa


All donations are greatly appreciated and used soley for the biodiveristy and biosecurity management of the sanctuary.


Pay By Credit Card, Direct Deposit or Cheque

Credit Card:

Direct Deposit can be made to:
Account Name: Glenfern Sanctuary Charitable Trust
Bank/Branch No: 123198
Account No: 0040211 00
Bank: ASB
If you require a receipt please include the word “donation” in the description and email:

Cheques can be made out to Glenfern Sanctuary Charitable Trust and sent to: Glenfern Sanctuary
Port Fitzroy
Great Barrier Island

Anything you can afford to give will make a difference and allow us to continue to create and maintain a safe haven for our precious native species.

Thank you!


260 hectares of established and regenerating native bush carefully managed and monitored within a predator proof fence.


A predator proof fence runs along the eastern perimeter of the Kotuku Peninsula


Aerial photo of Port Fitzroy in 1959 (a barren Kotuku peninsula is displayed on the right)


With the success of the Glenfern Sanctuary Project and the return of the birdlife of old, Tony had the vision to extend the predator controlled area to the entire Kotuku Peninsula. This was to be an enormous undertaking and required something more than just baiting and planting.

The solution was two fold. The first step was to put in a grid netwok of over 1200 tracking tunnels so that we would know the location any pests within the monitored area. The second step was installing a 2km long Xcluder Predator Proof Fence that would guard the entire peninsula from reinvasion.

Kotuku Peninsula showing the monitoring grid including over 2500 tunnels and
bait stations

The fence and moitoring system have been in place for over three years now. In that time there have been many reinvasions but with a constantly evolving mangement plan and concientious work we are able to keep pests at bay.

See our latest peninsula-wide monitoring results here.

About Us

The Glenfern Team are responsible for not only “Glenfern Sanctuary” but the biodiversity management of the entire Kotuku Peninsula.

This unique area is administered by the Kotuku Peninsula Charitable Trust, consisting of landownwers and passionate individuals with specific skill sets.

We have few full time staff but employ the use of many skilled and passionate Great Barrier Island locals for specific tasks.

We usually have at least a couple of greatly appreciated volunteers living on site. If you’re interested in volunteering we’d love to hear from you. Contact Emma at


A (very) brief history …
In 1992 Tony Bouzaid planted the first few trees in his property in Port Fitzroy that was later to become known as Glenfern Sanctuary.

20 years later the area of restoration has been expanded to include the entire 260 hectare peninsula and the Kotuku Peninsula Sanctuary was created.

This area is now protected by a 2km Xcluder Pest Proof Fence and is intensely managed and monitored.

The sanctuary is providing a safe habitat for many endangered native species including the black petrel, brown teal, chevron skink and the recently re-introduced North Island Robin.

Accomodation is available on-site through Glenfern Cottage and Fitzroy House


Reviews and Testimonials

Check out our reviews from Book a Bach or read a testimonial from the editor of Elements Magazine..

“Arriving at Fitzroy House, and indeed its more modest neighbour, [Glenfern] Cottage, is a special experience. The moment you reach the pest-proof fence – the legacy of the Late Tony Bouzaid whose aim was to keep this part of magic Great Barrier Island as pristine as possible – you realize you are entering a special sort of Eden, a place this community treasures and has strived to protect.

The splendour of the luxury of Fitzroy House itself – a large, open-plan and gorgeous historic homestead – is a surprise: it doesn’t feel as though staying on a conservation estate should feel so luxurious. From every west-facing window there are tantalizing views of the deep, still, Fitzroy Harbour and, on the hill behind the house, moreporks call through the night from the cover of the bush.

There are a multitude of things to do – the trouble is what to do first, and how to fit it all in. Choose from a plunge into the depths off the private wharf (a short stroll through a nature walk down the hill), take an open kayak and explore the little bays of Fitzroy Harbour or, if you’re feeling adventurous, hop into one of the more serious sea kayaks and go further afield.

The real treasures, however, are up the hill behind the house, happily residing in the regenerating bush of some 15,000 planted natives and ancient forest too tough for the loggers of yesteryear to bother with. Birdlife is multitudinous, and on the rise, thanks to the efforts of the conservation team and their wide network of volunteers. Scott and Emma will give you the full rundown of their work and the value of protecting our vulnerable fauna. There are several tracks to explore, and you can take a moment to check out the breeding pair of Pateke ducks on the pond, view the memorial to Bouzaid at the top of the hill, and walk into the branches of a 600-year-old kauri tree via a swinging bridge into its crown. Walk the easy, board-walked track down the outrageously lush valley back to the house.

On a special island, Glenfern Sanctuary is a uniquely special place, one in which you can combine a rediscovery of nature with a deeply relaxing and comfortable stay.”
-James Russell
Editor Elements Magazine