Comvita has partnered with conservation organisation, Save the Kiwi, in a significant sponsorship agreement that will ultimately provide more safe habitat for the iconic birds across the North Island.

Starting with Makino Station, home to one of Comvita’s mānuka forests in the lush Manawatu-Whanganui region where kiwi already reside, the ambition is that over time Comvita’s properties will become kiwi-safe habitats.

The partnership will see the implementation of predator management plans on land managed by Comvita that will enhance biodiversity and provide kiwi safe habitats to help the endangered population and other native flora and fauna thrive.

Save the Kiwi executive director Michelle Impey says partnering with Comvita is a new and exciting approach for kiwi conservation.

“Effective predator control is central to successful kiwi conservation, and creating sanctuaries that are free of stoats, ferrets, and other predators is extremely intensive work.”

“Comvita owns a number of properties, many of which are already home to kiwi, and it’s so exciting to work alongside and educate them about how we can help the taonga species thrive in the future,” says Impey.

Comvita will provide annual support for these initiatives, including the purchasing and oversight of traps at its properties. In addition, it will provide opportunities for its staff to personally connect with Save the Kiwi as part of its focus on supporting communities and nature in need – a key cornerstone of Comvita’s Harmony Plan.

The Harmony Plan is Comvita’s contribution towards creating a planet in which bees and people thrive together, with sustainability goals to restore the balance in nature, address climate change, and support communities. The company is committing 1% of gross earnings to Harmony partnerships that hold a natural connection to its purpose, and work to create connections between people and the natural world.

Comvita has already committed to $151,000 towards Harmony partnerships in the first half of 2022.

The lenses Comvita uses to guide its partnerships are biodiversity protection, climate and bees, product efficacy and impact for indigenous people. Comvita has also partnered with For the Love of Bees, Saving the Wild and more locally, supported the roll-out of Wasp Wipeout in Hawke’s Bay as part of its Harmony Plan.

Comvita chief executive, David Banfield, describes how the partnership takes meaningful steps towards fulfilling Comvita’s responsibility as a business.

“Everything we do at Comvita is guided by our founding principle of Kaitiakitanga, or guardianship and protection over nature, and this underpins our work to create these sanctuaries that will, in time, enable kiwi to flourish,” says Banfield.

“What’s more, Save the Kiwi brings balance to our other Harmony projects, and we aim to keep building our Harmony partnerships with these sort of conservation efforts and communities at its core.”

“We believe we have a contribution to make, and that by undertaking these initiatives we are living our values and fulfilling the steps needed to be the kind of business that we want to be,” he concludes.