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Work of the Trust

Much of the Trust's work involves educating the community on the importance of the area, introducing people to its interesting features (including birdwatching trips), and advising the organisations in control of the area about effective management.

The Manawatū Estuary Trust also supports the important work done by Wildlife Foxton Trust.














Regular Meetings and Events


The Manawatū Estuary Trust holds committee meetings on the first Tuesday of every month and these are held at Holben Pavilion starting at 7pm.  The meetings are open to both the public and community.


The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held in November. A guest speaker and afternoon tea generally follow the proceedings. Details will appear here and on our Facebook page so check in nearer the time.

The Manawatū Estuary Trust is a conservation group dedicated to looking after the Manawatū River estuary. The Trust relies on volunteers and donations to run.


The Trust is involved in a lot of environmental activities, focused mainly on education, protection and restoration of the estuary, including: 

  • Holding an annual Welcome to the Birds Ceremony in October and Farewell to the Birds in March every year.

  •  Holds talks about the dune plants, the birds and invertebrates, and holds children’s competitions.

  • Organising and holding displays in Palmerston North on Esplanade Day, and in Foxton Beach at the local New Year Fair.

  • Publishing promotional leaflets explaining the tracks and special plants and animals of the Estuary. A printable booklet about some of the more commonly sighted birds is available here.

  • Meeting with tourist groups (local, national and international) to show them the migratory birds and holding ‘Open Days’ with displays and conducted tours.

  • Conducting trips for school and university groups around the estuary, pointing out the special features and giving talks about the estuary.


  • Funding the Foxton Beach Warden's vehicle, allowing wardens to patrol the Estuary surrounds with ease.

  • Advocating for estuary protection, including submissions to statutory organisations.

  • Promotion of the Ramsar application.  Achieving Ramsar status was a large step forward in protecting the Manawatū Estuary for the future.

  • Arranging signage to help protect the estuary by promoting its safe use (for example, no dogs in the bird sanctuary).


  • Growing and planting Spinifex and Pingao to help restore the dunes.

  • Organising beach clean-up days, and “weeding” days.

  • Supporting pest and predator control operations.

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