The Bay Conservation Alliance formally launched in Tauranga last night.

Chief executive Michelle Elborn said the organisation was set up to support community-led environmental restoration and nature conservation initiatives.

"Very exciting to get to this point. From here onwards, we want to grow our membership base. We've got six currently.

"So we want to extend our reach of support to more community conservation groups."


Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage was the keynote speaker at the launch event at the Tauranga Yacht Club at Sulphur Point.

She said the Bay Conservation Alliance was quite distinctive in that it grew organically and was a community initiative, rather than a council or Department of Conservation initiative.

"So I think it's signalling a huge step forward for biodiversity and bringing nature into people's backyards and protecting what people look out on every day and allowing people to interact with nature."

Sage said the BCA was bringing together community groups and providing support, particularly with things like administration and health and safety management of volunteers.

"So it really strengthens each of the groups by providing this over-arching support.

"I think here with the Kaimai-Mamakus – just a huge area – predators are a major issue. You've also got kauri, and it's been a bit neglected in terms of the whole kauri dieback programme."

The Bay Conservation Alliance's six members are: Aongatete Forest Restoration Trust, Maketu Ongatoro Wetland Society, Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust, Uretara Estuary Managers, Te Whakakaha Trust and Friends of the Blade.

The BCA will help those groups with things like funding, administration, advocacy, promotions, volunteer coordination, memberships and social media.