Size: 3430 hectares

Area description

The KMA-Piggots biodiversity focus area is located within an extensive tract of native forest in the Hunua Ranges. It is administered by Auckland Council.

Mount Kohukohunui, the highest point in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland at an elevation of 688 metres, is included within this biodiversity focus area.

The land is deeply dissected hill country with close-set valleys, steep slopes and narrow ridges. The soils are made up of uplifted sedimentary siltstone, sandstone and argillite rock.

KMA-Piggots forest.
The KMA-Piggots in the Hunua Ranges showing its extensive tract of native forest.
Photo credit: Andrew Macdonald, Biospatial Ltd 2017

Key ecosystems

The forest is a mosaic of mostly tawa forest (WF13) with abundant kohekohe. The vegetation surrounding the top of Mount Kohukohunui is the only example in Tāmaki Makaurau of rimu-tōwai forest (MF24). This ecosystem includes submontane species uncommon in Tāmaki Makaurau including: 

  • mountain cabbage tree
  • mountain horopito
  • hutu.

Hebe, wharariki flaxland and rockland (CL6) is found on the steep rocky bluffs here. Few examples of this ecosystem are found in Tāmaki Makaurau. At lower elevations, there are patches of both taraire-dominated forest (WF9) and regenerating scrub and forest with kānuka and mānuka (VS2 and VS3).

Ecological restoration

A successful and ongoing animal pest control programme was established in 1994 to protect the last pair of kōkako left here. It now provides protection to over 100 kōkako breeding pairs, as well as many other native species including:

  • kākā
  • pepeketua (Hochstetter’s frog)
  • toutouwai (North Island robin)
  • miromiro (tomtit)
  • pekapeka-tou-roa (long-tailed bat)
  • korimako (bellbird).

Volunteers play a crucial role in the ongoing success of this project.

Related ecosystems