About Us

Since 2016, Matuku Link has been transformed, from bare paddocks to a wonderful wetland, with the help of everyone in our community. Matuku Link connects people with nature in the ecologically significant Te Henga wetland.
The property at 111 Bethells Road, Te Henga, Waitākere – West Auckland was bought in 2016 for many reasons, all around protection and access. This last large 37 hectare block of wetland and forest is now protected into perpetuity from subdivision. It also safeguards a public access to the Waitākere River, as all the other properties along the river are privately owned. Its five hectares of wetland are mostly flat, and includes 1km of accessible pathways, allowing for groups of all ages to come visit – a rarity in our forested ranges! Located off the tar sealed Bethells Road, it creates easier access and a hub for our trappers and baiters doing their work protecting our rare native species at Matuku Link as well as at the adjacent Forest & Bird Matuku Reserve and wetland project Habitat Te Henga. Since 2022, we also welcome school groups for our wetland education programme, and run an outdoor school holiday programme four times a year.

Visiting Matuku Link: as we are a very small team, we are not always here – which means the gate might be shut! Please contact us if you would like to visit Matuku Link. Dogs are not allowed as we have active pest control methods in place to protect our birds.


Matuku Link relies almost entirely on our incredible volunteers, which includes our trustees and advisors. Our volunteers do it all – you’ll find them in the nursery, weeding, seed collecting, giving guided tours, checking trap lines, building and constructing, helping out with our school education days, and so much more. Since 2016, our wonderful volunteers have donated over 20,000 hours of their time & expertise.

If you’d like to become a volunteer, get in touch! We have regular nursery days on Tuesday mornings and a working bee on the third Sunday of every month. If you’re interested in giving guided tours or helping with our education days, let us know. We welcome all, and if you’re lucky, there might just be cake!



Trustees John Sumich and John Staniland had their eye on the 37-hectare block at 111 Bethells Road since 2006, ten years before it came up for sale after the passing of its longtime owner Henk van Steeden. Following Henk’s passing in 2015, his family remembered his support of the idea of selling it to a community group to look after the land and protect it from being subdivided. After plenty of fundraising, the dream became a reality. John Staniland, John Sumich, Chad Wilkie and Geoff Davidson became the inaugural trustees of Matuku Link in 2016. In 2021, Geoff Davidson stepped down as trustee, and Dale Bainbridge took his place.

Find out more about how Matuku Link came to be here: https://matukulink.org.nz/the-financial-backstory/

Former trustee Geoff Davidson

Geoff's adult life started with a civil service job and the orthodox O.E. of a young kiwi who, upon returning to NZ, was faced with the question: “What to do with my life?" Conservation issues pushed him into a job and an all-consuming hobby which have shaped every...

Trustee John Staniland

A retired secondary school teacher, John Staniland has been closely involved with Forest & Bird for 50 years and was the first chairman of its Waitākere Branch. He is a founder and honorary ranger of the Society’s 120-hectare Matuku Reserve, which is adjacent to...

Trustee Chad Wilkie

A former Chartered Accountant, and senior partner in global accounting and consulting practice at Deloitte, Chad Wilkie brings over 30 years of professional and practical business experience to the role of trustee. Chad’s current activities include that of Chair of...

Trustee John Sumich

A lifelong interest in fauna and flora, what used to be called “Nature Study”, when he was a child, stayed with John through his adult life. A science degree at Auckland was followed with a medical degree from Otago University. He set up his general medical practice...

Trustee Dale Bainbridge

Dale was an Architectural Designer/Technician, responsible for the design and detailing of many institutional buildings, industrial and complex residential for the early part of his working life. Building construction completed the circle and his company has been...


Lead educator – Leah

Lead educator – Leah

Leah joined Matuku Link in 2022, bringing her love of learning and passion for the natural world to our education programme. A former primary school teacher, Leah has worked in schools in both New Zealand and the UK. While living in Bristol, she...

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Assistant educator – Rebecca

Assistant educator – Rebecca

Rebecca joined Matuku Link in 2023, after volunteering with our education programme for a year. She grew up locally exploring the Waitākere Ranges and West Coast beaches. Now she shares her love of the natural world with her three children. Rebecca...

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Project manager – Annalily

Project manager – Annalily

From project managing a national museum in The Netherlands to wetland conservation in New Zealand - it's more similar than you'd think. Annalily joined the trust as secretary in 2016 to help raise funds for the purchase of Matuku Link. She kept...

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The success of Matuku Link would not be possible without the support of people, businesses and organisations who have given generously of time, money and materials. Most materials used in renovating the barn and building our accessible walkways are either donated or sold to the trust at cost by friendly suppliers. Thank you to all our sponsors for your generosity.

Contact us:

Secretary Annalily van den Broeke

022 692 2016 or email us at hello@matukulink.org.nz

Physical address:

111 Bethells Road, Te Henga, Auckland

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