The Society

The Waitakere Ranges Protection Society Incorporated exists solely to protect and preserve the Waitakere Ranges, New Zealand. It is a voluntary advocacy group based in Auckland New Zealand. It regards itself as the foremost guardian of the wild Waitakere Ranges, with a mission to educate and protect its biodiversity, environmental and aesthetic values. The Society was formed in 1973 to stop part of the Ranges from becoming a rubbish tip. Since then the vision has expanded to include protecting and conserving the whole of the Ranges from any environmental impact that threatens the integrity of the area. The Society depends entirely on voluntary donations, membership fees, grants and fundraising.

The Ranges

The Waitakere Ranges are 30,000 hectares of bush-covered hills to the west of Auckland, North Island, New Zealand that reach the black sand beaches of the wild west coast and the Manukau harbour. Rainforested peaks of over 300m high rise then descend both to the eastern foothills bordering the suburbs of Auckland city, and also to the coastal villages along the Manukau Harbour and Auckland’s wild west coast beaches.
Until 150 years ago the Ranges were dense stands of full virgin forest that had stood for thousands of years. By the end of the 19th century, in less than 50 years, the forest was clear felled for timber leaving the landscape devastated. Today the Ranges are recovering. Sixty percent of the Ranges are contained in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. The rest is in private ownership

The Objective

The Society aims to protect and conserve the natural environment in the Waitakere Ranges as a remarkable place of high value, for its ecosystems, for the beauty of its rugged landscape, its ocean and harbour shores and for its native plant and animal life, for its own sake, for its value to people and for the generations to come.
The Society
aims to provide an unequivocal voice speaking for this area of exceptional natural heritage, to raise awareness through education, research, publication and promotion of the importance and the value of the Waitakere Ranges to New Zealand’s environmental heritage preservation and well being.
The Society
opposes any scheme or activity which might significantly adversely affect the natural ecosystems and landscape of the Waitakere Ranges.

Act Now

Support us and be part of protecting this region’s outstanding natural landscape.
By supporting us you will be actively helping provide resources to educate, inform and when necessary take legal action on key issues affecting the Waitakere Ranges. The most effective way to help protect the Waitakere Ranges is to Join the Society . As a member you will receive a quarterly newsletter and be kept informed on the latest news affecting the Ranges. Occasionally we may suggest that members write a letter or a submission on a specific issue. You could also donate or become a sponsor. And if you’d just like to know what we’re doing you could join our Facebook Group. Visit our Online shop.



It is with great pleasure that we can finally announce the launch of our Ebook “Making a Stand, The Waitākere Ranges Heritage Act” by Wayne Thompson. The passing of the The Waitākere Ranges Heritage Act in 2008 represents a milestone in the life of the Society. Wayne Thompson documents the story behind the legislation coming into force. Read about the people, the politics and the passion!

In 2017 Te Kawerau ā Maki established a rāhui in the Waitākere Ranges in response to Kauri dieback. Some people were confused by the kaupapa of this strategic move, and yet it precipitated a significant effort on the part of Auckland Council and central government to take action on Kauri Dieback. James Littlewood and Hank Snell spoke to Te Kawerau ā Maki whānau Robin Taua Gordon and “Uncle George” Taua about the significance of the forest from the perspective of tangata whenua. 
This short documentary was produced for Radio New Zealand with funding from NZ on Air.

Mary (Bobbie) Woodward (3 July 1928 -14 July 2023)

WRPS passes its sincere condolences to the family of Mary (Bobbie) Woodward who died recently on July 14th in her 95th year.
Bobbie was a daughter of the Waitakere Ranges, a member of the pioneering Bethell family.
She was present at the first official meeting of the WRPS Steering Committee on 31 March 1973, and was an early member and activist.  
She spent 2 years on the committee (1989 – 1990) and was elected secretary for a year in 1990.   
Bobbie was a recipient of one of the  Society’s  Millennium Medals in 2000 (for “hard working members of the Society”) and she was awarded an Honour Certificate at the celebration of our 35th year in 2008.
Bobbie has spent years researching and writing about the first Waitakere West Coasters, from Maori to early Pakeha settlers.
Her books  include “The Bethells of Te Henga”(1988), “The Landscape of My Heart – the Bethells and their neighbours” (1995) and “Shimmersea” (2018, e-book).
 At our AGM in 2019 we had the privilege of recording an interview with Barbara Lusk, where Mary talked about her life growing up at Te Henga. 
 We have lost a friend.