About Matakana Island
Matakana Island has a number of unique social, cultural and natural environmental features that are treasured by the local residents, both Māori and non-Māori:
- Cultural: There is a high percentage of Māori residents on Matakana Island most of whom are tangata whenua
- Social: Tangata whenua represent a tight knit community with a strong sense of identity due largely to the island's isolation and the residents' shared whakapapa. The Matakana Island 'way of life' is one of self reliance and self sufficiency
- Environmental: Matakana Island is a special place for indigenous species and is of national importance for the NZ Dotterel and Katipo spider and numerous other species. It is New Zealand's only "raised sand barrier island" and is a nationally significant geological site.
- Economic: Matakana Island offers limited employment opportunities which have become more acutely constrained following the closure of the mill and the downturn in forestry. Due to technological advances in milling it is unlikely that such an operation will ever return to the Island.