Friends of the Blade: What We Do

Friends of the Blade is a volunteer group that was formed to develop a pest free zone around the Pā Kererū walking track and the rest area known as The Blade, at the end of Whakamārama Road, 24km northwest of Tauranga.

The trapping area and operation started by covering 100 hectares with eight traplines and now covers 230 hectares of bush with 23 traplines. Our goal is to cover 300 hectares centred on the area in which we operate – the start of the Leyland O’Brien tram line and Ngamarama Track in the Kaimai-Mamakū Forest Park.

Our Group

Our group was initially proposed in 2015 to Whakamārama Community Inc. (WCI) by Colin Hewens who had ten years’ pest control experience with Friends of Puketoki while the Pā Kererū track was being established. The Whakamārama community supported the project's aim to start predator control and a successful grant application was made to WBOPDC, enabling the establishment of the group.

Friends of The Blade continues to operate as part of Whakamarama Community Inc.

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We currently have over 40 volunteers who visit all the trap lines every fortnight to record the dead pests, remove them, rebait and reset the traps. Pests targeted are possums, rats, mustelids, and feral cats that have no place in our native forests. Volunteers are also working to extend the area covered by marking out and cutting new trap lines, as volunteer numbers allow. All the traps are DOC-approved instant-kill traps, and all baits are non-toxic.

Get Involved

We welcome new volunteers and ensure they are supported by experienced members of the group and given training to become familiar with the traps, the trap lines and the necessary health and safety procedures prior to going solo on their own lines.

Volunteers are provided with all materials needed, and just require a good pair of boots and a moderate level of fitness.

You will be matched with a trap line that is appropriate for your fitness.

Contact us by emailing us at: for more information about how to join our volunteer group!