Generous gift will leave a lasting legacy

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Project Janszoon was established in 2012, with a generous gift of up to $25 million from Neil and Annette Plowman.  The gift was dedicated to transforming the ecological prospects of the Abel Tasman National Park.

This generous couple went on to establish NEXT – a philanthropic foundation championing education and conservation. Whilst Project Janszoon was not an official NEXT project, we have had a close relationship with the Foundation.

Restoring Taonga Species

Thanks to the Plowman’s generosity we’ve restored four taonga species to the park. Rare birds like whio/blue duck, pāteke/brown teal, kākā and kakariki are all breeding in the park. We’ve partnered with the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust and the Department of Conservation to remove wilding conifers and control pest species.  Over 8000 students have visited the park through our education programme. We’ve restored the native plants and ecosystems of the park’s beach fronts and the wetland at Hadfield Clearing.

Milestones Reached

Both Project Janszoon and NEXT were set up as ‘drawdown’ funds to be used until the money was gone. NEXT reached this milestone this year, with $100m invested in conservation and education projects. Some of our board members attended the ‘sunset’ event to celebrate this ground-breaking philanthropic investment.

Maintaining the gains

Project Janszoon is fortunate to have funding through to 2026. We are working with DOC to ensure the gains made are maintained.  Whilst the work enabled by the Plowman’s investment has breathed new life into the Park, there is still potential to further enhance the park’s biodiversity. We will be exploring opportunities to continue with community-supported projects in the park beyond 2026.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Neil and Annette Plowman for their generosity and foresight, which has made such a difference to our corner of Te Tauihu.

Image: Aurora over the Abel Tasman/Diane Chandler

beach sunset

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