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Clive is appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his contribution to conservation and viticulture in the Queen's Birthday Honours. More in Capital Times

Ata Rangi founder Clive Paton is a respected conservationist, immersed (often literally, elbow deep in potting mix!) in the regeneration of native forest. He's especially focused on New Zealand's iconic red-flowering RATA.This magnificent iron-hearted tree was once prolific in the lower half of the North Island and throughout the South Island, but was largely burned off by early settlers and the remaining stands are now seriously threatened by the marauding possum. Our involvement with the restoration of Rata led us to a close association with Project Crimson, and inspired our younger vines Pinot Noir called simply: Crimson. Clive has also led the formation of several community-based conservation groups, including the Waihora Watch and the Aorangi Trust (read more below). Ata Rangi has been the recipient of a number of awards for contribution to conservation.

Ata Rangi Bush Block - annual staff planting day September 2011 - Gerry, Jannine, Helen

The WAIHORA WATCH: THe Waihora Stream runs east to west via the Ata Rangi Bush Block from a sprawling catchment in the Aorangi Ranges. Clive was instrumental in encouraging landowners in the catchment area to join forces in protecting the stream. As willing and forward-thinking farmers, they formed the 'Waihora Watch' and together not only fenced off the stream, but managed to secure funding for help with intensive pest control over a total of 1000 hectares. This program has dealt to hundreds of stoats, possums, weasels, rats, hedgehogs and wildcats, all of which cause havoc and irreparable damage if left un-checked.

The AORANGI TRUST Project: The next step was to make a start on an ambitious long-term vision of a 'Mainland Island' across the Aorangi Ranges. Gathering ideas and agreement from adjacent landowners, the Deer-Hunters Association, local and regional councils as well as the Dept of Conservation was ambitous, and of course not done single-handedly, but the Aorangi Trust was finally signed into law in September 2011. Again, the ultimate aim is to one day re-introduce threatened native birds, while protecting the re-generating native forest.

PUKAHA Mt BRUCE: Clive is a member of the Trust Board of Pukaha Mt Bruce, New Zealand's National Wildlife Centre. Pukaha is located amidst a stand of original native bush about 45 minutes drive north of Martinborough, and is home to the national wild-life breeding programme. The excellent visitor facility, with beautiful bush walks and the opportunity to view rare bird-life, including kiwis and takahe, is absolutely worth a visit.


AWARDS: Clive was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours for "Contribution to Conservation and Viticulture". Ata Rangi has also won a number of environmental awards, including the 2010 Farm Forester of the Year, the 2007 Wellington Region Conservation Award in the Business category for "an outstanding contribution to conservation" and the Supreme Award at the Ballance Farm Environment Awards in 2006. At these Awards, Ata Rangi also walked away with the Gallagher Innovation Award for 'Crimson', the Habitat Improvement Award for their work at the Ata Rangi Bush Block and the Hills Laboratory Harvest Award for the organic soil nutrient and water management regime and monitoring. Judges said that 'quality, innovation and planning' in all aspects of the business were the keys to Ata Rangi's successful and unprecedented haul.


Read more about our related conservation efforts on the Bush Block page.