Tiritiri Matangi Island lies in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand, 4 km east of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula in the North Island and 30 km north east of Auckland. The 2.2 km² island is a nature reserve managed under the supervision of New Zealand's Department of Conservation and is noted for its bird life, including the kiwi and the takahe.The name, meaning "tossed by the wind" in MÄori, is often popularly shortened to Tiritiri.
The first people to settle on Tiritiri Matangi were MÄori of the Kawerau iwi. Later, members of the Ngati Paoa moved to Tiritiri Matangi until about 1700, when the Kawerau regained control of the island and remained until forced to retreat to Waikato in 1821 when Hongi Hika attacked from the north.
European (Pakeha) settlers arrived in the early 1800s. When the Kawerau returned, friction ensued as both peoples had a claim to the island. In 1867 the MÄori Land Court granted title to the government.
The island was farmed from 1894 to 1971 when the lease expired and management was vested in the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park Board, which ceased farming operations.
It was hoped that native forest would regenerate naturally, making the island a suitable habitat for native bird life, as it lacked introduced predators such as mustelids, present on the mainland. However, afforestation seemed to be happening very slowly and a large number of volunteers was recruited to plant saplings and sow tree seeds. Over 280,000 native trees and shrubs were planted in the revegetation project from 1984 to 1994.