Wineries Out West Pledge to Support the Native Matuku

The West-Auckland collective, Wineries Out West has pledged to support Matuku Link in their efforts to help save their namesake Matuku from extinction.

With less than a thousand left in New Zealand, the once abundant and now elusive Matuku, or Australasian bittern, is considered critically endangered. This is primarily due to the degradation over the last century of wetlands they depend on for feeding and nesting.

Wetlands across New Zealand, and especially in West-Auckland, are as endangered as the Matuku, with less than 10 percent remaining. They are important for birds, but also for people, as wetlands help to stem floods, clean the water and combat climate change.

Wineries Out West have created a specially curated wine pack from each of the wineries - Westbrook, Coopers Creek, Soljans, Babich, The Hunting Lodge, Kumeu River - and pledge $6 from every mixed box sold to be donated to Matuku Link.

“Our families have been making wine in West-Auckland for over a hundred years,” noted David Babich, 3rd generation, CEO, Babich Wines, adding that it is important that the group give back to the environment they built such a rich heritage on.

“While we each individually do our bit to give back, it is wonderful that as a group we can band together and support this often-overlooked cause and collectively protect the ecology our families grew up on.”

Not-for-profit charitable trust Matuku Link relies on support from local businesses and individuals, and Trustee John Sumich is thrilled to have Wineries Out West supporting the initiative.

“Raising awareness for our wetlands and their secretive inhabitants like the Matuku is really important, and we’re thrilled the vineyards have come on board. Wetlands are like our kidneys - a vital part of our human and natural ecosystem.”

The Wineries Out West Matuku mixed six-pack will be available at each winery and online.

An easy 30-minute drive west from Auckland city centre lies Auckland’s Original Wine Country. The area is steeped in history with wineries that date back to 1916. Kiwis can discover boutique artisan wineries through to some of the most well-known names in the New Zealand wine industry.

Alongside their superb selection of award-winning wines made from locally grown grapes, they also offer outstanding wines made from grapes originating in Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Marlborough and Central Otago.