MOWS formed in 2009 as a small community group with the goal of protecting a few tūturiwhatu (northern NZ dotterel; Charadrius obscurus) on Maketū Spit. The species has since become our flagship, and the bird is the central focus of our logo which was designed by Sonia Frimmel.
The beach and three different coloured sand dunes upon which it stands represents the three local beaches (Maketu Spit, Newdick’s Beach, and Dotterel Point Pukehina) where we focus our ecological restoration efforts and regularly monitor dotterels, oystercatchers, red-billed gulls, endangered black-backed gulls, and other bird species.
The background of the tī kōura (cabbage tree) and harakeke (flax) represents the wetland areas (Waihī Wetland and Te Huauri o Te Kawa, previously known as Borrow Pits and By De Lay Wetland) where we undertake additional restoration and monitoring of threatened Australasian bittern, crake and fernbird.
The wetlands as the background of the beach also signifies the natural linkages between these habitats, and the interconnectedness among the environment. What affects one will affect the other, and our aim is to protect and enhance as much of the natural environment as possible, to not only protect NZ dotterel, but also a range of other birds, plants, reptiles and invertebrates that live here.