Geyser Foundation

Tongariro Memorial Fund


An Opportunity to Make a Difference

Conservation and enhancing the environment Is a massive task and Project Tongariro provides an opportunity for individuals, groups, schools and businesses to be involved and help through funding, supporting or volunteering. 

Project Tongariro has established a named endowment fund with the Geyser Community Foundation.  The Tongariro Memorial Fund is a living legacy to the four national park rangers and pilot Douglas McKenzie who tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash in the park in December 1982 and is a unique, ongoing and dynamic memorial.

Tongariro Memorial Fund
with Geyser Community Foundation

The Tongariro Memorial Fund is a special and powerful way in which individuals, whanau, schools and organisations can support the ongoing projects and activities of Project Tongariro for the long term.

All donations made to the fund including bequests and endowments in people's wills will be managed and invested by the Geyser Community Foundation on Project Tongariro's behalf.

Income earned on the capital will be made available to Project Tongariro every year for investment in one of our four key areas of focus: biodiversity, education, history or recreation. The annual income will enable continued development of projects and programmes in and around Tongariro National Park, World Heritage Area and in the wider Taupo region.

Donations of any size can be made to the Tongariro Memorial Fund at any time on the Geyser Community Foundation's website,

The Tongariro Memorial Fund Helps Enable Project Tongariro

The Fund, along with donations and bequests, adds resilience and sustainability to Project Tongariro. A robust fund will enable continued development of projects and programmes in and around Tongariro National Park, World Heritage Area and in the wider Taupo region. Project Tongariro’s four key areas of focus are conservation education, history, recreation and natural heritage.

Community involvement is essential to Project Tongariro’s conservation efforts and exceptional relationships with stakeholders, community groups and individuals have been developed and nurtured. The fund is used to strengthen these associations through meaningful projects of interest to wide-ranging audiences.

Investment in science and research is central to creating opportunity, problem solving and developing knowledge. Since 1991, Project Tongariro has awarded annual scholarships to more than 35 young researchers from New Zealand universities. This has enabled a wide range of valuable research to be undertaken in Tongariro National Park with far reaching application.

Decades Creating Community Conservation Opportunities

In 2014, Project Tongariro celebrated its 30th anniversary. At its genesis, the idea of creating a pro-active community organisation working in partnership with Tongariro National Park staff was ahead of its time. Decades on, Project Tongariro is a key partner of the Department of Conservation and has developed significant strategic relationships with a range of local and national entities to achieve conservation goals.

Project Tongariro has flourished, surpassing the expectations of its founders. It has helped fund, undertaken and completed projects from Ohakune to Taupo, creating a meaningful and long-lasting contribution to the region’s conservation, economic and social structure.

Rotopounamu-Pihanga Restoration

Aided by its ‘Adopt a Hectare’ programme, Project Tongariro has enabled integrated pest management at Rotorpounamu-Pihanga.  This has greatly improved the biodiversity values of the site and created opportunities for future reintroductions of threatened or endangered species to the area.


Te Matapuna Wetland Restoration

Project Tongariro facilitates restoration of the Te Matapuna wetlands, an area between Motuoapa and Turangi with significant biodiversity and cultural values.  A first step was to control willows and replanting of stream and lake margins. Long term funding means this project continues to grow and in collaboration with Maori landowners and hapu it is expanding beyond its initial boundary.


Greening Taupo

Project Tongariro initiated Greening Taupo with the objective of improving the local environment for people and native wildlife through restoration planting and pest control. The key aim is to create ecological corridors and increase native bird populations.  Working in collaboration with Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary, DOC, the Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board, and councils as well as numerous supportive businesses and community groups enables Project Tongariro to add new sites to the Greening Taupo programme and take conservation in the town to another level.


Kids Greening Taupo

Through Greening Taupo, Project Tongariro has helped introduce Kids Greening Taupo, an education and environmental programme that connects schools to an authentic purpose for teaching and learning with a key focus being student leadership.



Protection and restoration of historic structures as well as telling their story is important to Project Tongariro. Project Tongariro led the protection, restoration and interpretation of the historic Hapuawhenua Viaduct and Old Coach Road. This has created recreation and tourism opportunities and has had positive economic impact on the local community. Project Tongariro was also integral in the restoration and interpretation of the historic Waihohonu Hut, once a key stopover on the Grand Tourist Route in Tongariro National Park.


Events & Recreation

Project Tongariro is instrumental in the running of a range of recreational events held in Tongariro National Park with the aim of connecting people to conservation through participation and discovery. Mahi Aroha—Summer Programme, the popular Tussock Traverse and the Chateau Tongariro Kite Day are key dates on the event calendar.