Colin Kerr-Taylor Memorial Reserve

The Colin Kerr-Taylor Reserve at Waimauku was gifted to the Society by Yvonne Hollier and Vivienne Wilson in 1993 in memory of their father Colin Vivian Kerr-Taylor QSM JP (1906-1984) who along with his father Vincent Frederick Kerr-Taylor (1866-1920) and grandfather Allan Frederick Kerr-Taylor (1832-1890) sought its preservation.

The reserve is in the Rodney Ecological District which originally had a continuous vegetative cover. The pre-European indigenous vegetation was largely destroyed by conversion to exotic pasture or forest for commercial production and the remnants have been modified by timber extraction and the ravages of exotic animals.

There is little of the original Kauri (Agathis australis) forest left. The Colin Kerr-Taylor Reserve contains some specimens that survived the axe, including one quite large tree.

In 1998 Rodney District Council identified the forest in the reserve as a significant natural area with a moderate significance.  The reserve contains significant stands of large secondary growth Kauri, as well as Kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides), Totara (Podocarpus totara), Rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum), Taraire (Beilschmiedia tarairi), Puriri (Vitex lucens) and Tanekaha (Phyllocladus trichomanoides). The conifers are generally confined to the upper hill slopes.

One Kahikatea tree situated in the northern gully is thought to be the largest in the Auckland region. There is also one very large kauri. The gully contains mature broadleaf forest.  Broadleaf-podocarp forest is establishing well at the southern end of the reserve under a canopy of Kanuka (Kunzea ericoides) and Totara, after historic firewood harvesting.

Common native birds in the reserve include Kereru (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae), Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae), Grey Warbler (Gerygone igata), Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis lateralis), North Island Fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa placabilis), Australasian Harrier (Circus approximans), Ruru (Morepork) (Ninox novaeseelandiae novaeseelandiae), and Kotare (Halcyon sancta vagans).

Access to the reserve is from Taylor Road. There is a network of tracks in the reserve that take in the changing vegetation patterns and landforms.

There is a sign at the reserve entrance and timber direction markers at track intersections. The Murray Jones Track, running down to the large kauri and past the tall kahikatea in a loop up to join the main track, is named after a leading light in West Auckland Scouting who was a member of the Auckland Central and then the Waitakere Branches of Forest and Bird. Murray worked on the reserve, in particular the tracks.

Other tracks in the reserve are the Vincent Track, running to the clearing before the kauri platform, the Vivienne Wilson Track, running from the entrance past the memorial

Copyright © 2006-10 Kaipara Branch, Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc. All rights reserved

John Staniland, Chair Waitakere Branch, hands over guardianship of the reserve to Suzi Phillips of the Kaipara Branch

Source: Peter White, Draft Management Plan for Colin Kerr-Taylor Reserve

rock, and the Yvonne Hollier Track, which rises to the ridge at the southern boundary. The latter three tracks are named after members of the Kerr-Taylor family. The tracks are developed to the tramping track standard. There is a seat dedicated to Amy Kerr-Taylor, Colin Kerr-Taylor's mother, in a small clearing above the gully. Another seat, dedicated to Colin's first wife (the donors' mother Ina) is on the Yvonne Hollier Track.  

A complete circuit of the reserve takes around an hour and a half.

Click map to see the location