The objectives of the trust are education, conservation and preservation of New Zealand native flora and fauna.
The Nga Manu Trust was formed in 1974 and is registered with the Charities Commission (#CC10604). One of the first challenges of the Nga Manu Trust was to find a site that would provide the trustees with a practical tool to meet these objectives.
Founder trustees Prof. John Salmon, Peter McKenzie and David Mudge were made aware of a site in Waikanae. This site is now known as Ngā Manu Nature Reserve, and is administered by the Trust. This site was chosen as it provided an opportunity to protect the largest remnant of coastal lowland swamp forest on the Kāpiti Coast.
The site covers approximately 14 hectares and adjoins similar sized blocks that are comprised of Kāpiti Coast District Council reserve, QE2 Covenant, farmland and some private bush. Education and research are a major part of the trust activities along with involvement in native species recovery programmes.
- David Mudge – Appointed on 13 Feb 1974.
- Dr Catherine Knight – Appointed on 1 Dec 2010.
- Tony Ward – Appointed on 16 March 2011.
- Peter Kettle (Chairman) – Appointed on 14 Sep 2011.
- Chris Milne – Appointed on 18 Oct 2012.
- Jean Fleming – Appointed on 17 Oct 2015.
- Murray Williams – Appointed on 27 Oct 2015.
- Ruth McKenzie (Advisory Trustee).
- Peter McKenzie
- Mr R.W Cleland
- John Dawson
- Sir Robert Falla
- Sir Charles Fleming
- Gp Capt T.A. Morgan QSO, AFC
- Sir Roy McKenzie
- Prof. J.T Salmon
- Dr J.C. Yaldwyn
- Maurice Andrews
- Bruce Benseman
- Ian Townsend