Hihi have been actively managed since 1980 with a strong focus on protecting the existing populations and using reintroduction to increase the species range and global population size. There has been mixed success in establishing additional populations of hihi with only 50% of sites maintaining a population, and all of these reintroduced populations needing supportive management in the form of biosecurity, supplementary feeding and sometimes provision of nest boxes. In the early years of this recovery project the majority of work was undertaken by the New Zealand Wildlife Service and then Department of Conservation (DOC). More recently conservation has been increasingly undertaken by non-government organisations including community run conservation groups and research institutions in collaboration with DOC. Representatives from across these organisations collectively make up the current Hihi Recovery Group (HRG; see our members). It is important that we clearly articulate our groups Hihi Recovery Objectives and then use these to guide our management decision making. This is even more important given the diversity of groups working with hihi, and that hihi are spread over multiple populations across New Zealand.
The HRG has four fundamental objectives, each with a small number of criteria against which they can be measured. Being explicit about how the HRG objectives will be measured naturally allows for alternative management alternatives to be assessed for their likely affect (consequence) on each objective. It therefore allows the HRG (or managers) to better choose between alternatives. Once a chosen management option is undertaken the HRG (or managers) can then assess its success against these agreed measures. This allows clear feedback on how management is, or is not, achieving what is considered important.