The Rotoroa Island Trust's vision is for the island to become a sanctuary where people can experience the wonder of New Zealand wildlife. The Trust strives to be a leader in conservation management and education while respecting Rotoroa Island's heritage as a place of recovery and renewal.

Rotoroa Island has undergone a significant transformation since the Rotoroa Island Trust was established in 2008. Over 20,000 pine trees have been felled to make room for 400,000 native plants-and that's just the beginning.

In 2012, the Trust formed an innovative partnership with Auckland Zoo. The aim was to repopulate the island with native species in need of care and sanctuary, and to develop a model of wildlife management that could be used to underpin a unique conservation education programme. The Trust and Auckland Zoo hope to inspire a generation of young New Zealanders to love and respect the Hauraki Gulf through the experience they have on Rotoroa Island.

The Rotoroa Island Trust is a NEXT Foundation project funded by the Hutton Wilson Charitable Trust - both of which have been created with generous gifts from Neal and Annette Plowman. Thanks to the vision of the Plowmans and the Rotoroa Island Trust, Rotoroa Island is now an idyllic wildlife sanctuary sitting just off the coast of Auckland city and open for everyone to enjoy.

Rotoroa Island Documentary: The Making of an Island Sanctuary (Borderless Productions).


In 1911 the Salvation Army opened Rotoroa Island as a rehabilitation facility for alcoholics. Rotoroa Island was the first and longest running addiction treatment centre, proudly serving over 12,000 New Zealanders. During this period Rotoroa Island was largely self sufficient; an early model of self-sustainability. Vegetable gardens, working farms and sprawling orchards provided plenty of fresh food to the island's occupants.

Deciding that life beyond an isolated island - no matter how beautiful - was crucial to the ongoing successful treatment of addiction in 21st century society, the Salvation Army disestablished Rotoroa Island's alcohol and drug rehabilitation services in 2005, continuing its work through community based Salvation Army Bridge programmes on the mainland. Four years later, The Rotoroa Island Trust was established. The Trust then purchased a 99-year lease from the Salvation Army and - along with dedicated partners and volunteers - has been working tirelessly  to restore this unique island and reopen it to the public.

A state-of-the-art visitor centre and museum now showcases the island's fascinating history-from its Maori and early European history through to its many years in private isolation as New Zealand's first and longest running addiction treatment centre.

Rotoroa Island Documentary: A Legacy of Salvation Continues (Borderless Productions).


Many businesses and individuals have helped in the restoration of Rotoroa Island. We'd like to say thanks to the following companies and people:

Charitable Trusts and Organisations
The Salvation Army
The Hutton Wilson Trust

Volunteer Groups
Pernod Ricard New Zealand

Community Partners and Associations
Auckland Zoo
Forest and Bird
Hauraki Gulf Marine Forum
Thames Coast Kiwi Care

Suppliers and Contractors
Boffa MiskellTreescape
Advanced Flight
360 Discovery Cruises
The Letter Q
Studio Alexander
Rick Pearson and Associates
The Business Advisory Group
Bell Gully


Directors of The Rotoroa Island Trust Company Limited (the Trustee) are Andrew Poole (Chairman),  Ewen Anderson, David Bateman, Simon Plowman and Andrew Westrupp.  Andrew Westrupp and David Bateman represent the Salvation Army. Rotoroa Island Trust's Charities Commission Registration Number is CC24437.