Not all heroes wear capes – many wear gumboots and carry traps, says Auckland Council. They are our eco heroes: working to protect Auckland’s natural spaces and resources. Pāora Puru, responsible for regenerating the mauri (life force) of forests and waterways, learned the “traditional esoteric Māori ways of the natural environment” from his grandmohter. Matt Maitland, Senior Ranger Open Sanctuaries for Auckland Council, has spent 25 years battling stoats which kill around 40 North Island brown kiwi chicks everyday. Te Hēnga Tūturiwhatu, a group at Bethells Beach (Te Hēnga), is dedicated to protecting the dotterels which are even rarer than the kiwi – only around 2500 are left in Aotearoa.