In mid-2015, Davis Ogilvie designed five nesting platforms with the aim of assisting in the conservation of Australasian crested grebe birds on the Kaituna River, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand, in partnership with the Department of Conservation (DoC).

Davis Ogilvie have prepared a number of alternative nest designs having considered various elements of river morphology, flood levels, and an assessment of consent requirements. Davis Ogilvie installed and monitored the nesting platforms to assess the viability of the platforms so that the designs can be trialled in other areas of the country.

The Australasian crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus australis) is nationally endangered within New Zealand, with a threat status of Nationally Vulnerable.

This project used the multi-disciplinary engineering, surveying and development planning skills of Davis Ogilvie, providing DoC with a practical, repeatable and environmentally conscious means to assist the grebe population at the Kaituna River. Lessons learned from the prototype nest designs will be applied to their future use, both at the Kaituna and at other locations in New Zealand.