The New Zealand Ecological Society is a scientific society formed in 1951 "to promote the study of ecology and the application of ecological knowledge in all its aspects". It draws its membership primarily from research and teaching institutions. On three occasions in its history the Society has prepared substantive statements on ecological issues it regarded as of national importance: the utilisation of South Island beech forests (1973); a population policy for New Zealand (1974); and the generation of nuclear power in New Zealand (1977).
Tiritiri Matangi Island has attained an international profile as a successful ecological restoration project, and is often cited as a model of environmental stewardship. Ecological restoration on the island has always involved, and been dependent on, voluntary public involvement. Public participation in the project not only reinforces existing links between the public and scientific communities, but also facilitates even greater understanding of ecological concepts outside the professional and academic worlds.