Date: 14 September 2012
A Government biodiversity grant will help a Te Arawa hapu protect and reconnect with their ancestral lands near Lake Tarawera.
The Ngati Hinemihi Charitable Trust has been awarded $33,413 from the Biodiversity Funds to remove plant pests and restore native plants on their land, Te Wairoa, an area of high cultural and spiritual value.
The aim is to restore the biodiversity values of the native vegetation and wetlands as well as enhance the hapu’s connections to the area, says Ngāti Hinemihi Charitable Trust chairman, Te Ohu Mokai Wi Kingi.
“The project will take us home and will help awaken the rich histories and stories that have been absent for so long.”
“It also allows us to take a collaborative approach, working with DOC and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.”
The weed control work will also benefit the Tarawera Trail currently under development, by avoiding the spread of weeds along the route and restoring native vegetation along the trail, says Mr Wi Kingi.
Te Wairoa is near the site of the Hinemihi Marae and village buried in the 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption. It will also be the start of the Tarawera Trail, a planned multi-day track around Lake Tarawera.
The Trust has secured funding from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council of $37,000 over three years to carry out the work under a biodiversity management plan, and will contribute $4,500 to the project.
Control of wilding pines on Mount Tarawera by the Ngāti Rangitihi Ruawahia 2B Trust has also received a Biodiversity Funds grant.
These projects are two of 66 nation-wide to receive support from the DOC-administered funds, which are used protect and enhance indigenous biodiversity on private land. The Government is investing a total of $2,102,936 in these projects over three years, which is matched by $2,683,153 contributed by landowners and other organisations.
Fiona Oliphant, DOC media officer
Phone: +64 27 470 1378
Te Ohu Wi Kingi, Ngāti Hinemihi Charitable Trust Chairman
Phone: +64 21 082 09311