Date: 14 September 2012
Work to rid Mount Tarawera of wilding pines is set to continue this spring with a new grant from the Government’s Biodiversity Funds.
Ngati Rangitihi Ruawahia 2B Trust received $180,000 over three years to continue their work to control wilding conifers and other ecological weeds on their mountain, which is protected as a private reserve. The Trust will also contribute $150,000 over this period.
Now it its fourth year, the project – undertaken in partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC) – aims to restore the vitality of life and the mauri, wairua, mana and oranga of the sacred tribal maunga. Their vision is “a healthy maunga – a healthy people”.
So far the three domes of the mountain – Ruawahia, Wahanga and Tarawera – have been cleared by Ngati Rangitihi workers, who undertook forestry training for this purpose. The fan and slopes of Ruawahia and Wahanga will be targeted next.
Ken Raureti, Ruawahia 2B Trust Chairman, says the control work has already transformed the maunga. “It’s no longer blighted with a skyline of pines.”
The benefits of the project have been far-reaching, he adds. “Up-skilling and training of our men has added value to the project, as well as making them more marketable for other employment.”
“The improved health and wellness of our maunga goes hand-in-hand with the wellness and mana of our people.”
DOC is working with Ngati Rangitihi, helping to run the project on the mountain and lower slopes, which it manages. The Trust is committed to achieving wilding pine control over ten years and ongoing maintenance.
Mount Tarawera is a maunga tapu (sacred mountain) for the Ngati Rangitihi sub-tribe of Te Arawa and the wellbeing of Ruawahia, their ancestral maunga, is of paramount importance to them.
The area has unique volcanic geology and landforms and is of high ecological value with diverse habitats and plants, including rare geothermal vegetation.
This project is one of 66 nation-wide to receive support from the DOC-administered Biodiversity 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
Phone: +64 27 231 3957