Date: 03 December 2014
Conservation funding will help volunteers continue the ongoing conservation and protection of Waihirere Domain in Gisborne.
Community and hapū groups received $10,000 from the DOC Community Conservation Partnership Fund for the Waihirere Domain Conservation Project.
The funding will enable the groups to continue working with other stakeholders to undertake natural heritage work says Conservation Partnership Manager, Ms De-Arne Sutherland. “This project is a reflection of shared ambitions of the community and hapū groups, with the contribution of hard working volunteers.”
Doug Symes and group at possum workshop, Waihirere Domain
Tangiwai Ria, Parihimanihi Marae Trustee, says the Waihirere community have worked alongside the wider community at the domain knowing the potential of working on the ecosystem brings huge benefits for our youngsters.
“We have a small gem in our environment, and as parents, grandparents and whanau we fully support the working relationships.”
“Each person brings different skills and hopefully one day, one of our children might work alongside Tina Ngata, kaiako (teacher) of Te Mana Ao Turoa Bachelor degree course, and whanaunga (relative) Ian Ruru another kaiako at Te Wananga o Aotearoa doing work across the landscape of Turanga.”
“We are grateful to government and community funders who see the work at the domain as a worthwhile initiative to support” says Ms Ria.
The funding will be used to purchase more rat and possum traps, and to employ a project administrator to organise activities, meetings and volunteers. A Bioblitz community science event is planned to bring together local scientists with the public. Added water quality testing will be carried out with a new monitoring kit.
Activities in the last year included DOC Ranger Joe Waikari working with schools setting DOC200 traplines targeting stoats and rats. A roster of volunteers have been monitoring these traps, and more than 65 rats, 8 stoats and 1 ferret have been caught. A possum trapping workshop identified plenty of possums and eradicating them would help the plant and bird life. The Gisborne District Council are working with Ngati Wahia on a Domain Management Plan.
Tairawhiti Environment Centre staff and volunteers have contributed time and funding, and will provide the financial structure to administer the fund.
A steering group comprising Ngati Wahia’s newly established ecological arm (Nga Tamatoa o Waihirere), Domain Conservation Group members, Enviroschools, Tairawhiti Environment Centre and Gisborne District Council staff will continue to drive the project.
The Community Conservation Partnership Fund was announced in March this year and provides $26 million over the next four years to community organisations undertaking natural heritage and recreation projects. The Fund will support hundreds of projects on public and private land.