Date: 02 October 2019
Earlier this year the Motukaraka Reserve was devasted by fire and since then four-wheel drive vehicles and dirt bike tracks have further degraded the dunes and coastal shrublands.
Ngā Wairiki, Ngāti Apa Property and Land Development Manager Alan Turia says the reserve is not only special to the iwi but has significance to the whole community.
In mid-September Ngā Wairiki, Ngāti Apa organised a two-day planting restoration event on the reserve. On the second day alone 500 harakeke, tī kouka, toetoe, ngaio, red matipo and 950 pingao and spinnifex were planted.
“Our planting day was set initially over the weekend and had at the time 20 plus whānau and members of the community keen to participate,” Alan says.
“The change to the weekdays meant our numbers reduced.”
Alan acknowledges those who made themselves available over the two days, including DOC Community Supervisor Peter Lock and Community Ranger Jaycee Tipene-Thomas.
“I especially enjoyed working with my two nephews Maddy Thompson and Carl Hodson who gave me a sense of pride and to know the next generation has an interest in our whenua. We slogged it out and accomplished a great deal.”
Ngā Wairiki, Ngāti Apa also gave special thanks to Colin Bartlett First Gas Ltd for their significant sponsorship and the Department of Corrections which supplied the plants as part of the Good to Grow partnership with DOC.
“All in all it was a great collaborative approach from all and we are very grateful,” Alan says.
Good to Grow
The Good to Grow (GTG) partnership between DOC and Corrections aims to reduce reoffending by providing training, skills and work opportunities to offenders while at the same time boosting conservation. The programme seeks to maximise the positive interactions between offenders and nature across the country using five focus areas:
- Conservation Friendly Corrections whereby Corrections sites lead and innovate to reduce their environmental impact
- Corrections ‘adopted sites for restoration’ and species protection
- Supporting Collaborative Landscape Scale Restoration projects in selected regions
- Growing, planting and maintaining native trees through the One Billion Trees programme
- Supervised community and prison work programmes taken to scale
The partnership connects offenders both ‘inside and outside the wire’, with conservation initiatives across the country. Community workers are helping to clear tracks, remove weeds, maintain historic sites, build boardwalks, plant trees, among other activities. Prisoners are doing their bit by growing nursery plants and making predator traps, BBQ tables, bird boxes and other useful conservation and recreation goods.
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