Date: 27 April 2022
The newly announced Hem of Remutaka restoration project is focused on the coastal environment from Eastbourne to Turakirae, and is led by Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika in partnership with Conservation Volunteers New Zealand, DOC, and Greater Wellington Regional Council.
The funding will include the planting of over 7,000 riparian and coastal plants, weed and pest control over 4,000ha, the maintenance of 30km of tracks, as well as community engagement. This mahi will support the creation of 19.5 FTE over three years to carry out conservation and engagement work, says Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan.
“The Hem of Remutaka project will help Taranaki Whānui increase their presence and ability to act as kaitiaki in their whenua, using mātauranga principles to protect biodiversity and freshwater health. Ideally, uri/descendants of Taranaki Whānui and locals from the Wainuiomata and the Te Awa Kairangi areas, who have been hit hard by COVID, are employed by this mahi.”
Conservation Volunteers New Zealand will manage staff and support project delivery, building capability and practical skills, while Taranaki Whānui will lead thinking and implementation of a mātauranga-based approach to kaitiakitanga.
“Work like maintaining 30 km of tracks, information boards telling local stories, and engagement with the public to ensure compliance with fishing regulations, will help forge and strengthen people’s connection with the land.”
Project Governance representative and Trustee of Tupoki Takarangi Block Trust Lee Hunter says the Hem of Remutaka project will have a significant, positive effect on ecological restoration for the entire Parangarahu area.
“We’ve been presented with an issue of unemployment and the protection of our whenua,” says Lee. “Taranaki Whānui will work in partnership with private landowners and local Councils to create job opportunities at the same time as protecting whenua that is culturally, environmentally, and historically significant.
“Neighbouring private landowners are opening their gates to enable this project, which works across landscapes to allow collective benefits to be realised.
“The outcomes achieved by this three-year project also extend to understanding our historical sites, sites of significance and reconnecting uri Taranaki Whānui to these sites.”
The Hem of Remutaka project involves many partners, including Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika (TW), Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ), the Tupoki Takarangi Block Trust, the Department of Conservation (DOC), Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) with Friends of Baring Head and the Mainland Island Restoration Operation (MIRO), Orongorongo Station and Pencarrow Station.
The Government’s Mahi mō te Taiao | Jobs for Nature programme is a $1.219 billion investment in the creation of 11,000 nature-based jobs. As a part of this programme the Department of Conservation will allocate $488 million to projects that will create nature-based job opportunities for approximately 4,800 people over a four-year period.
It is supercharging the conservation efforts of the Department of Conservation, iwi and hapū, councils, and the wider community to implement kaitiakitanga. This funding will help restore the mauri and mana of Te Taiao (our nature) by controlling pests and weeds, restoring wetlands, and returning native bush, rivers, and streams to health.
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