Bluff’s Te Rau Aroha Marae is getting its very own wind turbine, thought to be a first for New Zealand.

“We wanted to support (Awarua Synergy) and put our money where our mouth is”, Te Rūnaka o Awarua Chair Hana Morgan said.

Owned by Te Rūnaka o Awarua, Awarua Synergy specialises in efficient energy solutions for homes, farms and businesses in Southland. [Read more…]

On 20 March, the transfer of whio fledglings took place and James York travelled as the iwi representative. The transfer went very well indeed and the weather was cracking.

We flew into the Clinton Valley at 10.30am and luckily found the pair we were looking for with their fledglings fairly quickly. Although the catching was not quite textbook it was nearly perfect, and we ended up with all the birds in the net – eventually. [Read more…]

Ko te mea tuatahi e mihi ana ki te whānau o Makō ki Wairewa.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa tauira and Ngāi Tahu kairaranga were privileged to be invited out to Wairewa Marae early this month for a pā harakeke harvest at the pā in Little River.

A closely woven group of keen weavers and whānau travelled out to stay four nights, and took part in many traditional practices of raranga including cleaning and harvesting, preparing and of course weaving the beautiful harakeke grown on the pā. [Read more…]

The Department of Conservation in Invercargill notified us that there was a dead dolphin on the beach at Colac Bay. It was identified as a Hectors dolphin and was found less than two hundred metres from the car park at the Tīhaka end of the Colac Bay Foreshore Road.

The dolphin was just over a metre in length and looked to be in good condition. It will be interesting to know what the cause of death was when they conduct the necropsy as there were some marks displayed on the outer skin on the body and around the dorsal fin. [Read more…]

Rūnanga staff were treated to a trip on the Monarch for our end of year function.

We were captivated by the stunning views and spectacular wildlife, which included five different types of toroa (albatross), tītī, shags and seals. Included are some photos from the trip, captured by Natalie Karaitiana.

Shags sheltering.

Shags sheltering.

[Read more…]

On Sunday 7 September, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae and Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio joined as Poutini Ngāi Tahu, to help the Minister of Conservation, Dr Nick Smith launch and open Te Tai o Poutini marine reserves.

There are five reserves in total, with 160 square kilometres of inland coastal seashore permanently protected, in a similar way to scenic reserves on land. They were ‘officially opened’ with a representative unveiling and blessing at Punakaiki. [Read more…]

Ko ngā hau ki ētahi wāhi, ko ngā kai ki Orariki – No matter which way the wind blows you will always eat at the pā of Orariki, Taumutu

Te Waihora was once famous for its abundant mahinga kai – particularly pātiki – but how is the flounder fishing now?

In May, a team organised by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, set nets at a range of sites around the western side of the lake in beautiful autumnal weather. The work is part of the Whakaora Te Waihora programme aimed at restoring the lake, particularly the quantity and quality of mahinga kai. The target species for the day were pātiki. [Read more…]

At the end of 2012, the Landscape Connections Trust (LCT) held preliminary conversations with a number of agencies and landowners, to explore the enthusiasm and opportunity to work with the East Otago community to develop a biodiversity management strategy for the area.

In April 2013, the LCT submitted an application for project funding to the Biodiversity Advice Fund, administered by the Department of Conservation (DOC). They gained approval from DOC to progress the project in November 2013. [Read more…]

Environment Canterbury has launched its ‘Let’s Clear the Air Campaign 2014,’ to address the ongoing problem of winter pollution in Christchurch.

The campaign focuses on smoky chimneys and better burning, with a view to encouraging ‘smoke-free fires.’ It includes creating programmes to help wood burner users to reduce pollution and encourages the development of ultra-low emissions burners and other cleaner technology. The existing Air Plan, which identifies ways the community can assist in reducing pollution, is also being reviewed to tailor local solutions to the problem. [Read more…]

Over the last five years, Te Roto o Wairewa has shown signs of improvement, with improved water quality, which has enabled macrophytes (aquatic plants) to flower for the first time in many years. The species that has flowered in the lake is Myriophyllum triphyllum, which is known to have high aesthetic, wildlife, and fisheries value. Tim Davie, Environment Canterbury Surface Water Science Manager, said the growth is a sign of a stable lake environment with improving water quality. “Macrophytes grow in lakes along the margins where their roots can reach the lake bottom but in shallow lakes such as Wairewa they can grow almost anywhere. [Read more…]

What a pleasure it was to be at the blessing of the taonga made by Aunty Ranui, Aunty Doe, Nanny Mu, Paula Rigby and Tui Falwasser for the new visitors centre at Christchurch Botanical Gardens.

After the taonga were blessed, we moved to the new building and James Robinson took us through blessing the building, as the royal party were coming through, before “the official opening” of this new building.

Two days after, it was an honour for Reimona and myself to attend the public opening of the “Te Maara Hua Oti o Waipapa” and stand to tautoko Tui Falwasser, who has worked very hard on this project for the last three years.

This is the first time I have known Tūāhuriri to have had input into a project from the drawing board to completion. Tui’s dedication and passion to it all is a credit to her.

It was great to see Uncle Charlie, Aunty Mere, Aunty Alamein and Aroha and Alex Tuira with their two daughters to tautoko our Tūāhuriri representative, Tui Falwasser.

Great work my niece and thank you for ensuring our mana and history will survive long and strong.
Nā Jenny Buccanan.

Rāpaki fire destroys donated tōtara

Nā Ila Couch.

A fire started by a Christmas Day barbecue on the beach at Rāpaki has destroyed a number of native trees planted as part of a fundraiser for Te Wheke Marae.

Brian Downey and Rewi Couch, who planted the trees, spoke to a witness who said the use of an accelerant coupled with a strong sou’wester caused the grass above the far end of the beach to catch fire. The wind drove the fire up the gully, destroying regenerating native plants including nine tōtara planted on behalf of families who had donated trees as part of the fundraising efforts to build the marae.

The tōtara were part of a wider 2009 Land Management Plan using broom as a companion plant to native trees. “The broom provides perfect protection for the native seedlings which would otherwise die if exposed to too much wind and sun,” says Brian. “Eventually the natives outgrow the broom and the regenerating bush takes over.” [Read more…]

Chris Eruera (Ngāi Tahu) wants to be the first tribal member to manage one of the new Ngāi Tahu dairy farms.
“Our rangatira fought long and hard to re-establish our tribal economic base. They carved a pathway and I’m extremely proud to be here now.”

Chris is second-in-charge of a Ngāi Tahu farm, established at Eyrewell on the northern banks of the Waimakariri River. Three of the planned 14 dairy farms for the complex are in operation, with another three farms due to come into production in time for next season. Among the dairy farms will be 150 hectares of native planting – that’s the size of 300 rugby fields set aside for native biodiversity. Potentially there will be 100 jobs created to support the development. [Read more…]

Positive partnership behind city rebuild

Ngāi Tūāhuriri has signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) with CERA (the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Agency), recognising its treaty-based relationship and providing a formal partnership to continue working collaboratively on rebuilding Christchurch’s CBD.

Matapopore (the Ngāi Tūāhuriri earthquake recovery steering group) has been working closely with the Crown, providing advice on the Central City Recovery Plan. [Read more…]

Between 3-5 March, a huge āwhā off the east coast of the South Island pushed cold south easterly rain onto Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū and Ōtautahi causing significant flooding and land sliding. This was a 1-in-100 year āwhā. SH75 between Wairewa and Akaroa was closed and there was significant surface flooding in the Little River and Cooptown area. The majority of rain fell in a 24-hour period from 10am on 4 March. Rainfall predictions from the MetService were for moderate rainfall up until the evening of 3 March, when it was upgraded to severe. By this time it was too late to open the lake, which was at 1.80m, due to the 5-6m swells rolling in. [Read more…]

After eighteen months on the job, members of the Whakaora Te Waihora planting team are enthusiastic about progress to date – and about planting plans for the year ahead. The team has planted in excess of 140,000 plants over 70 key sites around focus catchments since they first started restoration planting in the spring of 2012; and by autumn, they hope to have another 50,000 plants in the ground with a further 45,000 planted during spring 2014.

Workstream team leader Andy Spanton says the team has developed a good team of contractors who are doing great work in the field.

“We’re building a lot of knowledge and capacity around what we do and how we do it, responding to challenges and incorporating feedback along the way,” says Andy.

“Our focus on site selection keeps improving all the time and we’ve earmarked around thirty new planting sites to work on this autumn. This year is about building on what we’ve already achieved; and we continue to work with landowners and agencies including Selwyn District Council, Christchurch City Council and the Department of Conservation , so we all get the wins together.” [Read more…]

Kaitiakitaka kiwi

As part of our kaitiaki responsibilities, we have been supporting a number of initiatives aimed at saving the very rare Haast tokoeka and rowi (Ōkārito brown kiwi) from extinction. Operation Nest Egg (ONE), managed through the Department of Conservation, has been one such initiative where eggs are taken, hatched in a specialised facility and then taken to predator-free islands until they are big enough to fend off predators such as stoats. At this point the majority are returned to Ōkārito (Rowi) and Waitoto Valley (Tokoeka). A further initiative requires kiwi to be taken to other islands to establish back up populations.

Late last year, Kahurangi Wilson-Mahuika had the privilege to accompany some of our manu taonga, Haast Tokoeka, from their home in the Waitoto Valley in Haast  to Fiordland. Over a three-day period, he helped to release kiwi chicks onto Centre Island in the middle of Lake Te Anau and Rona Island in Lake Manapōuri, captured other older birds from both islands and took them down to Rarotoka Island in Foveaux Strait to be released.

The receiving rūnanga was Ōraka-Aparima and so the team were joined by kaumātua and environmental champion, Stewart Bull.

This was the first time that Kāti Māhaki had a member involved in the entire program in this part of the country.

Kahurangi with kiwi and Ōraka Aparima kaumātua Stewart Bull.

Kahurangi with kiwi and Ōraka Aparima kaumātua Stewart Bull.