Pouring rain didn’t stop Eastland Port staff and Ngati Oneone from getting their hands dirty at the Kopuawhakapata stream restoration project in September.
The eager group planted 937 native plants around the Kopuawhakapata stream catchment area.
This is the start of an ambitious collaborative effort between Ngati Oneone and Eastland Port, to begin the overall restoration of the stream and its catchment, in an effort to restore the mauri of this important awa.
Eastland Group chief operating officer Andrew Gaddum said, “It was a team effort to collect rubbish, pull weeds, lay newspaper and bark mulch, and plant a whole heap of native plants.
“Once the plants have established, they will provide a healthier environment for native species, stabilise the stream edge and purify water entering the stream, with the ultimate aim of restoring the stream and improving the health of the awa and whenua.
The project is a positive result of discussions between the Port and Ngati Oneone on their aspirations for their rohe and how the two parties can work together to achieve these outcomes.
“A special mention to all the young people who came along and brought their energy, knowledge and positive attitudes with them. Seeing them out there in the rain showed their commitment and passion for kaitiakitanga and protecting the environment,” says Mr Gaddum.
Charlotte Gibson of Ngati Oneone said, “Kopuawhakapata stream is of great significance to Ngati Oneone, given Te Poho o Rawiri Marae and papakainga was originally located at the joining of the Turanganui River and Kopuawhakapata stream.
“It is important that we continue on with the tremendous work that Whaia Titirangi Kaitiaki began on Titirangi Maunga – their efforts on Titirangi are remarkable and I’m sure that with the collaboration of Ngati Oneone and Eastland Port, we can make a huge difference in our surroundings which will have huge benefits for all of Tairāwhiti to share in. One day perhaps, we might even see a return of the Tohitohi (species of inanga/whitebait).”