Iwi and East Harbour Regional Park celebrate partnership with planting day
Greater Wellington Regional Council, Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika iwi, MIRO and other local volunteer groups have begun planting 2000 natives plants to celebrate eight years of partnership in the co-management of Parangarahu Lakes area.
The Taranaki Whānui planting day is an annual event at East Harbour Regional Park that brings iwi back in touch with their land, and acknowledges the various groups joint efforts in supporting the co-management of the lakes.
Greater Wellington councillor, Prue Lamason says, “This partnership between Greater Wellington Regional Council, Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika iwi, MIRO and other volunteers is fundamental to the wellbeing of the park. And the work we’re doing today will help enable Taranaki Whānui iwi members fulfil their kaitiaki (guardian) responsibilities to the park’s historical, cultural and ecological objectives.
“This nationally significant area is comprised of Lake Kohangapiripiri, Lake Kohangatera their associated wetlands and the surrounding land. This area is home to rare plant and animal species that rely on the unique ecology of the area.
“Specifically, our protection and restoration work is critical to the over 50 bird species that call this park home, which include the regionally rare dabchick, tomtit, rifleman, whitehead, kakariki, falcon, banded dotterel and grey duck.”
The event opened with karakia, recognition of the extensive work accomplished, discussion of the future direction and much need kai to provide energy for a day of planting.
Rōpū Tiaki member, Vince Robertson said the annual Planting Day was a great opportunity for Taranaki Whānui to join up with Greater Wellington and MIRO, and connect with the Parangarahu Lakes.
“The co-management plan objectives of Rōpū Tiaki are really brought to life at this event. This year was very special as there was a blessing ceremony for a commemorative plaque donated by Greater Wellington for the late Sam and June Jackson, esteemed Taranaki Whānui kaumātua who worked with Greater Wellington in this area over many years.
“Nōu te rourou, Nāku to rourou, ka ora ai te taonga Kohanga ora - With your help, with my help, our treasured nest nurturing life and wellbeing will stay well for future generations.”
MIRO’s local nursey have grown the 2000 native plants, which they have raised from seedlings. It is estimated that 500 plants were planted on the day with the remaining to be planted over the winter.