Forestry consultation predetermined – Hapu 

Slash catchers in an East Coast stream could be removed under the proposed NES. Source: Gisborne District Council

Slash catchers in an East Coast stream could be removed under the proposed NES. Source: Gisborne District Council

Hapu representatives say MPI officials should follow the more conciliatory example of their Minister rather than taking offence at criticism of the poor process used to develop new rules for forestry.

Ministry for Primary Industries spatial, forestry and land management acting director Craig Trotter yesterday claimed MPI had taken a ‘collaborative approach’ to the the development of the proposed National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry ‘working closely with representatives from environmental non-government organisations.’

“That is complete rubbish” said Te Papatipu o Uepohatu Trust chair Tui Warmenhoven. We are the most affected region in the country and the only time we’ve seen MPI on this kaupapa was in March when they spent a couple of hours at a meeting in Ruatoria and recently in Gisborne when they presented the proposed NES.”

“It was clear at the presentation in Gisborne that MPI had not made any substantive changes based on the feedback they got in Ruatoria from East Coast hapu and iwi representatives.”

Mr Trotter also said MPI had given Gisborne District Council ‘ample time’ to have input into the NES wording.

“While GDC had a staff member on the working group, they were outnumbered by forest industry representatives for whom the NES is a license to wreak more havoc and care even less for our land and waterways” said Ms Warmenhoven, who is also a researcher studying the impacts of industry on the Waiapu river.

Ms Warmenhoven said it was clear when the NES was taken from the Ministry for the Environment and given to MPI that the focus was on reducing regulation and environmental protections.

“Just because someone was a member of the Working Group doesn’t mean they were listened to, and it was the same with the hui in Ruatoria – they used us to claim some degree of consultation and then continued with their industry-led plan to cut costs which our communities and catchments will suffer from.”

A number of regional councils have opposed the NES, especially in places like Malborough where scientific reports have shown a link between post-harvest run-off and a decline in the coastal marine environment.

At least two hapu groups within Ngati Porou are threatening to take a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal if a NES is adopted that does not address the environmental concerns outlined in the hapu and council submissions.

“We think it would have been wise for MPI officials to follow the example of Ministers Goodhew and Finlayson and not make any judgement or publicly criticise submitters while submissions are being considered” said Ms Warmenhoven. “It seems some within MPI may have already determined the outcome of the consultation process before they have considered the more than 16,000 submission received this week. That suggests this whole exercise, including the Working Group, may all have been an expensive sham.”

Ms Warmenhoven said, as part of Ngati Porou’s treaty settlement, the Crown committed to addressing the state of the land, waterways, and people of the Waiapu catchment, where much of the land is under Māori title.

“So the commitment has become a commitment for 100 years of restoration of the Waiapu catchment. How can we genuinely walk that 100-year road when we are creating a National Environmental Standard which basically throws all that acknowledgement, all that headway that we’ve made out the door?”

In a written statement, Associate Primary Industries Minister Jo Goodhew has said much of the land the trusts were concerned about was zoned as high risk or very high risk, under the new standard’s erosion susceptibility classification.

“For areas of very high risk, resource consent is automatically required and the council will be able to place site-specific conditions on the management of the activity. For high risk areas, stringent conditions will be imposed on foresters working without a resource consent.”

Hapu and GDC submissions both make the point that most of the land in the district is in the high risk category and will therefore be a permitted activity as a lot of problems occur on land at less than the 25 degrees threshold.

“We make the important point that it is much easier if the Consenting Authority is able to assess the specifics of each application based on the particular situation and impose conditions at that point rather than only having  recourse to the expensive option of litigation if an activity isn’t complying with whatever generic rules MPI comes up with.”

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The hapu have made their full submissions available at: www.hikurangitakiwa.nz

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Contacts:

Tui Warmenhoven, Chair, Te Papatipu o Uepohatu Trust – Tel. 021 413508 – Email: tuiaroha@gmail.com

Pia Pohatu, Trustee, Hikurangi Takiwa Trust – Email: pia@uritukuiho.org.nz

Tieki Te Taiao Wānanga #4 Programme

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Due a number of factors beyond our control (like lambing and bereavements) some last minute changes to the wānanga programme – and this is still subject to weather and a range of other factors – but it’s still looking awesome!

Organisers reserve the right to change the programme whenever we feel like it...

Organisers reserve the right to change the programme whenever we feel like it…

East Coast hapū claim Forestry NES may breach Treaty

Slash catchers in an East Coast stream could be removed under the proposed NES. Source: Gisborne District Council

Slash catchers in an East Coast stream could be removed under the proposed NES. Source: Gisborne District Council

Hapū groups with kaiteki responsibilities under the RMA covering more than 60,000 hectares of land on the East Coast are joining Gisborne District Council in opposing proposed changes to national rules for plantation forestry, and suggesting Treaty of Waitangi breaches could result if the proposed National Environmental Standard (NES) is adopted by the government.

Hikurangi Takiwa Trust representing a collective of hapū covering 30,000 hectares south of Ruatoria and Te Papatipu o Uepohatu Trust hapū representing hapū in the Ruatoria area voted earlier in the month to oppose the NES for Plantation Forestry.

“We are very pleased to see Gisborne District Council joining hapu in opposition to these proposed changes” said Uepohatu spokesperson Tui Warmenhoven. “We have been studying the effects of forestry on the Waiapu catchment for decades and the  rules as they stand are not doing enough, the NES proposes to relax those regulations even further.”

Large areas within the hapu estate are currently in plantation forestry and representatives from affected hapu participated in consultation hui held in Ruatoria and Gisborne earlier in the year. While a number of concerns related to the proposed NES were expressed to government officials, the hapu claim these concerns have not been addressed in the Draft NES that closed for submissions today.

Silt rising over five metres in a tributary to the Waiapu River, 2015

Silt rising over five metres in a tributary to the Waiapu River, 2015

“We are advising the Crown that should the NES progress and these issues not be addressed, we reserve the right to seek remedy and protect ecological taonga (treasures) and wahi tapu (culturally significant sites) through the range of legal instruments available to us as Treaty of Waitangi partners with the Crown.”

The hapu believe the proposed changes will be devastating for the district – both in terms of the life of waterways and soil conservation.

“In addition to sharing many of the concerns that Gisborne District Council submission highlights, we are also keen to ensure the right for communities to prohibit Genetically Modified Organisms in the environment is preserved. The NES proposes to remove this right and hand it over to the EPA, an organisation now run by a GE proponent.”

The hapu have made their full submissions available here.

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Contacts:

Tui Warmenhoven, Chair, Te Papatipu o Uepohatu Trust – Tel. 021 413508 – Email: tuiaroha@gmail.com

Pia PohatuTrustee, Hikurangi Takiwa Trust – Email: pia@uritukuiho.org.nz

HTT submission on NES for Plantation Forestry

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Makarika Stream, January 2015

After consulting with the hapu and agreeing by resolution at a meeting of the Trustees on 2 August, Hikurangi Takiwa Trust made a submission on the proposed National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry – a copy of our submission is available to download here.


A plain English version of the submission might summarise it as follows: 

Essentially at present the Council requires forest harvesters to have a range of systems in place to prevent debris from entering waterways (such as requiring a buffer zone around waterways so tree cutting is set back from the waterway and on slopes they have catchers to stop the stuff sliding down the hill and into streams) – and if the stuff does get into waterways then there needs to be mechanisms to catch the debris and remove it as soon as possible as the debris causes havoc to native species that live in the streams and as we know much of it can also end up on beaches.

There are also rules relating to how machinery is used and how soon areas must be replanted and whether some areas should not be replanted in pines for harvest but retired because future harvesting is likely to result in massive erosion for a couple of years after harvest, etc.

All of these rules are much stricter in Tairāwhiti than the rest of the country because of our unique geology and the way plantation forests were established after Cyclone Bola and the existing erosion problems we al know about.

Under the NES these rules would no longer apply to most of the land in the region and we’d get a much watered down version that might suit the central plateau but not here.

As we know the existing rules are still not adequately addressing the problems (the Council, industry, hapu reps and environmentalists) have been working on improving practices for a few years, and the cost to clean up the mess still created is increasing and being worn by ratepayers instead of the companies that make money from the process.

The other major concern is at present if a region wants to be GMO free then it can be (many are), the right of regions to do this is removed and given to the EPA (which has recently had a GE proponent appointed as its chair and has no Environmental Protection mandate in its purpose or responsibilities).

This is a summary of some of the main concerns, but there are a lot of technical and specific issues that are meaningful but dense. The full submission lays out the main concerns systematically with requested changes if the NES proceeds.

Tieki Te Takiwa : Wananga 14-16 Akuhata

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The fourth hapu conservation wananga will be held in August, hosted by Penu and Rongohaere.
Starting Friday 14th August at Penu Pa (6434 Waipau Rd, SH35), the wananga will include field trips to a number of significant cultural and ecological sites around the takiwa between Waingakia and Ihungia.11017188_10153098707531273_1603213809431869959_n

Freshwater scientists Murray Palmer and Ian Ruru will be working with tamariki and whanau to monitor the health of the Mata, Makatote and Makarika awa, we’ll have some korero on the whakapapa of both Rongohaere and Penu (Rongo-i-te-Kai) marae, an overview of some of the critical environmental issues in this part of the takiwa including the impacts of farming and forestry and we’ll be visiting some of the most spectacular examples of pristine ngahere in the rohe – as well as some awesome vistas over the takiwa from the top of Matahia Station.
The weekend is free, koha of healthy kai welcome.

A full programme will be available next week. Contact Pia Pohatu (pia[at]uritukuiho.org.nz) for more information.

Naumai haramai!

Note: If the weather makes these trips dangerous we will postpone until the following weekend.

Digital mapping wānanga builds hapū knowledge and skills

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Creating interactive maps of ecological and cultural significance was a key highlight for over 60 participants in a three day digital mapping wananga at Hiruharama Pa near Ruatorea this week.

Utilising Google Earth and other Geographic Information Systems (GIS) platforms and apps, local whanau, rangatahi and staff members of Te Papa Atawhai and the Gisborne District Council visited sites in the area to geo-tag places of significance. A wide range of data and information was collated virtually and in situ including photographs, traditional placenames, historical korero, mahinga kai, water quality and freshwater habitat information, native vegetation, pests/weeds and recreational use.FullSizeRender

Duane Wilkins, Mapping Manager of Te Papa Atawhai – Department of Conservation in Wellington was the lead keynote presenter and facilitator for the mapping workshop. Biologist Dr Ian Ruru led sessions focused on the tuna as a sentinel species to support water quality monitoring and the assessment of freshwater habitat. Takerei Norton and Iain Gower skyped in to the wananga to share Ngai Tahu’s impressive digital mapping project that has already geo-tagged over 5,000 traditional placenames in Te Waipounamu. Local DOC ranger, Graeme Atkins shared his extensive knowledge of native plants and wetland restoration advice as part of the hikoi on Kahuitara.

“GIS is a powerful and accessible tool for recording and re-presenting matauranga and information that is important to us, supports lifelong learning and our aspirations, needs and responsibilities as kaitiaki” said Pia Pohatu, wananga organiser and project leader of Tieki Te Taiao O Te Takiwa – a three year conservation project for Hikurangi Takiwa Trust. “The ability to collectively build and share maps will support the transmission of matauranga between generations, improve our decision-making and better inform the initiatives we want to lead and get involved with.”FullSizeRender

Newly appointed East Coast Area Officer for Gisborne District Council Ngarangi Walker also helped organise the wananga after participating in a Google Earth Indigenous Mapping hui in Whakatane last year.

“It is important for organisations like the Council to understand how hapu and local communities want to be involved as decision-makers and the collective approaches required to ensure they are ably represented in RMA and local government processes. Hapu or community created maps are an effective way to portray the values they associate with place/s and inform Council processes to respond appropriately.” said Miss Walker.

Digital forms to record details about significant sites were developed during the wananga along with a plan to digitally map the hapu tribal estate over the next three years. Archives of historical value such as survey maps and opportunities to gain further training in GIS were also made available to wananga participants. With half the wananga attendees being under the age of 18 and the oldest aged 84 – the technology, science and matauranga themes provided something for all to learn and contribute toFullSizeRender.

Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou board member and NZ Trade and Enterprise advisor Barry Soutar talked about a number of Maori businesses commercialising GIS systems and using digital technologies in global markets to earn millions for the product developers, company owners and the country.

The wananga was supported through koha from wananga participants and the Department of Conservation Community Conservation Partnership Fund.

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Mapping the Hapū: GIS Wānanga 9-12 April, Hiruharama

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mapping wananga ad

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Hikurangi Takiwā Trust is pleased to invite whānau members affiliated to Te Aitanga-a-Mate, Te Aowera and Te Whānau-a-Rākairoa to a GIS/GoogleMaps wānanga to be held 9-12 April at Hiruharama Pa.

Rangatahi are especially encouraged to attend as there will be a special programme for teenagers and tamariki focused on creating GIS maps and 3D models for the six pa in the takiwā.

The wānanga starts 9.30am 9 Apereira at Hiruharama and concludes early Sunday 12th April. Hiruharama Pa is WiFi equipped and necessary tools and resources will be uploaded to a website for prior access and downloading to personal devices.

Sessions include:

  • GIS in Conservation Reserves, a Ngati Porou case study
  • My Marae, My Hapu, My Iwi: Using Google Maps in a Marae kind of way
  • Geography & Placenames: the Ngai Tahu Project
  • GIS for monitoring hapū wellbeing
  • Site Visit: Kahuitara or Makatote – setting hinaki
  • Hikurangi sunrise haerenga including drone filming of the maunga

Whanau will have the opportunity to work in small groups focused on different mapping kaupapa. There will also be an opportunity for those who wish to find out about local manuka oil production and plans for a nursery to participate in a workshop on this kaupapa.

There is no cost for the wānanga but numbers are limited so registration by 3 April is essential. Accommodation is available at Hiruharama Pa. Any koha/kai appreciated – ma tau rourou, ma taku rourou, ka ora ai te iwi.

Online registration is essential – sign up here: www.earthoutreach.org.nz

For more information visit the wananga website or contact: Pia Pohatu – pia@uritukuiho.org.nz

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Hapu restoration project already having positive impact

A conservation project by hapu on the East Coast is generating interest and momentum amongst local whanau, hapu, marae and kura.

Tieki Te Taiao is a three year project to identify and protect sites of ecological and cultural significance between Whareponga and Hikurangi Maunga. Supported by the Department of Conservation, the first year of the project is focused on assessing our natural resources and planning for restoration of key sites in the years to come.

At the first of six wananga held last weekend at Whareponga, environmental scientists Lois Easton (Gisborne District Council) and Murray Palmer (Nga Mahi Te Taiao Ltd) provided hapu members with training on wetland plant and weed identification and water quality monitoring.

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Left to right: Hapu members Sara Ngarimu, Kapa Keelan, Maria Wynyard, Claude Walker, Tarsh Koia, Angela Tibble, Pia Pohatu and scientist Murray Palmer.

“Wananga are awesome learning opportunities. It is always great to visit our places of significance, reconnect as whanau and share learnings with invited experts. Our rangatahi – so kamakama with their technological savvy – played an important part in recording our discoveries and results. It is a bonus that our whanau are moved to start protection works ‘instantaneously’ on-site.” said Pia Pohatu, Project Manager for Hikurangi Takiwa Trust.

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Collecting water samples in Hikuku wetland 

As a result of the information shared, whanau and hapu members started removing the South American Swamp Flower that was found at the wetland visited. Hikuku and the other four wetlands on the Waikohu block are important to us historically and culturally and they also provide important fresh water habitat. Ms Pohatu said “following the erection of stockproof fencing hapu members are planning regular camps to continue eeling practices, remove weeds, monitor water quality and replant areas with suitable native plant species”.

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Clearing South American Swamp Flower

The Trust is developing a comprehensive assessment of the health of the land, water and biodiversity that will form a ‘State of the Rohe’ environmental report by the end of this year.

Local residents and landowners in the area have been invited to participate in the project. Support available for landowners includes training and resources that support sustainable land and water management. Volunteers helping with habitat restoration through site and resource specific plans, seed collection, propagation and replanting of sites and some financial support for conservation activities are also available.

“By landowners identifying sites of significance or determining what sustainable land and water management means to them we are able to support their needs and aspirations in a variety of ways including accessing technical and scientific expertise that will enable us to restore habitats” said Ms Pohatu.

“Over the year we are working through our whole rohe (tribal area), to identify and prioritise sites and habitats that are important to the hapu and need protection.”

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Looking out from Kokai over Whareponga to Kaimoho

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For more information landowners can contact Pia Pohatu at pmcpohatu@gmail.com, telephone 06 8648667 or 021 653341 and via www.hikurangi.wordpress.com

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Left to right: Hapu members Sara Ngarimu, Kapa Keelan, Maria Wynyard, Claude Walker, Tarsh Koia, Angela Tibble, Pia Pohatu and scientist Murray Palmer.

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Claude Walker talking about the layout of Hikuku wetlands and changes he has noticed over the past decade.

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Hiruharama students identifying aquatic life to assess habitat status and water quality.

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A six hour walk over the sacred maunga Kokai above Whareponga identified a number of areas requiring protection and removal of exotic plants.

 

 

Tieki Te Taiao o Te Takiwa – Environmental protection and restoration – Pānui 1

9 Pepuere 2015
Nga mihi o te wa ki a koe, koutou ko tou whanau

RE: Tieki Te Taiao o Te Takiwa – Environmental protection and restoration

Hikurangi Takiwa Trust (HTT) is a charitable trust supporting a collective of hapū Te Aitanga a Mate, Te Aowera and Te Whānau a Rakairoa. These hapu are affiliated to lands of the tributaries of the Mata River including Whakapaurangi, Hiruharama, Makarika, bound by Hikurangi inland and Whareponga at the coast. 10150654702126273

We are keen to support local landowners, lessees, whanau and marae with environmental protection initiatives to restore natural habitat, protect flora and fauna and improve biodiversity. We can support your conservation efforts through:
1. Developing a comprehensive assessment of the health of the land, water and biodiversity within our takiwa
2. Sharing and training tools and resources that support sustainable land & water management
3. Facilitating and coordinating technical and scientific expertise
4. Enabling habitat restoration through site and resource specific plans and seed collection and propogation to support eco-sourced replanting of sites
5. Some financial support for costs associated with conservation and restoration activities.
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A range of events including hapū wānanga and community workshops will be convened to facilitate this kaupapa. A ‘State of the Takiwa” report will be produced identifying priority sites for restoration by October 2015. Protection and restoration action is the key focus from November 2015 onwards.

This project is supported by the Conservation Community Partnership Fund through Te Papa Atawhai (DOC) and their staff, Gisborne District Council, Nga Whenua Rahui, local experts and scientists and our local schools/ education providers.

If you would like to find out more please contact Pia Pohatu at pmcpohatu@gmail.com. 06 8648667 or 021 653341. You can also check out www.hikurangi.wordpress.com.

Naku noa na,
Pia Pohatu.
Trustee & Project Manager