Environment

Vision Matauranga support for hapū

New funds have been allocated to support the co-management of freshwater in Tairawhiti. Hapū collective, Hikurangi Takiwā Trust, will host a two year placement of freshwater scientist, Dr Joanne Clapcott, from the Cawthron Institute, New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation.

The placement will be funded by the Te Punaha Hihiko – Vision Matauranga Capability Fund from the Ministry for Business Innovation & Employment. This is the fourth round for the Fund which was established to grow skills and capacity for Māori participation in science and innovation and support outcomes that benefit New Zealand.

The placement will help discover and develop local capability through the design and application of a cultural monitoring framework for freshwater resources.

“The cultural monitoring framework provides the backbone of the placement from which we hope to develop new tools for local hapū and landowners to engage in freshwater management” says Dr Clapcott.

Proposed new ‘tools’ include:

  • a locally relevant cultural health indicator
  • a monitoring network that identifies and incorporates the values of local hapū
  • a five year regional engagement plan that promotes co-learning amongst neighbouring hapū collectives with parallel aspirations to increase their freshwater management capability.

Hikurangi Takiwā Trust has strong kaitiakitanga aspirations and a desire to engage in the co-management of freshwater in the Waiapu rohe. Following the ratification of the Joint Management Agreement between Te Runanga o Ngāti Porou and Gisborne District Council in 2015, Hikurangi Takiwā Trust have been identifying ways to actively engage in the co-management of environmental resources in the Waiapu catchment.

“Hikurangi Takiwā Trust are stoked to host and work alongside Dr Joanne Clapcott – who has affiliations to local hapū Te Aitanga a Mate – in her placement and build our freshwater skill set” says Trustee Pia Pohatu.

– – –

Meanwhile, Hikurangi Takiwā Trust has teamed up with He Awa Ora, He Tai Ora, Healthy Rivers Living Sea Education Trust to offer a two day training workshop this week on stream and river quality monitoring.

The workshop for hapū members, marae representatives, local landowners, teachers and students is on 27th and 28th June at Kariaka Pa, Ruatoria.

For more information and to register please contact Pia Pohatu: pia@uritukuiho.org.nz

– – –

Hikurangi Takiwa Trust is a hapū collective progressing the interests and responsibilities of Te Aitanga-a-Mate, Te Aowera, Te Whānau-a-Rākairoa, Te Whānau-a-Hinekehu and Te Awemapara hapū located between Waipiro Bay and Ruatorea.

Advertisements

Hapū aiming for habitat protection through sustainable land use

With a national report just released showing 74 per cent of native freshwater species are threatened and the relaxing of plantation forestry rules set to cause more erosion, a hapu collective on the East Coast plans to enhance natural habitat while ensuring families based on the land can make a living.

Hapu ‘kaitieki’ on top of Tutae-a-Whata near Makarika.

Hapu ‘kaitieki’ on top of Tutae-a-Whata near Makarika.

The third Hikurangi Takiwa Trust hapu wananga of the Tieki Te Taiao o Te Takiwa project was held at Penu Pa near Makarika over the weekend.

Wananga activities included measuring water quality and stream habitat, assessing the impact of soil erosion on land use and waterways, restoring native vegetation and the looking at the environmental impacts of various land uses including farming, forestry and residential settlement.

Sharing stream survey tools and techniques in-situ of the Makatote Stream with students from Te Kura o Makarika, Te Kura o Hiruharama, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Waiu and Te Parekereke Mokopuna o Hiruharama was the highlight on the first day facilitated by Murray Palmer, Amy-Rose Hardy and Dr Joanne Clapcott, a freshwater scientist with the Cawthron Institute in Nelson.

The Rapid Habitat Assessment (RHA) is a tool developed by Dr Clapcott for stream habitat assessment. It provides a straightforward way for assessors to score and areas that don’t score so well provide a clear focus for restoration efforts.

Dr Joanne Clapcott from the Cawthron Institute identifying stream inhabitants with wananga participants from Makarika and Hiruharama.

Dr Joanne Clapcott from the Cawthron Institute identifying stream inhabitants with wananga participants from Makarika and Hiruharama.

Wananga participants focused on a monitoring site in the Makatote Stream just below Penu Pa. With an RHA score of 72/100, areas for habitat improvement were readily identified as riparian shade, and adjacent and upstream erosion.

The macroinvertebrate community (stream bugs) index score for the same site was 116.4, just below the threshold for ‘Excellent – clean water’.

“This is especially good for a farm-type stream as we took samples from a range of habitats” said Mr Palmer, who has been monitoring waterways around the district for more than thirty years. “Nearly half of the animals gathered were of the sensitive orders, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera, again a very good result.”

Matauranga a hapu was a highlight of the weekend with whakapapa expert Karen Pewhairangi facilitating a role-play with participants of local historical events involving tipuna Te Atau. Nga Kuri Paaka a Uetuhiao, Te Rangitawaea and Kirimamae and their children Rongoitekai, Rongohaere and Wi o Te Rangi.

“We orient ourselves through our shared whakapapa and stories” said project coordinator and local land owner Pia Pohatu. “Our cultural landscape helps us make sense of what is happening in today’s physical landscape and ways we can lead and support current-day landowners and decision-makers with restoration aspirations.”

Regenerating kahikatea, totara and rewarewa at Pouturu Station, Ihungia.

Regenerating kahikatea, totara and rewarewa at Pouturu Station, Ihungia.

Advancing an integrated environmental monitoring program for te rohenga o Hikurangi Takiwa was a major milestone for the Trust, that works for the six pa and associated hapu in the area between Mt Hikurangi, Waipiro Bay and Ruatoria.

“We are grateful for the expertise and participation of scientists like Murray, Joanne and Dr Ian Ruru” said Ms Pohatu.

Weta at Waingakia Station.

Weta at Waingakia Station.

The monitoring program will integrate three key water quality measuring tools – the Mauri Compass developed by Dr Ruru and endorsed by Gisborne District Council, the Rapid Habitat Assessment developed by Dr Clapcott and the Cawthron Institute, and the Macroinvertebrate Community Index endorsed by the Ministry for the Environment. A digital monitoring tool with an interactive ‘touch-smart’ and GIS mapping platform is being developed as a user interface for the monitoring data collected.

Wananga participants included a number of local land owners, farmers and young people.

“We are really looking to achieve a sustainable model of co-existence between humans and other species” said participant Manu Caddie. “As Wendell Berry says, the question we must deal with is not whether the domestic and the wild are separate or can be separated; it is how, in the human economy, their indissoluble and necessary connection can be properly maintained. What kind of plantation forestry or hill country farming is helpful to protect remaining wildlife while still enabling locals to earn a living? And where will our food and construction materials come from if we didn’t have farming or forestry?”

Amy-Rose Hardy instructing wananga participants on the process for gathering macroinvertebrate from the Makatote Stream.

Amy-Rose Hardy instructing wananga participants on the process for gathering macroinvertebrate from the Makatote Stream.

Participants spent the evenings adding sites to a growing digital database and GIS map for Hikurangi Takiwa using online services to source information that was integrated with local cultural knowledge.

“GIS is a powerful and accessible tool for recording and re-presenting matauranga (cultural knowledge) that is important to us, supports lifelong learning and our aspirations, needs and responsibilities as kaitiaki” said Ms Pohatu.

“The ability to collaboratively build and share maps supports intergenerational transmission of matauranga, improves our decision-making and better informs the initiatives we want to lead and get involved with.”

A Ngati Porou Wai Maori Hui was held at the conclusion of the wananga with presentations by Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou representatives and Gisborne District Council staff.

Penu Pa is one of 30 marae that has access to Nati Waiwhai, a free internet service established by Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou and local ISP Gisborne.Net.

“Internet access is essential for this kind of event” said Penu Pa committee member Natasha Koia. “So we are grateful to the individuals and organisations that have made WiFi accessible to most marae on the East Coast.”

The wananga was supported by the Department of Conservation Community Conservation Partnership Fund, Gisborne District Council and the Cawthron Institute.

Collecting macroinvertebrate from the Makatote Stream.

Collecting macroinvertebrate from the Makatote Stream.

 

Wananga participants agreed on the need to develop waterway monitoring program to assess the quality of streams and rivers before, during and after plantation forest harvesting within the hapu estate.

Wananga participants agreed on the need to develop a waterway monitoring program to assess the quality of streams and rivers before, during and after plantation forest harvesting within the hapu estate.

Tieki Te Taiao Wānanga #4 Programme

DSC_0183

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…

HTT submission on NES for Plantation Forestry

FullSizeRender

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

IMG_2107

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

FullSizeRender

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.

– – –

FullSizeRender

10422073_10153745004278294_6025655921626541713_n

11017188_10153098707531273_1603213809431869959_n

FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender