Central North Island iwi Ngāti Rangi is joining forces with the Department of Conservation on environmental projects that will create more local jobs.
Te Kumete o Paerangi chairwoman Tomairangi Mareikura said the partnership between Ngāti Rangi and the Department of Conservation (DoC) would support the ongoing care of Karioi Rāhui through the Jobs for Nature programme.
It will enable Ruapehu WorX to create pathways to sustainable employment within the rohe to assist in the conservation work required for the ongoing protection and maintenance of Karioi Rāhui (an ecological restoration project on the southern slopes of Mt Ruapehu) and the Whangaehu catchment.
The work will include pest management and weed eradication across nearly 14,000ha, home to pekapeka (bats), kiwi and other native flora and fauna, in a place of cultural significance, wāhi tapu, for Ngāti Rangi.
"This partnership with DoC allows us to continue the legacy of our pāhake in a meaningful way," Mareikura said.
"Embodying the tiakitanga of our whenua from the mountains to the sea has been woven into the fabric of us as Ngāti Rangi since time immemorial. This investment in our rohe will enable us to take a further step towards the realisation of the vision instigated by our Matua Colin Richards, Matua Richard Pirere, Matua Keith Woods and the many others who have championed our mahi within te ao Tūroa."
Ruapehu WorX operational director Kemp Dryden said the partnership would create more local jobs for local people and "supports our aim for our people to be the active guardians of all our whenua under the gaze of Koro Ruapehu".