The newly-formed Maungataniwha ki Rangaunu Charitable Trust is wasting no time in pursuing its goal of restoring waterways in the Awanui catchment.
The trust's aim is to encourage the uptake of kaitiakitanga with hapū by planting to reduce sedimentation and improve water quality in rivers and streams from the Maungataniwha Ranges to Rangaunu Harbour.
"Wai (water) is of great significance to the people of Kaitaia – it is an essential element of life," the trust says.
"As kaitiaki, MRT believes that the maintenance of the mauri, or life-supporting capacity, of water is vital to the physical and spiritual health and wellbeing of all living things. Water is a taonga. Water has been, and remains, an integral cultural, spiritual, political and economic taonga for Nga Iwi katoa o te Hiku o te Ika."
The trust, whose partners include the Northland Regional Council, Te Hiku Sports Hub Committee, the Bushlands Trust, Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu and Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngati Kahu
hapū along the Awanui River, organised a wananga with those hapū and communities next to the river last month, and has already staged a successful planting day at the Te Hiku Sports Hub complex site in Kaitaia. Videos of the wananga and planting day can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQyiLl9g4vo&t=1s and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCZSOPAv2EA
More planting is scheduled for this coming Friday, and it is hoped to engage a number of schools on Wednesday next week (August 5), at the South Rd netball courts.
The options for anyone who would like to get involved are to volunteer at the Bushlands Trust Nursery, to buy a tree (enquire at the nursery), or to contact the trust (via Hone Popata - email@example.com) to support a planting event at your place, marae or public reserve, to learn more about water monitoring training and/or to subscribe to the trust's quarterly newsletter.