Efforts to transform 900 hectares of land along the Waipoua River have been given a boost, with a $100,000 grant.
Te Roroa Development Charitable Trust in Northland was awarded $100,000 from Foundation North. The grant goes towards Te Toa Whenua, an initiative designed to restore and transform 900ha along the Waipoua River, which flows through Waipoua Forest and into the Tasman Sea.
The restoration project, which will initially involve pest and noxious plant control and then re-forestation of native plants, will protect important cultural and archaeological sites while establishing sustainable land uses for current and future generations of Te Iwi o Te Roroa.
"This is an intergenerational project; one that won't be completed in just five or 10 years," Courtney Davis, project manager of Te Toa Whenua said.
"It's going to require hundreds of years and we will have to be patient and work through the challenges that arise over time."
Funding was granted specifically towards the development of a nursery which will propagate native plants required to replant land within the scope of Te Toa Whenua. The nursery will also become an educational tool and community hub and will enable members of Te Roroa to be involved in the rehabilitation of their whenua.
"Once we get the projects going, such as the nursery, this might encourage young people to come back into the area, because at the moment there is no employment at all," Davis said.
"Having a small-scale industry will greatly appeal to rangatahi.''
Foundation North, the community trust for Auckland and Northland, recently distributed $1.3 million in grants to not-for-profit organisations and community initiatives
across Tai Tokerau. The foundation has refreshed its strategy to distribute funding into four key focus areas - increased equity; social inclusion; regenerative environment and community support.