Rotorua Daily Post: An increasing awareness of the efforts of kaitiaki (protectors) undertaking environmental projects around the Te Arawa lakes has prompted the Te Arawa Lakes Trust to hold a special hui.
Te Arawa Lakes Trust environment manager Nicki Douglas said next weekend’s Kaitiaki Wānanga was for anyone who considered themselves an eco-warrior, or who wanted to know more about helping out the environment, but was unsure where to start.
Ms Douglas said there was a groundswell of local community-driven initiatives under way, with a second Utuhina wānanga held last weekend and a planting day held at Waiteti Marae last week.
Te Arawa is clearly expressing its role as kaitiaki and this upcoming hui is about supporting that,” she said.
“There are many ways Te Arawa are participating in their role as kaitiaki through restoration projects, input to submissions and planning processes, providing advice on cultural sites of significance and impacts as well as how to best apply matauranga (knowledge) Māori in a contemporary context. The Trust really wants to bring this experience together so we are able to identify how we can best support these efforts moving forward.”
Ms Douglas said it was the first time Te Arawa Lakes Trust had held such a hui, and she hoped it would become a regular event.
“It is about looking at the ways we can work together and best protect and care for our lakes. This hui is the first of a series of which we will be holding around the rohe (district) to support whanau, hapu and iwi who are passionate about protecting our rohe,” she said
“We want as many people as possible on this journey with us and participating in whatever way works for them.”
Ms Douglas said one of the Trust’s primary objectives was to restore the mauri (life force) of the lakes and waterways.
“We can only do that if we are working together.”
She said a key focus was improving water quality so that we can “see” the footsteps of the koura in our lakes, which makes the upcoming hui a perfect fit with the Trust’s values.
The Trust’s Kaitiaki Wānanga will take place on Sunday from 10am to 1pm at Te Ao Marama next to St Faith’s at Ohinemutu.
Anyone can register via Te Arawa Lakes Trust Facebook page.