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Working together to restore stream

A combined effort by Ngati Oneone and Eastland Port is under way to restore the Kopuawhakapata stream.

Last Friday a group of eager workers planted 937 native plants around the Kopuawhakapata stream catchment area.

This is the start of an ambitious collaborative effort between Ngati Oneone and Eastland Port, to begin the overall restoration of the stream and its catchment in an effort to restore the mauri of this important awa.

“It was a team effort to collect rubbish, pull weeds, lay newspaper and bark mulch, and plant a whole heap of native plants,” Eastland Group chief operating officer Andrew Gaddum said.

“Once the plants have established, they will provide a healthier environment for native species, stabilise the stream edge and purify water entering the stream, with the ultimate aim of restoring the stream and improving the health of the awa and whenua.”

The project is a positive result of discussions between Eastland Port and Ngati Oneone on their aspirations for their rohe and how the two parties can work together to achieve these outcomes.

Mr Gaddum made special mention of “all the young people who came along and brought their energy, knowledge and positive attitudes”.

“Seeing them out there in the rain showed their commitment and passion for kaitiakitanga and protecting the environment.”

Charlotte Gibson of Ngati Oneone said the Kopuawhakapata stream was of great significance to her iwi.

“Te Poho o Rawiri Marae and papakainga was originally located at the joining of the Turanganui River and Kopuawhakapata stream.

“It is important that we continue on with the tremendous work that Whaia Titirangi Kaitiaki began on Titirangi Maunga last year. Their efforts on Titirangi are remarkable and I'm sure that with the collaboration of Ngati Oneone and Eastland Port, we can make a huge difference in our surroundings which will have huge benefits for all of Tairawhiti to share in.

“One day perhaps, we might even see a return of the tohitohi (species of inanga/whitebait).”

Restoring the awa: Ngati Oneone and Eastland Port are mounting a combined operation to restore the Kopuawhakapata stream. Picture supplied