Date: 26 February 2021 Source: Office of the Minister of Conservation
Te Ārai is culturally important to Te Aupōuri as the last resting place of the spirits before they depart to Te Rerenga Wairua.
“This $693,900 Jobs for Nature funding will see eight nature-based jobs created, helping boost efforts to protect Te Ārai Nature Reserve now and for the future.
“The cultural, ecological, and scientific importance of this reserve must be protected for future generations. As kaitaiki Te Aupōuri have an important role to play in this work.
“The installation of approximately 14-kilometre of boundary fencing, pest management, and weed control will help to protect this important site from degradation,” Minister Allan said.
Led by Te Aupōuri – Pou Takawaenga Taiao, this project will enable Te Aupōuri whānau to be directly employed under the Rūnanga and enable them to work and re-connect with their whenua.
Te Rūnanga Nui o Te Aupōuri CEO, Mariameno Kapa-Kingi, said she celebrated the opportunity for Te Aupōuri to be a part of the Jobs for Nature kaupapa. She also believed it would foster ongoing relations with DOC.
“It is another step in the right direction for Te Aupōuri, towards rangatiratanga. This relationship enables more of our hapu members to be Kaitiaki on Te Aupōuri whenua and will ensure more of our whānau are employed,” Ms Kapa-Kingi said.
While initial Jobs for Nature funding is for a 12-month period, this project is part of a broader four-year work programme that will include weed and pest control, riparian planting, water quality testing and monitoring across cultural redress properties.
“Te Aupōuri are looking to make their whenua predator free by 2050. Supporting that aspiration while at the same time providing rangatahi employment opportunities is absolutely what the Jobs for Nature fund is all about,” Kiri Allan said.
For media enquiries contact: