26 July 2018 
Conserving seeds to fight plant extinction

Collecting and storing seeds is a way of potentially saving native trees from extinction, and Whanganui iwi are now joining the charge. Whānau of Te Awa Tupua, the Whanganui River, are the fifth recipients of a seed-banking drum kit developed as part of a BioHeritage National Science Challenge project focused on developing Māori solutions to fight myrtle rust. A seed-banking drum is a special kit that enables community members to collect, dry and store seeds from local taonga (treasured) plants.

With support from Te Tira Whakamātaki (TTW – The Māori Biosecurity Network), the initiative was launched when Māori communities identified seed-banking as central to protecting Aotearoa New Zealand from threats such as myrtle rust, says BioHeritage Māori Manager Melanie Mark-Shadbolt.

Myrtle rust is a serious fungal disease that attacks trees in the myrtle family, including taonga species pōhutukawa, mānuka and rātā. The seed-banking drums are easy to build and straightforward to use, enabling communities to use them to conserve seed according to their local, traditional collection tikanga.

Whanganui women Kim Ranginui and Marilyn Tamakehu are strongly connected to the marae alongside Te Awa Tupua, and Te Kura o te Wainui ā Rua – the awa school based at Rānana – and felt it was fitting for the seed-bank gifting to happen at the kura. “It means the tamariki and community can celebrate the seed-banking efforts, plus we hope they’ll be inspired to pursue possible career options in science or environmental protection fields,” Marilyn says.

“Te Kura o Te Wainui ā Rua is the epicentre for tamariki who live and breathe Te Awa Tupua on a daily basis and – as such – this is the ideal venue for this exciting occasion to happen. “The kura also has the benefit of the heritage orchards on the surrounding marae which have supported our learning and enhanced the understanding of our tamariki in relation to this important kaupapa (subject).”

In late 2017, Kim and Marilyn attended a seed conservation course in Aotearoa that was facilitated by TTW and the Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) that’s part of England’s Kew Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG Kew). They’re passionate about seed-banking, ensuring iwi gain knowledge of preserving taonga species and that this is maintained for generations to come.

As part of the TTW-RBG Kew collaboration, Kim recently secured a place on a three-week, intensive Seed Conservation Techniques course hosted by RBG Kew’s Conservation Science Department at MSB in the UK. Mel says the BioHeritage project has highlighted the concern Māori have that tikanga was not adequately acknowledged within national or international seed-banking practices.

“While New Zealand has been seed-banking for some time now, especially within the myrtle rust response, unfortunately Māori aren’t being consulted adequately throughout the process. This means that, in some instances, sites sacred to Māori were being harvested for seeds without free, prior or informed consent as required under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).“In an effort to turn that around, this project is about raising awareness of seed-banking activities in Aotearoa, and reclaiming seed conservation mātauranga (Māori knowledge).

“This practical approach provides tangible benefits to our communities and valuable insights to improve conservation outcomes – for example our people can collect and store seeds valuable to their communities guided by kaumatua (Māori elders) who can guide them on which trees are the ‘parents’ or best ones to collect seeds from.

“Incorporating this traditional knowledge is crucial to optimising the long-term disease management of myrtle rust.” By using the seed-banking drums, communities are effectively building an insurance policy that can future-proof taonga species from extinction, Mel says.

“If we look at Australia for example, they didn’t seed-bank before myrtle rust arrived and now they have taonga species on the verge of extinction.

“Sharing knowledge and the things we learn from the myrtle rust incursion will help us be more prepared for future biosecurity invasions.”

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/Ns6_FK-q__8

Find out more: http://bit.ly/2mJ799O



More information
For further comment, please contact:
• BioHeritage Challenge Māori Manager, Melanie Mark-Shadbolt: 0274869874; Melanie.Shadbolt@lincoln.ac.nz
• Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Project Manager, Sheena Maru: 027 252 7095; sheena@ngatangatatiaki.co.nz




Pataka Policy

Approved External Pataka Distribution Policy Reviewed April 2018



Reviewing tribal social media as part of baseline communications data collection Report [Kealyn Marshall]

Reviewing tribal social media as part of baseline communications data collection


Horizons Regional Council is preparing for community representation on and for the eventual establishment of Te Kōpuka Strategy Group in the coming months.  They are calling for applications from members of the community to represent particular community interests.  Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui are coordinating with Horizons to ensure there is broad dissemination of information inclusive of hapū and iwi of Te Awa Tupua.

Uri of Te Awa Tupua are not precluded from making application to these roles.  Indeed the roles are viewed as an opportunity for uri who have interests in the environment, tourism, recreation and the primary sector to consider applying for the positions and if selected, to represent their local communities.

The role of Te Kōpuka Strategy Group is to produce a collective Te Awa Tupua Strategy for the health and well-being of Te Awa Tupua in line with Tupua Te Kawa, the innate values of Te Awa Tupua – Tupua Te Kawa.

In addition to the Horizons process, the iwi of Te Awa Tupua will also be undertaking a process for the appointment of members to Te Kōpuka.  This process will be embarked upon in the coming months and will include discussions with all the iwi of Te Awa Tupua.

If you have any questions please contact the office of Ngā Tāngata Tiaki 06 281 3375 or 0800 AWA TUPUA


Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Annual General Meeting

Tēnā koutou,

Ngā manga iti, ngā manga nui e honohono kau ana, ka tupu, hei Awa Tupua. 
He karanga tēnei ki ngā uri maha o Whanganui Iwi.
The Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Annual General Meeting for the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, incorporating the AGM for Te Ngākinga o Whanganui Investment Trust, will be held:

Raetihi Pā, Raetihi-Ohakune Road
Sunday 24 September 2017
Pōwhiri – 11.00am
AGM Start – 11.30am to 1.30pm

• Karakia & Whakatau
• Attendance Register
• Apologies
• Minutes of Last AGM
• Annual Report
• Resolutions:
a. Approve Appointment of Auditor
b. Approve Trustee Remuneration
• General Business
• Karakia Whakamutunga

Transport from Whanganui & Taumarunui to be organised, to register your interest please contact the office.

Copies of the Annual Report will be distributed at the meeting and the report will be made available on the website

Enquiries 0800 AWA TUPUA




2018-2021 TERM

Ruruku Whakatupua

The Whanganui River Deed of Settlement, Ruruku Whakatupua, was signed at Rānana on 5 August 2014. Ruruku Whakatupua represents the culmination of many years of dedicated work by our people to have the mana of our Awa and the mana of the Iwi recognised by the Crown. To this end Ruruku Whakatupua heralds the creation of a new and unprecedented legal framework for Te Awa Tupua, which recognises Te Awa Tupua as an indivisible and living whole from the mountains to the sea, affirms the mana of hapū and Iwi and our inalienable connection with the Awa, and provides for the health and wellbeing of both the Iwi and the Awa.

Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui was established to lead the implementation of Ruruku Whakatupua in conjunction with the uri, whānau and hapū of Whanganui Iwi and manage, grow and develop the financial assets of the Iwi to contribute to the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua and all Whanganui uri, whānau and hapū.

The current seven (7) Trustees of Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui took office in September 2015 with the responsibility of representing the interests of Whanganui Iwi as a whole.  Their term will expire in September 2018 and all seven (7) Trustees will vacate their seats (although they are eligible to stand again).  The seats will be filled via a two-stage election process.  The first stage seeks nominations to fill three (3) seats from Te Rūnanga o Te Awa Tupua (the Rūnanga) which must be received by Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui by March 2018. The second stage, commencing in April 2018, seeks nominations for four (4) candidates elected from Whanganui Iwi members generally.  This process is due to be completed by September 2018.

The Rūnanga can resolve to submit as many nominations as it sees fit to Ngā Tāngata Tiaki. If more than three (3) nominations are resolved by the Rūnanga then a postal vote of all adult registered members will be held to select the three successful candidates. If only three (3) individuals are confirmed as the nominations of the Rūnanga then those individuals will automatically be confirmed as Trustees and will take office at the September 2018 Annual General Meeting.

At a hui held on 10 June 2017 at Ngapuwaiwaha, the Rūnanga agreed to launch the election process as soon as possible and to that end, the following timeline and key tasks have been formed to give practical effect to this decision.

Timeline and Key Tasks

Mid August 2017         Relevant information provided to hapū in anticipation of nominations opening.
1 September 2017       Nominations to the Rūnanga open. Nominations must be made using the official Nomination Form with all relevant supporting documentation attached.
6 October 2017            Nominations to the Rūnanga close.  Nominations are then vetted in accordance with the Second Schedule of the Trust Deed and eligible [1] nominees are publicly notified to Whanganui Iwi.
28 October 2017          The Rūnanga meets to discuss the list of confirmed nominees and the process for finalising a resolution of nominees.
10 February 2018        The Rūnanga meets to confirm its nominees.
1 March 2018               The Rūnanga provides an endorsed resolution of its nominees to Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui.  Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui confirms receipt of the Rūnanga resolution and, where there are more than three (3) nominations, commits those nominations to a postal vote in June 2018, or, in the case where there are only three (3) nominations, confirms those three nominations will become Trustees at the September 2018 Annual General Meeting.

Election Requirements

The requirements in relation to the nomination of candidates by the Rūnanga are set out in paragraphs 4.2 to 4.6 of the Second Schedule of the Trust Deed. A summary of those provisions and other information relevant to the nomination of candidates by the Rūnanga is attached as an appendix to this letter.

Upon the completion of the Rūnanga process, nominations will be sought from all registered adult Whanganui Iwi members for the remaining four (4) Trustee positions and following an election process, all seven (7) Trustees will be confirmed and take office at the conclusion of the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Trust.

Should the Rūnanga not be able to fill the any of the 3 Trustee positions, then any vacancies will be opened up for Iwi wide nomination and voting. The process for filling the generally elected seats is as follows:

April 2018                     Nominations open for election of four (4) (or more Trustees depending on the outcome of the Rūnanga process) generally by Whanganui Iwi.
May 2018                      Nominations close and nominees are vetted.
June 2018                     Postal voting opens to all adult registered members of Whanganui Iwi to fill all available seats.
August 2018                 Postal voting closes.
September 2018          Seven (7) Trustees take office as Trustees. Their term expires in September 2021.


It would be beneficial if this information is widely shared with hapū – should there be any further questions or comments the office of the Trust would be pleased to provide further information.


Blair Anderson General Manager


[1] Refer to the second schedule – Trustee Elections and eligibility for appointment, of the Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Trust Deed

For the full document please follow this link: ELECTION OF TRUSTEES FOR NGĀ TĀNGATA TIAKI O WHANGANUI FOR THE 2018-2021 TERM


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