Date Created: March 8, 2022
Whanganui iwi have launched an ambitious plan to fence the length of the Whanganui River and to plant more than 630,000 plants along its banks.
The Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has today announced $7.86m for restoration work along the river banks, through the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme.
Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui chairperson Sheena Maru said it’s welcome investment and shows their shared responsibility to the health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua.
“Erosion is widespread in the catchment and the high sediment loads have negatively impacted the river and freshwater species for decades,” she said.
“Our focus has always been on supporting, restoring and protecting Te Awa Tupua – that is referring to both its waterways and its people.”
The post-settlement governance entity Ngā Tāngata Tiaki has created its own four-year programme of works Mouri Tūroa, which aims to reduce sediment through fencing, riparian planting, pest and weed control and developing nurseries.
“The plan is to fence along 290kms of the river and to plant 630,000 plants to mitigate soil erosion, which will improve the water quality and biodiversity in our Awa.
“This is also going to empower the people by creating employment for hapū at place to restore and care for their rohe.”
In 2017, the Whanganui River received a special status at law as Te Awa Tupua, a living and indivisible whole from the mountains to the sea, which is intrinsically connected to Whanganui hapū.
She said through Mouri Tūroa, hapū are continuing to reclaim their connections and unsevered association with the Awa.
“We are now working with hapū, marae and landowners up the river to identify land blocks that need support, and we encourage you to please get in touch with us.”
For more information about Mouri Tūroa and how to get in touch, please visit the Mouri Tūroa page here.