It was a wonderful, sunny day for the Kirkwood Whānau and mokopuna as they planted at a Waikato RiverCare project in Ngaruawahia. 155 trees were put into the ground, thanks to funding from the Honda Tree Fund. This grant, which was distributed by Waikato Regional Council, was awarded to Waikato RiverCare to restore this section of the Waikato riverbank and ensure native plants would grow and thrive in the future.
It has been great to to see the mana whenua so enthusiastically acknowledging the need to look after the awa and leading by example as they begin by restoring their own whenua along the Waikato River.
"Thank you Honda for sponsoring the plants!"
The work happening at this project compliments the Waikato River Authority funded work that is being done next door at Turangawaewae Marae. Waikato RiverCare has supported the project by providing project advice to marae members and helping with the project co-ordination. These marae members are working to achieve the visions of keeping the awa related traditions alive, enhancing the spiritual, cultural and recreational connections to the awa and improving access for all tangata whenua to enjoy the awa. These are similar to the visions that Waikato RiverCare and the Kirkwood Whānau hope to achieve.
Kirkwood whānau and mokopuna “clothing papatuanuku” beside Waikato awa at the bottom of their land
Waikato RiverCare has secured funding through Waikato Regional Council’s Small Scale Inititives Fund to plant stage two of this project in 2016. This funding will cover the cost of site prep and weed clearing as well as the purchase of another 495 trees to be planted next year. The Whānau are completely behind Waikato RiverCare with confirmed support of the continuation of the project and a promise of another great turnout of volunteers coming along to plant stage two next year!
Rangiwatea - "This is a big deal for our whānau!"