The Ngāti Pāhauwera Development Trust are very pleased to announce that we were successful in receiving funding for improvement of the Te Awaawa Stream (the stream on the other side of Tawhirirangi) in Mohaka. The project is a $600,000 project and the freshwater improvement fund from the Ministry of the Environment who is contributing $300,000 over three years. Hawkes Bay as a whole was successful with four projects being funded, the other organisations funded were Tawapata South Incorporated and Hawkes Bay Regional Council for projects on Lake Tutira and in Whakaki. “The aim is to make the biggest difference with the available funding. That’s why the fund is focusing on water bodies in vulnerable catchments that are showing signs of stress but have not yet reached a ‘tipping point’. This is when it becomes more expensive and more difficult to restore these water bodies to good health”. (MFE, 2017)
For more information on the fund – and to see the map of the Te Awaawa catchment: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/more/funding/freshwater-improvement-fund/about-freshwater-improvement-fund
The Te Awaawa Stream and its catchment have been identified by Ministry for the Environment as being a vulnerable catchment.
“To be honest, we were surprised when it was identified as such because we know they definitely didn’t go there to assess it. However, we now know that the Ministry for the Environment did a ‘desktop’ or computer based study on geological and other information and that is how they determined that it could be needing attention”, says Project manager Bonny Hatami.
The Ngāti Pāhauwera Development Trust own land on both sides of the coastal end of the stream, leasing the northern side for forestry. Upstream are different/multiple owners including the Trust. The Trust think that this is a great project and we have experience in river restoration. We will use those skills to bring the health of the catchment back by uplifting the mauri of the Te Awaawa Stream by undertaking cultural monitoring, stock exclusion fencing, landowner liaison, riparian planting, habitat restoration and providing educational and cultural opportunities to our members and the local community. Because of the upcoming forestry harvest we have been advised that the health of the stream will decline before it improves. Hawkes Bay Regional Council and the Department of Conservation will work with us and give advice on different aspects and at different phases during this project.
“This mahi is part of ongoing work for river, lake and tributary restoration in the Pāhauwera rohe. The Trust purchased land at Sim’s road in 2016 which includes part of Tawhirirangi and below the mouth of the Te Awaawa Stream is Takauere (part of Pittars Conservation Area) which was given back in Treaty Settlement, it is a valuable project to link these areas together”, says CEO Robin Hape.
There are many other good reasons to restore this stream including proximity to archaeological sites, proximity to our maunga Tawhirirangi but also as a learning tool to manage the rest of our lands which have similar geology and issues. We look forward to working with and involving the Mohaka community in this project.
For more details and maps– please see Hon. Nick Smith’s press release