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Hikoi to celebrate Lake Tūtira

Hikoi planting

History and restoration was the kaupapa for last Saturdays gathering at Lake Tutira

Tutira Mai Nga Iwi and Poutiri Ao ō Tāne whanau hosted Hikoi Tutuki or journey of achievement to celebrate local taonga Lake Tūtira.

The day began with local history and the importance of the lake culturally and environmentally, and ended with everyone getting their hands dirty planting around the lake edge.

Maungaharuru-Tangitū Kaumātua, and organiser of the event Trevor Taurima said the Lake is of great cultural significance to the local hapū, as hapū ancestors seasonally lived by Tūtira, as is evidenced by the remains of six pa sites.

“Our Hapū whakatauākī for Lake Tūtira is ko te waiū o ō tātau tīpuna – the milk of our ancestors,” says Mr Taurima.

“This refers to an abundance of kai and spiritual sustenance.”

However, Mr Taurima says that a hundred years of sedimentation and pollution has affected the mauri of this taonga.

To help fix this, Maungaharuru-Tangitū Trust secured funding in 2016 for a two-year project to help improve the mauri and water quality of Lake Tūtira, its wider catchment of lakes and waterways.

The project is called “Tūtira mai ngā iwi” and is using different knowledge systems including Mātauranga Māori, local environmental knowledge, science, policy and planning to undertake short-term actions and long-term planning.

“The actions include wānanga, pest plant removal, planting, fencing, science reporting, landowner and community engagement,” says Mr Taurima.

“Fixing the water quality issues will take time, but this project will help us to plan and progress in our role as kaitiaki.”

This is why as part of this hikoi, following on from the history session there will be three hours of planting to help restore this taonga.

3 September 2019

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