Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Planting a Marae Reserve

Port Levy, Banks Peninsular, Canterbury
Home to Te Runanga o Koukourarata
March 2009. Ajr
Kahukunu Stream bed. Port Levy. March 2009. Ajr
Come autumn, the banks of the Kahukunu Stream at Port Levy on Banks Peninsular (pictured above) will be planted out in foliage native to the area, thanks to the efforts of the people of nearby Koukourarata Marae. Kahukunu and the nearby Koukourarata Stream are both part of a riparian planting scheme that the runanga has undertaken. They’ll also be planting totara and kahikatea trees for the future use of Maori carvers; and a pa harakeke will be planted as a source of several varieties of harakeke (flax) to be used in weaving projects. In addition to these two plantings, the Koukourarata Runanga will also be creating Kakanui Reserve, on the 87-hectare block of Maori land up the valley (in the hills behind the marae). Working in partnership with the Department of Conservation, Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury and the local community, the runanga will fence the reserve and trap and poison pests. Over 10,000 native seedlings have already been gathered from within the reserve and they’re now being on-grown by Trees for Canterbury. Once well established, they will be re-planted in the reserve areas. The runanga is also hoping to release tui into the area in the future. All of these projects are being funded by the runanga’s joint venture mussel farm, which I wrote about here last week, with further assistance from Nga Whenua Rahui , a division of the Department of Conservation that supports the protection of indigenous ecosystems on Maori land.

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