Manaaki Kaimai Mamaku Trust are enabling iwi-hapū-led conservation work to restore the health of the Kaimai Mamaku ranges. Pictured above: representatives from the Ōtawa Waitahi a Hei project led by Te Kapu o Waitaha.
The Kaimai Mamaku Ranges are a taonga to Aotearoa. But the Kaimai Mamaku forests and catchments are not thriving. Our precious natural infrastructure is under threat.
Working to restore the mauri of the ngahere/forest is the Manaaki Kaimai Mamaku Trust (MKMT).
A proudly co-governed organisation, MKMT brings together iwi-hapū, agencies, and stakeholders to improve the health of the Kaimai Mamaku for present and future generations.
In 2022, the Department of Conservation delegated authority to MKMT to deliver the Kaimai Mamaku Restoration Project, which currently consists of 12 iwi-hapū led restoration sub-projects funded by the Government’s Mahi o te Taiao/Jobs for Nature programme.
TECT, has recently approved a substantial $2.5M worth of funding to support the expansion of four Kaimai Mamaku Restoration Projects in the TECT district.
“TECT is committed to investing in the protection and regeneration of our region’s natural environment and biodiversity,” says TECT Chairperson Bill Holland. “The need for resilient solutions to biodiversity loss and climate change is urgent and requires collective action.
Holland adds, “Significant cultural and social outcomes include re-engagement of iwi-hapū with the land and increased community understanding of the essential role the Kaimai Mamaku ecosystems play in community wellbeing and economic prosperity.
“We applaud the enabling work of MKMT and all the iwi and hapū-led projects to restore the whenua, which will ensure a long-standing legacy of conservation and connection in the Kaimai Mamaku.”
The Kaimai Mamaku extends ki uta ki tai/from mountains to sea and is home to a diverse and unique range of ecosystems. However, this significant area is struggling.
Louise Saunders, CEO of Manaaki Kaimai Mamaku Trust, says, “TECT's Catalyst for Change funding will have a monumental impact on people, our forests and our future. By supporting sustainable, conservation-based employment alongside the community volunteer groups, this funding will contribute to transformational change.”
The four sub-projects receiving TECT funding are:
Ngā Mata Hiringa: This project is led by Ngamanawa Incorporation, a collaboration between Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Hangarau, and Raukawa. The project includes wilding pine control and pest animal control in 580ha of forest at Omanawa and Opuiaki to support taonga species including kōkako.
Te Maire: Led by Ngai Tamawhariua, this project includes pest animal control in 900-1,000ha of forest at Aongatete, beside Aongatete Forest Project. The combined area of both will create a significant core habitat for threatened species.
Ōtawa Waitaha a Hei: Led by Te Kapu o Waitaha, this project includes pest animal control in 400ha at Ōtawa Scenic Reserve and contributes to an increase in pest control across a key habitat area for Hochstetters Frogs and other taonga species.
Te Wao Nui o Tapuika: This project is led by Tapuika and includes pest animal control in 500ha of Te Mataī Forest, a key part of the Kōkako Ecosystem Expansion Project area (KEEP). KEEP is a collective of stakeholders establishing an ecological corridor to expand the habitat of kōkako.