Iwi Te Roroa : Environmental leadership
Te Ngahere o Waipoua is a hauntingly beautiful place and a national taonga. The standing place of Tāne Māhuta, it may look calm, but a battle is being waged here.
The discovery of kauri dieback (Phytophthora agathidicida) in the forest, closer to Tāne Māhuta than previously believed, was a catalyst for Iwi Te Roroa. Kaitiaki of Waipoua ngahere, the iwi took action, providing the strong, decisive leadership required to bring key agencies, scientists and individuals together to develop an urgent response plan for the forest. Mahi which was recognised by the Environmental leadership award at the Northland Regional Council’s 2019 Environmental Awards.
Te Roroa have worked tirelessly on a range of actions aimed at identifying and reducing the risk of spreading kauri dieback in the forest. They have been involved in actions to upgrade the boardwalk, install handrails and improve signs, both at Tāne Māhuta and other entrances and walking sites.
The number of ambassadors in the forest has been increased to raise awareness of kauri dieback and ensure people remain on designated tracks. Other initiatives include an intensive vector-led soil sampling regime in and around Tāne Māhuta and a feral pig control programme.
Te Roroa leadership continues regarding best practice and the use of both western science and mātauranga Māori to support the health and wellbeing of the forest and the ongoing battle against kauri dieback disease.