Aki Tai Here
Winner of the Environmental action to protect native life award at the 2023 Whakamānawa ā Taiao – Environmental Awards.
Since the summer of 2021, Aki Tai Here has helped to eradicate invasive pests, restore native habitat and build capacity of tangata whenua to protect the environment.
Aki Tai Here is centred on mana whenua-led kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and meaningful integration of, and respect for, Māori knowledge and values.
Through working with landowners and kaumatua, and sharing knowledge, Aki Tai Here is helping to ensure the mana of whenua is upheld.
Its work benefits the environment via the strategic termination of invasive pest plants which can smother native taonga species and threaten the ecological biodiversity of forests mainly in the Whangārei Heads area, including Pukenamu, Reotahi and Manaia.
The group has cultivated a culture that values kaitiakitanga and te taiao. These projects have provided excellent opportunities for uri (members) of hapū to whakawhanaunga, wānanga, tiaki taiao and mahitahi (enhance relationships, have discussions together, take care of the environment, and collaborate).
Members also help other people who may not be able to do mahi taiao on their own and collaborate with kaimahi (workers) from other environmental groups, hapū and iwi.
(Images: Wendy Bown)