What are we trying to protect?

On Wednesday 27th February, the first in a series of workshops was held looking at developing a wide-ranging Pest Management Strategy across all of the Lake Taupō Forest Trust and Lake Rotoaira Forest Trust lands, plus some other Maori land blocks in the Taupō / Turangi region.

The workshops are being facilitated by three specialists involved in environmental protection:

  • Hannah Rainforth – an ecologist with a good understanding of tikanga values and a particular interest in fresh water matters and developing iwi environmental planning;
  • Cam Speedy – a local pest management specialist (Wildlife Management Associates Ltd); and
  • Nick Singers – an independent local botanist and pest manager (Nick Singers Ecological Management Ltd) – who is currently working on the Waimarino whio recovery project amongst other things.

The first workshop had around 20 attendees including owners and beneficiaries from both Lake Taupō Forest Trust and Lake Rotoaira Forest Trust. The tangata whenua who attended were invited to ensure we had a range of ages, genders, experiences and opinions on pest management options.

This initial stage of the strategy is designed to work out what values we want to protect or enhance. Participants were given some key values-based questions to discuss such as ‘What was the past like? What is it like now? What is important to you when dreaming of the future?’.

There were a lot of positive comments from the evening with some people observing that working together at these kind of workshops helps bring us all together – owners, beneficiaries, trustees and the different age groups.

The strategy work will continue with a second values-based workshop which will be held in a few weeks, and more will follow over the next year to get a wide range of ideas and opinions on how we can best protect the environment and our taonga tuku iho.

More detail about the workshops will be available in upcoming issues of the LTFT newsletter – Te Reo Kākāriki. Look out for the next issue due out at the end of March.