This event exemplifies what can be done when people come together! The wet morning didn’t deter the 90 strong crowd of people from Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust, staff of APL, locals and Sustainable Coastlines gathering at Mangaonua Wetland in Pukemoremore.
The site was chosen because of its cultural significance for local iwi – being Māori land located near both Te Iti O Hauā and Waimakariri Marae. We were humbled to have local tangata whenua join us on the day to welcome us to the area to plant 2,500 native trees and plants provided by Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust that they raised in their nurseries.
This is part of the Mangaonua catchment, which drains to the mighty Waikato River. Planting these trees we hope will create a massive reconstructed wetland, which will form a natural filter, removing sediment and excess nutrients from water before it reaches the river, while also creating habitat for native species.
The event is celebrated sustainability and wellbeing at APL and launching the partnership with Sustainable Coastlines, by giving a boost of energy and love to the awesome Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust, who are kaitiaki of this important place.
After a fun day of mahi in the wetlands, many could say they had worked up a sweat, most could say they had wet feet, but all had the pleasure of being part of planting the 2,500 native plants to help restore the riparian zone of the area.
Many had come down from Auckland and some from Hamilton and the surrounding areas for 10.30am. Participants received a re-useable goody bag from Hamilton based window solutions specialists, APL – with a Healthy Waters t-shirt and a beautiful re-useable glass bottle. We then started the proceedings with Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust, a trust set up by the local iwi to keep employment and the young people in the local area, inviting us all onto the land with a karakia followed by morning tea.
The weather cleared up just in time for us to get spades in the ground and get to work after a planting demonstration by co-founder of Sustainable Coastlines and Love your Water lead, Sam Judd. He had been working with both Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust and APL on organising the event, and after one postponement due to weather, it was a great feeling for everyone to see it all come together.
All plants were planted by 1pm and we headed back to base to a beautiful hot lunch put on by APL.
If you have any photos from the day, we would love to see them! Please tag #loveyourwater on social media or email photos to [email protected].