Mā Mangapiko, mai i Maungatautari ki Maunga Pirongia ahu ake

Mā Mangapiko, mai i Maungatautari ki Maunga Pirongia ahu ake

NZ Landcare Trust is excited to be involved in a newly-funded five-year Maungatautari to Pirongia Ecological Corridor Project (June 2021 to June 2026). This project is now underway with the aim to link two of the region’s most spectacular maunga, Maungatautari and Pirongia via an ecological corridor between the waterways which flow from the two maunga – the Mangapiko and Ngāparierua streams.

The funding comes from the Ministry for the Environment’s Freshwater Improvement Fund, which is part of the Government’s $1.245 billion Jobs for Nature programme.

Our Waikato Regional Coordinator, Nardene Berry will oversee part of the project and is excited to have employed two staff - a Project Coordinator and a Mātauranga Māori Facilitator.

Extensive restoration work is already happening in this area with the Maungatautari to Pirongia Ecological Corridor Incorporated Society (formerly known as the Lower Mangapiko Streamcare Group) having undertaken work in the lower Mangapiko for the past eight years. In late 2020, the group changed their name to incorporate the whole of the Mangapiko, as a reflection of the wider work they feel needs to be done. There are individual landowners, other care groups, iwi, councils, industry, such as Fonterra, and other agencies, such as QEII and DOC also working to improve and enhance riparian margins, create wetland habitat and reduce predators and increase biodiversity in this area.

Nardene says: “This project is already powerfully collaborative, with the following partners already proactively working together – Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society, Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, Maungatautari to Pirongia Ecological Corridor Incorporated Society, Ngāti Korokī Kahukura Trust, Purekireki Marae, Waikato Regional Council, Waipā District Council, and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Apakura.”

We look forward to working with other individuals and organisations who would like to get involved in the project over the next few years. As well as aiming to enhance water quality along the corridor, in about ten years, iconic native birds from the two mountains will start to spill out into the surrounding landscape and use habitat along these streams. We now have the opportunity to start to improve habitat for our native birds and insects with more native plantings and increased weed and pest control. This means practically anyone can get involved at a level they feel comfortable with, and join with the many others already undertaking great work to help our native birds and insects thrive.

Predator Free NZ has a great summary of what our native bird populations need to thrive here: https://predatorfreenz.org/what-bird-populations-need-thrive/

For further information, please contact Nardene Berry: [email protected]

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