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Commissioner to Launch Bi-lingual Guide to the Waikato River

Media Release - 02/07/14.

(For immediate release)

Commissioner to Launch Bi-lingual Guide to the Waikato River.

The Waikato River has been through a period of environmental decline, but thanks to a collaborative approach its future is looking much brighter. That's the sentiment behind a new publication due to be launched by Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy during Māori language week on Thursday 24 July in Hamilton.

Written in both English and Te Reo 'Waikato River Restoration: A Bi-lingual Guide' has been produced by NZ Landcare Trust and highlights some excellent examples of the work that is taking place, while also offering an insight into the close ties Māori communities have with New Zealand's longest river.

In a new era of co-governance and co-management, Waikato River iwi will play an increasingly important role in the future management of the Waikato River. NZ Landcare Trust Communications Manager James Barnett said "It's timely for a publication such as this to present an insight into Māori culture and highlight the close associations with the River. With both English and Te Reo presented side-by-side the publication underlines the increasing role of partnerships with iwi.”

"We worked with Waikato River iwi including members of the Waikato Raupatu River Trust during the development of this innovative book... we could not have put it together without their valuable contribution" James added.

NZ Landcare Trust Chief Executive Dr Nick Edgar believes the guide will be a valuable resource for people interested in improving the health and well being of the river. “There are a whole series of case studies focusing on what individual landowners can achieve whilst maintaining profitable farming businesses, all the way through to large scale restoration partnerships with community groups and the business sector. We all have a part to play in protecting our river, our national taonga. This guide showcases people walking the talk, making our a positive difference for the river environment”.

Waikato-Tainui Te Arataura Chairman Rahui Papa said “The guide supports the objectives of the Waikato River Settlement and the Waikato-Tainui Environmental Plan - Tai Tumu, Tai Pari, Tai Ao; whilst at the same time promoting the use of Te Reo Māori throughout our communities.”

“A strong partnership was created between Waikato-Tainui and NZ Landcare Trust during the development of the guide… we support the guide to restore the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River.” Rahui added.

The Waikato River Authority provided funding for the project through their Waikato River Clean-up Fund. This is a contestable fund that supports projects that contribute to the restoration and protection of the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River for present and future generations.

Further information about the new publication can be found on the NZ Landcare Trust website www.landcare.org.nz/BilingualGuide

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