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Dual role conserves Mātauranga alongside environment

The partnership between Department of Conservation and Te Tauihu iwi is being strengthened through a new secondment role with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rārua.

Te Papa Atawhai (DOC) Northern South Island Operations Director Roy Grose says DOC Pou Tairangahau (Strategic Iwi Relations Manager) Barney Thomas will fill the part-time secondment role.

“Barney will maintain his current role, working with all iwi across Te Tauihu o te Waka-ā-Māui during the time of the secondment, but the role will be combined with half his time in the role with the Rūnanga,” Roy said.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rārua Pouwakahaere / CEO Shane Graham said the secondment helped conserve valuable public service skills and cultural knowledge.

“Barney is responding to the request of his people for his specific senior public service skill set, networks and executive advisory experience.”

“At the same time, his conservation skills and ability to educate will be a valuable contribution to Ngāti Rārua.”

Barney Thomas said the embedded role meant a great deal, professionally and personally.

“I’m delighted to be able to combine my professional role across these two organisations. Conservation is all about passing on and sharing mātauranga around how to be responsible kaitiaki. This role will mean our organisations can share what we know and what we learn, and through that, improve conservation and cultural outcomes together.”

The one-year role starts on 22 September.

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