WWF: Porirua Restoration Project Launches Project #ReBlossomNZ
A Porirua restoration project is the first of a new collaboration between WWF-New Zealand & Botanica by Air Wick.
Introducing Project #ReBlossomNZ
Kohikohi ngā kākano, whakaritea te pārekereke, kia puāwai ngā hua
Gather the seeds, prepare the seedbed carefully, and you will be gifted with abundance.
More than 3,000 native plants were planted along the banks of the Porirua Stream September 20-23 to kick off a three-year partnership between Botanica by Airwick and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-New Zealand).
Project #ReBlossomNZ is an incredible example of collaborative conservation. Together, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Porirua City Council, Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, WWF-New Zealand, and Botanica came together to help protect and restore this habitat once known for being a valuable food source for iwi and an important transport corridor in the area.
Project #ReBlossom Aotearoa will eventually see more than 6,600 plants planted along this culturally significant stream, including a community planting day. Porirua Stream, also known as Te Kenepuru, is the primary water source flowing into Te Onepoto arm of Te Awarua o Porirua (Porirua Harbour). The stream supports six species of native fish: longfin and shortfin eels, giant kōkopu, inanga, redfin, and common bullies. Unfortunately, the stream also exhibits many of the characteristics of a degraded urban stream, including bank erosion, lack of riparian vegetation and channelisation.
On Monday, Rangatira Taku Parai blessed the planting site and spoke of Porirua’s stream essential role in tuna heke (eel migrations). Treaty and Strategic Relationships General Manager Naomi Solomon acknowledges the significance of Kenepuru Stream to Ngāti Toa Rangatira having historically been used for mahinga kai (food gathering areas), “The collective planting efforts will go far in providing protection for the stream bed and raising awareness in the community around kaitiakitanga of our natural environment”.
Project #ReBlossomNZ supports Te Tiriti O Waitangi principles, and the collaboration and connection with land and streams by tangata whenua and urban communities.
Approximately 90% of Aotearoa’s wetland areas have disappeared due to land development. Botanica and WWF are working together to help restore these vital habitats. Our goal is to help regenerate and improve our water quality and help restore the biodiversity of ecosystems. Planting native trees improves water flow and quality and also filters pollutants as well as reduces water temperatures for fish life in the stream. Using these native medicinal plants, such as rongoā rākau, also helps with the healing of the whenua (land).
“What happens to nature, happens to us. If we take care of the land, live in harmony with nature, we can care for our people. We are kaitiakitanga (guardians) of our world from sea to sky, not just for ourselves, but for future generations,” said Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand CEO.
“The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food that sustains us relies on biodiversity. Right now, biodiversity is in crisis because of us so we all have a role to play in restoring it,” continued Esterhazy.
Project #ReBlossom is part of a larger global partnership with WWF explains Marc Reitsma, country head of Reckitt NZ Hygiene, “Reckitt as the parent of Botanica by Air Wick, is taking action around the world to help restore environments as part of its environmental sustainability goals. In the United Kingdom, for example, we are involved in planting wildflowers and in Australia we are helping create a seed bank for threatened flowers.To work to restore the Porirua stream is a great project to kick off our partnership with WWF-New Zealand.”
Reckitt NZ is able to sponsor flowering natives including, koromiko (hebes), manuka, tarata (lemonwood), kōwhai, and other species with the help of consumers who have bought Botanica products in recent months. There are more than 20 taonga (treasured) species on the list for Porirua, many of which have been chosen by Ngāti Toa as mana whenua.
Over the next three years, the Project #ReBlossom partners will expand on this success by planning environmental projects for the South Island and Auckland region.
About Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira
Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira as the mandated iwi authority for Ngāti Toa Rangatira has responsibility for protecting and enhancing the mana of Ngāti Toa across the various political, economic, social and environmental spheres.
In relation to Te Ao Tūroa, Ngāti Toa’s objective is to nurture a resilient environment to sustain future generations through reclaimed connection and mātauranga to natural resources, empowering kaitiaki who are leaders and co-managers of our natural environment, our commitment to environmental sustainability and our ability to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
About WWF-New Zealand:
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is the world’s largest and most experienced independent conservation organisation. WWF-New Zealand is part of a global network of WWF offices in more than 100 countries. Our vision is to build a future where all people live, and thrive, in harmony with nature. Our mission is to actively restore and enhance Aotearoa’s natural world from sea to sky. Since 1975, WWF-New Zealand has worked on the ground with local communities, and in partnership with government and industry, using the best possible science to advocate change and effective conservation policy. Our New Zealand’s programmes include research, advocacy, and partnerships aimed at protecting precious habitats and species, minimising harm from fishing and other activities, reducing impacts from climate change, supporting innovation, and conserving and protecting Aotearoa’s wildlife. Find us at wwf.org.nz for the latest news and follow us on Twitter @WWFNewZealand
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