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Cultural Heritage Trail Project

Since February 2010 Mikaera Miru (beneficiary to Waihaua/Otamatea marae) has been employed by Environs Holdings Ltd as the Kaiarahi (Project Leader) of the Cultural Heritage Trail Project.  The Crown returned 18 cultural redress properties as part of the Te Uri o Hau Treaty Claims Settlement Act 2002.  These cultural redress properties include Pa sites, waahi tapu, nohoanga (temporary camp sites) and pieces of land beside the Kaipara Harbour.  All of these sites where managed by Department of Conservation, previous to the Treaty Settlement.  This project has been funded by Nga Whenua Rahui, under the Matauranga Kura Taiao fund which is a part of the Department of Conservation.

A focus group was formed which included kaumatua and kuia from Te Uri o Hau' Taumata Council, a kaitiaki from Pouto, Department of Conservation staff from Whangarei, Kauri Coast and Warkworth, and representatives of Kaipara District Council, Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua and Historic Places Trust.  The focus group has been formed to assist the project leader to transfer the knowledge of the cultural redress sites back to the whanau and hapu so that it can be handed down to future generations.

A journal will be created recording site visits, assessments, photographs, wananga, legal arrangements, biodiversity and historical information that will be kept with the marae.  A management plan will also be created that will;

  • Monitor and assess the environmental health of the cultural redress properties
  • Develop a pest and weed management strategy
  • Undertake fencing and enhancement planting of natives where appropriate
  • Pursue the collection of seeds for nursery establishment at the four ancestral marae
  • Identify native plant reserves useful for Rongoa Maori
  • Establish Pou whenua or other cultural markers to identify culural heritage sites
  • Establish an ongoing process for sharing the biodiversity and cultural information of the sites to the whanau, hapu, iwi, statutory organisations and the wider community

Mikaera believes the project has the potential to create employment opportunities in tourism, nurseries, rongoa maori and educaiton.