Pākihikura (Ōpōtiki) Harbour Project is underway
Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao has teamed up with the community to help restore and revegetate parts of the dunes near Pākihikura Harbour, as construction moves into its final phases.
Last week, Tiaki Taiao were joined by students from five local schools, Ōpōtiki Primary School, Te Kura o Waioweka, Te Kura Mana Māori Maraenui, Te Kura o Torere, and Kutarere School. Together they planted 3,000 new plants in the Eastern back dune area.
Tiaki Taiao Project Lead, Jesse Emery, who had the idea to get local schools involved in the project was stoked to have some more helpers getting stuck in.
“I thought it would be a cool opportunity for the local tamariki to learn a little bit more about our sand dunes. Plus, we needed the extra hands so it was a win-win!”
A spokesperson from Ōpōtiki Primary School said the students have been learning about environmental sustainability and the importance of preserving resources like clean air, water and wildlife for future generations.
“It was an awesome opportunity for our Kura to be involved with something like this. Tamariki learn a lot from hands-on experiences and they were proud to contribute and take action in keeping our environment healthy and sustainable for the future.”
Emery said there will be plenty more opportunities for tamariki to get involved with - more plants to be planted in the next few weeks and then a significantly larger programme next winter, once harbour construction is completed.
“We’re working with some other local schools to help share the load. It’s a massive job, but with the help from the community and a few hundred keen tamariki, it’ll be done in no time,” said Emery.
There are expansive areas mapped out for planting, so this will be an ongoing project that aims to be completed over the next two winters.
We will provide ongoing updates on this project as we have them.