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Pānui Raumati

December 2023 - February 2024

“Te tātarakihi, te pihareinga; ko ngā manu ēnā o Rēhua”

The locust and the cricket are Rehua's songbirds

(These creatures sing when the heat of summer has arrived)

Tēnā koe!

It’s a pleasure connecting with you as we head into another exciting year together. 2024, WE’RE HERE FOR IT!

Raumati has been a meaningful time for our kaimahi. We started the season off by heading deep into Te Raukūmara with some of our rangatahi, delivering on some big kaupapa such as completing Block 1, 2A and 2B of the Aerial 1080 application, and the awesome mahi our Deer and Goat team are doing, heio ano, things didn’t stop there.

We have been working hard on training and building capability within our kaimahi, equipping them with the tools they need, not only to do this mahi but also to fill their kete. We will continue to focus on this key area in our Operations and Deer and Goat teams, ensuring we are contributing quality on our mission to restore the mana and mauri of Te Raukūmara.

This pānui will not only get you up to speed on all of these amazing kaupapa, but it will also introduce to you Aotearoa’s first ever Wāhine Māori Aerial Culler.

Mauri Ora!


Kura Hikoi

Picture: Te Kura o Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Raukūmara Pae Maunga

We started Raumati off with a bang as we led Te Kura o Te Whanau a Apanui into the Raukūmara range for a 3 day hikoi. The purpose of this hikoi was to engage our rangatahi with their ngahere and help them to establish a meaningful connection to their Raukūmara.

Our rangatahi learnt alot of valuable skills during the three days we were away. From building huts and setting up camp, to crossing rivers and navigating their way through the thick bush.

They learnt the names of many rākau, historic sites and walked along tracks that their tīpuna had once walked before them.

Project Pou, Wiremu Wharepapa said in an interview with the Ōpōtiki News that, “It is a place for us to go and have rongoa, to heal ourselves. This was our opportunity to be with our tamariki and to share our story. We don’t want to hold onto any matauranga, it’s not for ourselves.”

This was such a valuable piece of kōrero as it highlighted the importance of our rangatahi to this kaupapa. Ko ngā rangatahi te rangatira mō apōpō.

Take a look at our highlights from this hikoi by following the link below.

Picture: Te Kura o Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Raukūmara Pae Maunga


Aerial Culling

Introducing Aotearoas first Wāhine Māori Aerial culler, Maraea Ngarimu

Ko Kokai te Maunga

Ko Hotohoto te Awa

Ko Te Aitanga-a-Mate te Hapū

Ko Ngati Porou, ko Te Whānau-a-Apanui ngā Iwi

Ko Whareponga te Haukāenga

Ko Maraea Ngarimu ahau

I tipu ake au ki Whareponga. Mai i te wā tamaiti noa iho, i hikoi haere au i ngā maunga o Whareponga i te taha o toku Pāpā. Nānā au i whakaako i ngā pukenga mo te noho ki rō ngahere, te puhi tia, te kohikohi kai mo te whānau, ā, nānā hoki i whakatō i roto i āu te kaingākau mo te taiao.


I hono atu au ki tēnei kaupapa whakahirahira hei whakapakari i ōku pukenga mo ngā mahi e pā ana ki te taiao, hei tautoko i te whakaoranga o te ngāhere hoki. Ko te whainga nui kia noho ora tonu te ngāhere mo te reanga e heke mai ana. Ko taku tino wawata ko te whakatō atu i tēnei aroha nui mo te taiao ki roto i āku tamariki, ā, mā te wā mā rātau tēnei momo mahi e kawe"


English translation:

“I grew up in Whareponga. As a child I used to walk in the mountains of Whareponga with my Dad. I was taught valuable life skills in the bush. Hunting deer, gathering food but most of all I gained a passion for the environment. I joined this important line of work to strengthen my skills in environmental work and to support the restoration of the Raukūmara. The ultimate goal for me is to keep our ngahere alive for future generations. My greatest hope is that my children will love the environment as much as I do and in time they will carry on this kind of work”

Like everyone on this project, Maraea comes with an array of skills. Before pursuing her purpose within the Raukūmara Pae Maunga Restoration Project, Maraea was part of the medical team in Ngāti Porou – in particular she was the community nurse.

This on its own makes a statement to all Wāhine Māori, that you are capable of everything you set your mind to. From a medical background to a professional aerial culler, what a truly remarkable person to have on this project.

Picture: Maraea Ngarimu, Abraham Karaka

Heli Training

Through every operation that we engage in the health and safety of our kaimahi is always the main priority. Our aerial cullers have been through extensive training; however this doesn’t mean we put the brakes on.

We attended a workshop in Ōpōtiki run by local heli expert Steven Woods. Through this wānanga our kaimahi were taken over helicopter safety protocols and were given in case of emergency demonstrations and advice.

We view ourselves as a whānau at Raukūmara Pae Maunga, so it gives us peace of mind when our people have been given the necessary training and tools to safely execute any mission, especially our kaimahi in the air.

Check out this clip for highlights on our day at the hanger.


Operations Taiao Training

Pekapeka – bats

Picture: Ryan Adams, Department of conservation

Long tailed bats have a threat classification of nationally critical. In simple terms, this means they need all the help they can get.

Our Operations Taiao kaimahi joined the Department of Conservation in Whirinaki to learn as much as possible about long tailed bats and were privileged to be part of the Mark and Recapture Project.

Introduced predators such as stoats, possums, rats and cats play a large factor in the reduction of long tail bat numbers, however, little is known about what level of pest control is required to lift our taonga species numbers back into stability.

The Mark and Recapture Project was developed to assess what level of protection is required to maintain their population size. This is the 6th year the project has been operating.

Monitoring bats can be intensive work as it involves capturing, sampling and attaching identifying bands to them. Each year the aim of this project is to reach a 40-60% recapture rate.

Our dedicated kaimahi assisted and learnt a range of skills including

  • Tracking radio transmitted bats using TR4 devices & aerials

  • Helping to set up the ropes & pulley system outside of roost trees

  • Assembling the harp trap and hoisting it up to the bat roost entrance, aligning it with the hole

  • Returning in the evening, using thermal binos/monoculars to watch the bats emerge & fall into the trap and listening to the bat detectors to hear them echolocating

  • Assisting with lowering the trap after all bats have emerged

  • Handling, reading wing band combinations, sexing and releasing bats under direct supervision from a level 3 trainer

  • Starting their bat training log, so they can work towards various competencies in the future.

Picture: Ryan Adams


Kiwi Training

Our operations kaimahi have been working hard alongside Save the Kiwi expert Tamsin Ward in the aspiration of becoming trained kaitiaki for Kiwi here in the Raukūmara.

So far our team has conducted learnings in telemetry gear, audio recorders, kiwi call detection and have been a part of Operation Nest Egg.

Aotearoa was once home to millions of Kiwi but due to introduced pests the Kiwi is currently sitting at an estimated 68,000. Operation Nest Egg was developed to increase the population of Kiwi and encourage safe habitat for our taonga species.

With a few late nights under their belt, our Operations Taiao kaimahi have been marking nests, tracking birds, applying transmitters and successfully retrieving eggs which are then sent to the hatchery.

The team will continue their training throughout the year so stay tuned for more updates regarding their progress.

Picture: Brooklyn Grace, Mikaere Albert


Intensively Managed Sites (IMS)

Intensively managed sites help people understand the crisis our ngahere faces. Safety, logistics and resources mean we can't take everyone who is interested into the depths of te Raukūmara, so instead, we bring the mahi we are doing deep in the ngahere back into the heart of our community.

We are currently in the process of setting up IMS in places where whānau can see, watch, learn and be involved in a hands-on, practical way, without having to go too far from home.

We have four intensively managed sites:

1. Houpoto

2. Anaura

3. Mangaraukokore

4. Whangaparaoa

Once we have formally developed these sites we will begin to provide opportunities for our whānau, rangatahi and Iwi where they can learn to trap, monitor, identify and protect many of our taonga species.

Picture: Taken from Anaura IMS


Putting a korowai back on our Raukūmara

Picture: Hikurangi Maunga

If we change our perspective to view the Raukūmara indigenously, our ngahere as we know it would have derived from Papatūānuku. The earth mother, the figure in which gives all things life.

Te Raukūmara; our mother source. The land that was gifted a korowai of all its inhabitants from Papatūānuku. The trees, the awa, the maunga, the manu and the soil itself. Ko Te Raukūmara te ngahere.

However, in its current state when we look at our Raukūmara we see:

  • Landscapes slipping

  • Awa drying up

  • Rākau dying

  • Taonga species decreasing

  • Pests in high numbers

  • Indigenous food supplies lessening

  • Little to no regeneration of native plants

We then imagine our Raukūmara standing before us, bare, naked and in a state of pōuritanga. The korowai she was once gifted by Papatūānuku has been stripped away from her.

The mahi becomes meaningful and kaitiakitanga kicks in. The time for us to act is now. We need to pick up her korowai and place it back over her, returning with it her dignity, her mana and her mauri.

Image: Ryan Adams, Iain Grant

Restoring the mana and mauri of Te Raukūmara

Our Operations team headed to Oronui where they were tasked with a very important mission to capture pre-monitoring data.

This data helps us to understand the presence of pests such as rats and possums. We use tracking tunnels and trail cameras as part of our monitoring system. Some of the feedback we can share about the result is that “the rat cards got smashed”

This tells us that we have no more time to spear and with the pre-feed over Block 2C now successfully completed, we are now waiting for a clear weather window to apply the 1080 toxin in Block 2C.

You can find more information about all of our 1080 operations by following the link below

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