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Penny Nelson and Tame Malcom from Te Papa Atawhai (DOC) visit

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

On the 15th and 16th of March Director-General, Penny Nelson and Deputy Director-General Treaty Partnerships, Tame Malcolm from Te Papa Atawhai (Department of Conservation) visited our project and met some of our kaimahi and governance representatives.

Wednesday March 15: Director-General Penny Nelson and Deputy Director-General Treaty Partnerships Tame Malcolm from Te Papa Atawhai with the Raukūmara Pae Maunga kaimahi, Te Kaha.

Day One

Our journey with our manuhiri started off with a visit to our Te Kaha office. Our kaimahi were keen to share some of the mahi they’ve been doing in the Ngahere and our youngest kaimahi, Mikaire, gifted our manuhiri with their own Tī hāte before their next stop at Te Araroa, where everyone shared a big hakari together.

Some beautiful stories were shared and both Penny and Tame were humbled to meet our kaimahi and whānau from Te Whakapae Ururoa. They know how hard we are working and the journey we have been on to get to this point. We laughed and we cried because that’s how much this kaupapa means to us.

Day Two

Day two included a helicopter visit into te Raukūmara with Graeme Atkins and Rob Whitbourne. Penny and Tame saw for themselves the devastation wreaked upon our ngahere by generations of introduced pests - including one cheeky possum who popped out from behind a tree near the hut they stayed in.

They also had the chance to view the damage done during cyclone Gabrielle including slips, made so much worse, by the lack of understory holding the whenua together.

Thursday 16 March: DOC Director-General Penny Nelson and Graeme Atkins on the search for a native frog

Penny said afterwards:

"I found it confronting to see the scale of damage possums and deer have caused in the Raukumara Range. Meeting the talented team and hearing their plan made me hopeful for the future of this special place”.

We know how important it is - to see, feel, and connect with Te Raukūmara. When it comes to the mahi ahead of us in Raukūmara Pae Maunga Restoration Project. It's a big job and this is an intergenerational kaupapa that will continue on for many years to come. Acknowledging the ones who came before us, the ones who contributed along the way, the ones who are doing their part now and the ones who are yet to come.

We appreciate both Tame and Penny's support for this project and are proud to support them while they advocate for our kaupapa, our people and our Raukūmara. We know that our time together was of huge value to understand the mamae, emotion and responsibility we carry, and to witness first-hand the devastation that has occurred over time.

We also mihi to our own Graeme Atkins and Rob Whitbourne for taking our manuhiri into the ngahere. We acknowledge the Pou you are, and continue to be, for Taiao and Raukūmara Pae Maunga.

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