Jan. 21, 2020, 10:59 a.m.
Led by Te Roroa, Te Toa Whenua (TTW) is a project in Te Tai Tokerau which aims to transform 900 hectares of Treaty settlement Cultural Redress Lands from exotic forestry to a mosaic of sustainable land uses in the Waipoua Valley.
Courtney Davis, Te Toa Whenua Project Coordinator, says “the aim is to return a lot of it back to native.”
“We’ve got a small nursery where we are propagating native trees and planting it back into the whenua, weed eradication and developing a food forest.”
Nursery Manager and local Bertie Paniora “We’ve been growing a variety, it’s not just kauri, puriri, kōwhai, mānuka, akeake.. many of others. It’s a lot of learning.”
The area presently used for the project is fertile being close to the Waipoua River. The area was once covered in eucalyptus trees and thick weeds after it was abandoned and no longer used for commercial forestry.
The project has been supported by The Tindall Foundation and recent funding from the Department of Conservation will support 32 kilometres of bait stations for pest eradication in the area.
Local ancestor, Tuoho, was described as ‘te toa whenua’ or ‘the warrior of the land’ for his innovation, industry and leadership. A large concentration of his mahinga kai (gardens) are located within the restoration corridor.