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  • Writer's pictureTim Higham

April 2022 Newsletter

Updated: May 16, 2023

Tena koutou katoa,

I’m excited to take the helm of the Tū Mai Taonga project at this critical stage.

We have completed a transition from the Aotea Great Barrier Environmental Trust to the Ngāti Rehua Ngātiwai ki Aotea Trust, established a Steering Group and appointed a management team to guide the project through its initial stages. We are testing the market for labour on the island in anticipation of getting boots on the ground and finalising a feasibility study to guide the operational effort.

Tū Mai Taonga is an investment in building a workforce with the skills and knowledge to make a long-term difference for conservation on Aotea.

Our opportunity, kick-started through the Jobs for Nature - Mahi mō te Taiao programme, is to connect with and add value to the great work of many groups around the island.

As Charles Nepia, the Kaiwhakahaere of the Ngāti Rehua Ngātiwai ki Aotea Trust, said recently “Tū Mai Taonga is the catalyst of a movement to change our relationship with the land, that will be carried on by mana whenua and Aotea residents for years to come. Ultimately, we want our mokopuna to be able to hear the same birdsong our tupuna once heard in the ngahere."

I look forward to joining you in this important mahi,

Nga mihi,

Makere Jenner, Acting Project Lead


At home with nature

“We must be involved. The priority is to have those birds, plants, reptiles and insects that should be here, back among us,” says Opo Ngawaka, Chair of the Ngāti Rehua Ngātiwai ki Aotea Trust and Tū Mai Taonga’s Project Steering Grou

Opo lives on Māhuki, in the Broken Islands group alongside the largest takapū/gannet colony in the Hauraki Gulf. He shares his outlook on our blogpost.


Calling for Expressions of Interest

Tū Mai Taonga will require up to 30 field workers over the next three or four years as it tackles the feral cats and rats that have decimated native wildlife in the north of the island.

The project is calling for expressions of interest from companies and individuals interested and qualified to help us in this work.

We’ll require skills in the marking and cutting of tracks, deployment of infrastructure, trapping, baiting, use of detector dogs, shooting, use of mapping, communications and camera technologies, data reporting, biodiversity monitoring and landowner liaison.

If you think you can assist our Expression of Interest document is here.


New Faces

We’re delighted to welcome Hannah Gale to the Tū Mai Taonga team as our

Administration and Communications Assistant. Hannah hails from Scotland, where she met her partner, a good Barrier-raised boy on his OE. Hannah has recently honed her admin skills with the Aotea Education Trust and is a social media wiz, having established Aotea Brewing’s Instagram presence.

We expect to announce the project’s new Operations Manager in the next fortnight following a selection process with several very well-qualified candidates.


Coming Up

In our next newsletter, we’ll outline findings from the project’s feasibility study. The independently authored and peer-reviewed report will be discussed with our core funders next month and used to guide operational planning. It’s a rigorous and realistic assessment of what is possible, to give confidence that we are getting the most learning and value from investments in the project.

Thanks to our funders:

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