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  • Tim Higham

Tū Mai Taonga Project Under New Leadership

Updated: Feb 12



Conservation efforts on Aotea Great Barrier have been strengthened by a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Ngāti Rehua Ngātiwai ki Aotea Trust Board and Aotea Great Barrier Island Environmental Tru


The memorandum enables transfer of the Tū Mai Taonga project from the Aotea Great Barrier Environmental Trust to the Ngāti Rehua Ngātiwai ki Aotea Trust Board.

Chairman of the Ngāti Rehua Ngātiwai ki Aotea Trust Board Opo Ngawaka acknowledged the work done by the Aotea Great Barrier Environmental Trust and conservation groups across Aotea in their efforts to champion this project.


“Jobs for Nature funding enables us to build a project that will create new conservation jobs, protect our taonga species and contribute to long-term hapū, community and environmental well-being,” Opo Ngawaka said.


The Ngāti Rehua Ngātiwai ki Aotea Trust will set the vision and tikanga for Tū Mai Taonga.

Last week it established a steering committee to help operationalise the project after seeking nominations from the community. It is made up of:

  • Opo Ngawaka (Chair) - Mana Whenua - NRNWKA Trust

  • Matthew Ngawaka - Mana Whenua - Kawa Marae

  • Marylin Stevens and Paula Williams (alternative members) - Mana Whenua - Motairehe Marae

  • Sue Daly - Community - Nominee

  • Izzy Fordham - Community - Local Board

  • Kate Waterhouse- Community - Nominee

A small project team has been working through lockdown to assist in the transition of the project between the trusts and to prepare a feasibility study to look at options for removing cats and intensifying rat management in the north of the island.



Aotea Great Barrier Environmental Trust Chair Kate Waterhouse said she was delighted with the new arrangements.


“Our initial work showed strong community support for this project. Funding through Predator Free 2050 Limited, Auckland Council and Department of Conservation and the involvement of conservation groups around the island means we can work together to transform the future for Aotea’s biodiversity.”


For more information, please contact:


Project Governance Secretary, NRNWKA Trust ngatirehuatrustboard@gmail.com


Project Operations Jo Ritchie - Project Lead, Tū Mai Taonga jo@tumaitaonga.nz


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