Bay hosts Enviroschools hui
About 50 people from across the country have gathered in Kerikeri this week for the country’s first Enviroschools WaiRestoration national hui.
WaiRestoration focuses on engaging young people and local communities to take action to restore local waterways and biodiversity. Initially conceived by members of the Northland Regional Council’s (NRC) Enviroschools’ team in 2013, the project has been developing constantly since then.
Councillor Joce Yeoman said the threeday hui — a joint initiative between the NRC and Enviroschools’ national body Toimata Foundation — was designed to inspire and teach other regions wanting to implement the Enviroschools WaiRestoration project.
Councillor Yeoman, whose Coastal North constituency includes the Kerikeri area, said participants at the hui, which ended yesterday, learned more about the project, including its benefits, challenges, roles and responsibilities.
“I’m incredibly proud as a regional councillor that our Enviroschools team has developed the WaiRestoration programme and is able to now share it with others from around the country,” she said.
“The programme aligns with council’s core values, promoting fencing of waterways, riparian and wetland planting, improved biodiversity and pest management, all of which are key to our work and our proposed Long Term Plan 2018.”
A number of local organisations, tangata whenua, students and teachers, farmers, landowners and others attended the hui, passing on their WaiRestoration experiences to participants, who came from as far afield as Otago.
Participants also received a booklet outlining Enviroschools WaiRestoration and learned about the seven elements at the heart of the project: ■ WaiFencing — keeping stock out of waterways. ■ WaiNurseries — growing riparian plants. ■ WaiPlanting — waterways. ■ WaiMaintenance — keeping out plant and animal pests. ■ WaiMonitoring — testing and tracking water quality. ■ WaiEnterprise — creating sustainable employment. ■ Save a Species — restoring endangered plants and animals.
DEMO: Enviroschools Canterbury’s Matt Sanford checks out a fencing demonstration by Landcorp Kapiro Station fencer Mike Sunnex as part of a three-day national WaiRestoration hui at Kerikeri. Regional councillor Joce Yeoman — whose father taught her to fence as a child — watches.