Find out more about available kawenata to protect our natural taonga.
Te Tumu Paeroa currently has 19 blocks of land with Ngā Whenua Rāhui agreements in place, covering nearly 3,000 ha of land. It’s our purpose as an organisation to support Māori land owners to protect and enhance their land – for now and generations to come.
So it’s only fitting that the kaupapa of Ngā Whenua Rāhui goes hand in hand with what we do. Ngā Whenua Rāhui fund (administered by the Department of Conservation) provides Māori landowners with access to funding and support for establishing renewable kawenata (covenants).
These kawenata exist to protect native landscape/flora on Māori owned land for 25 years at a time. These areas of land are of all different shapes and sizes, and owners can apply for as little or as much of their whenua to be protected by these kawenata as required. Māori land authorities, such as Trusts and Incorporations; organisations representative of whānau, hapū or iwi; and Māori owners of general land can all apply. The kaupapa of the fund is to help re-establish the connection between tangata whenua and their land using tikanga Māori.
What does Ngā Whenua Rahui cover?
There is a wide range of criteria that is taken into account to evaluate Ngā Whenua Rāhui applications, including, but not limited to:
· The area has strong cultural, spiritual and symbolic significance to whānau/hapū/iwi
· The area is an important source for food, cultural materials and rongoā
· The area is traditionally known for taonga species
The decision to place areas of land under Ngā Whenua Rāhui may be based upon an area being wāhi tapu, (a sacred place of significance), or to protect waterways or native bush from cows/farm animals or their effects. Owners don’t receive rental income for the land placed under Ngā Whenua Rāhui agreement – but they will (if approved) receive the appropriate funding to purchase what they need to protect the land (e.g. fencing, planting) for the period required – all of which is stipulated and agreed upon after the application phase.
It’s important that tenants and property managers of Māori land are aware when there’s a Ngā Whenua Rāhui kawenata in place on a block of land so that tenants of the land don’t attempt to utilise that area for profit.
To find out more about or to apply for the Ngā Whenua Rāhui Fund, click here.
- Bede Dwyer