Te Mahia School – Workshop on Rongoa and traditional use of native plants



Te Mahia students attended today a very informative workshop on Rongoa and traditional use of native plants. Kathleen Mato, Rae Te Nahu, Edward Hammond and Jennifer Scothern shared their knowledge to a very interested audience. Students had the opportunity to hear from their Kuia and Kaumatua how they used their precious native plants for medicinal and traditional purposes. Kathleen, Rae and Edward explained how in the past, people were relying a lot on these plants to survive.
Later on in August the students will be taking part to a planting project along the Whangawehi stream. After this workshop the students should know more about the trees they are going to plant.


The WCM group is having its first AGM on Saturday the 2d of August at Kaiuku Marae, from 10 am to 12. This meeting will be followed by a Hui a Iwi where a general update on the project will be given to the community (from 1 pm to 3 pm).
The agenda is attached below. If you want to know more about the group’s activities, please come along.

Agenda Hui a Iwi

Pride of NZ Award


Pride of New Zealand, sponsored by the New Zealand Herald, TRN radio station The Hits and TSB Bank, aims to find and recognise Kiwi campaigners, volunteers, caregivers, teachers and other unsung heroes who have done something extraordinary to help others.
The categories are: Bravery/Heroism, Community Spirit, Fundraiser of the Year Award, Emergency Services, Environment and Lifetime Achievement.
Winners will be named at four functions – one for the northern region on August 4 in Auckland, one for the central North Island in Tauranga on August 5 (hosted by the Bay of Plenty Times), one for the lower North Island (including the Wanganui nominees) hosted by Hawke’s Bay Today in Hastings on August 6 and one in Christchurch for the South Island on August 7. From those regional winners, the overall national winners will be selected.
Kathleen Mato and the Whangawehi community have been selected as finalists and will compete on the 6th of August. A television crew came last week to film the school children doing water and fish monitoring. Thank you to all the volunteers from the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group and the Enviro school team for their help.

School workshop at Whangawehi

DSC_0162 identifying on chart

On the first of July, Te Mahia students attended a new workshop on Bugs and stream and drain detective. During this workshop, the students looked for bugs in a local stream and learnt to identify them. These indicators gave a good insight on the rivers’s health and will be followed over time to measure any change.
The drain detective session raised awareness around the different types of drains and the way the water was treated or not!

Pest control update for Whangawehi

With our goat control strategy well underway it is good to update the community and talk numbers.
Since March 2014, 663 goats have been removed from the stage 1 area which is mainly located around the new planting area. Hares became a problem after our first community planting day. Extra funding was made available by HBRC to control them and to date 12 hares have been removed from the area.
The planted area is already changing with a lot of birds coming back and thriving especially King Fishers at this stage.
Our pest control strategy is key to the success of our project so thank you to HBRC and DOC for helping out.
Stage 2 of the strategy will start very soon initially with some ground musters followd up by ground control.
If you want to know more about our pest strategy clic on our “pest control” Tab

School workshop Te Mahia School



At the beginning of July, Te Mahia school students learnt about fish and invertebrates that live in their river, why the river was so important and what to do to improve water quality.

This workshop is a part of the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group’s initiative looking at transferring local knowledge around Matauranga Maori themes in order to forge the next generations of Kaitiaki and reach out to the entire community.

This project is a collaboration between local Iwi and a large number of agencies.

The next workshop for this winter are :

– Vision map for the Catchment (24/07/2014)

– Native trees identification and properties (Rongoa etc.) ( 31/07/2014)

– Weaving workshop (14/08/2014)

We will keep you posted

Some very rare native trees for Whangawehi


DOCPittosporumThe DOC team was quite impressed by the quality of the fencing work done at Whangawehi and the pest control put in place to protect the new planted area. They established a few weeks ago 100 very rare specimen trees ( Pittosporum obcordatum)   

Etymology : Pittosporum: pitch seed – obcordatum: reversed heart shape

Current Conservation status : 2012 – Threatened – Nationally Vulnerable

 Primarily threatened by loss of habitat. Initially this was caused by the widespread clearance of the easterly, lowland alluvial forest habitats this species favours. However, decline has continued, even within many protected forest remnants due to subtle changes in forest microclimate and hydrology, bought about by habitat fragmentation, and also many populations are threatened by the spread of aggressive weeds, which suppress (or prevent) regeneration, and can smother adult trees. Some locations consist of single trees, which are then in effect reproductively extinct. However, like many Pittosporum, plants may be either female, male or sexually inconstant, so some isolated individuals can set seed.

Awards for the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group

The Whangawehi Catchment Management Group has been nominated to :

Pride of NZ Award. The WCMG has been successful and the judges have chosen our nominee Kathleen Mato as one of our 72 regional finalists (that’s 3 finalists, in each of the 6 award categories, in each of the 4 PONZ regions – Upper north, Mid north, Lower north and South Island). This is a significant National recognition for the group, well done. A TV crew should film Kathleen and other members of the community at the end of this month.

– New Zealand River Award :

 The group has been selected for the NZ River Award (Community story category). The 2014 winners will be announced at the River Awards Dinner on 27 November in Wellington. Professor Gary Jones from Canberra will be the guest speaker at the dinner.