The Whaka-Ora collaboration agreement was recently re-signed by the five organisations, renewing the group for another three years.
The agreement was first signed in 2018 when Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury, Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Lyttelton Port Company started Whaka Ora to support the health of the harbour.
Since then, the group has achieved significant milestones that support ki uta ki tai – from the mountain to the sea.
Like the Kaimahi for Nature programme operating at Living Springs and Rāpaki, which has reported 15-kilometres of fences maintained, 11-kilometres of tracks created, over 35,000 plants in the ground and over 3000 predators removed.
Co-chair Yvette Couch-Lewis says to reach new heights over the next three years, we must remember the past and the work that has got us to this point.
“This plan came from the community, and it is important we have buy-in from them,” says Yvette.
“The magnitude and importance of the mahi we are doing is woven into the plan and into the korowai that represents us.”
Working together for the harbour
Co-chair Kirstie Gardener says LPC is committed to providing support, funding, and expertise to the partnership.
“Whaka-Ora is not only supported by the five partner organisations, but many groups, community members and research organisations that have and continue to deliver outcomes towards the goals,” says Kirstie.
For the co-chairs, it’s not just about maintaining but improving. This was reinforced by the governance team represented by each organisation. From returning the hills to native forest and wildlife, to returning the ocean to mahinga kai, while ensuring this is also supported by regulatory framework at the council. Having now all signed on, the group will continue to work together on initiatives around the harbour.
“A waka can’t be paddled on its own and we are stronger together,” says Yvette.