Ngahere Korowai


The idea

There is a collective of us asking how might the community lead the transformation of the hills around Porirua East into a Ngahere Korowai?

Tucked in at the foot of these bare hills is a beautiful community full of amazing people who deserve big things. Winding through those hills is Transmission Gully.

What if we could turn those bare hills into a protected ngahere that wraps itself around the Porirua East community to protect its residents into the future?

The hills around Porirua East

People of Porirua East want and deserve a close connection to Te Taiao / nature. This idea wants to deliver environmental equity – so that communities like Waitangirua, Cannons Creek and Ascot Park get just as much connection to Te Taiao on their doorstep as other communities across Te Whanganui a Tara already do.

Porirua is currently at the beginning of a huge redevelopment, with new housing and infrastructure. We have an opportunity to compliment that investment in the built environment, with investment in the natural environment. Importantly, how can the local community receive the benefits of some of that investments in jobs and trainings while we do this mahi?

A Ngahere Korowai would learn from the vision of the Wellington town belt and Zealandia and all the benefits they bring to the future generations of Porirua East(access to nature, low carbon development, compact city growth, employment).

This community has the ability and passion to contribute to a large visionary project like this Ngahere Korowai.

Much of this land is managed by Greater Wellington who have already committed to this Kaupapa.

Our Menz Group getting ideas at Zealandia

The Collective

A collective of people and organisations is forming around this idea. We are having conversations about what this project wants to achieve and how to do that. We can see this collective starting to take more formal shape.

The current members who have been participating in the exploration of this idea include:

•       Wesley Community Action

•       Zealandia

•       Ngāti Toa Rangatira

•       Aotearoa Pasifika Men’s Group

•       Local people who are connected with Wesley House in Cannons Creek

•       Porirua Regeneration Project (Kainga Ora)

•       Greater Wellington Regional Council

•       Porirua City Council

We have had interest and conversations from a range of others as well

Project draft aims

We are continuing to develop the aims of the project, with input from local people. The current identified aims are broad:

•        Increase biodiversity (Flocks of Kākā and Kererū flying around Porirua East and the sound of Rūrū in the night)

•        Owned and driven by Porirua East locals

•        Access to Rongoā Māori plants and Mātauranga

•        Opportunities for employment and skills training (including tree planting, track building, pest management, project management, communication, HR, teaching, local tourism)

•        Increased water quality (watercress and Tuna in the awa around Porirua East)

•        Ngahere korowai protected for future generations (legal protections)

•        Flood protection (climate change resilience)

•        Capturing pollution (carbon and air pollution from transmission gully)

•        Increased pride in Porirua East (from the rest of the region too)

•        Increasing peoples time in nature – including healing, restoring, rongoā, healthy tinana and wairua

Emerging areas of mahi

There are a number of potential workstreams in this project. We have identified some of the key ones below.

•        Community nursery

•        Pest trapping network

•        Community planting and connecting

•        Skills and employment

•        Communication

•        Funding for project coordination

•        Legal protection status

•        Citizen science projects (e.g. EDNA of mānga and awa)

•        Work with community to hone exactly what we are aiming for (e.g. a Zealandia in Porirua/reforesting/protecting from urban sprawl?)

Downloadable documents

How is this contributing to growing better economic systems and adding value in our communities?

This kaupapa of the community leading the reforestation of these hills is a big dream. We are all trying to make sure that this community of Porirua East gets access to all of the benefits of a healthy local environment that other communities already have.

It is also part of the shift from thinking of the environment as a resource that we extract from, to something that we regenerate and act as kaitiaki of.

There are also other potential economic benefits such as training and employment opportunities for local people that we want to be seeking out in this project.

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