The Planting season is upon us! And the crew is hard at work emptying the Nursery and planting our eco sourced native trees. With the help from our youth during the school holidays, a massive 4,000+ trees have already been planted in the first week along the Wharekorino Wetland!
“Ka rere te tui tae noa ki te whakata, ka hoki ano ki te kainga”
Translation: A tui will fly so far until it rests, and will then return home
This whakatauki speaks about the whakapapa/genealogy of plants, and the necessity of growing and maintaining those plants which have always grown there. This in turn will ensure that the mauri or life force of the plant is not spoiled, by not having the right whakapapa unique to that area. Our elders put this simply by saying that, as far as a Tui may fly and return is the boundary of its whakapapa.
Remember how many trees we are going to locally source grow and plant… 80 million? Yes, you read that right, Pūniu River Care has a goal to plant 80 million trees within the Pūniu Catchment. Now, this will take time over generations so with that in mind, we are committed to creating sustainability within our organisation so that it can continue for these many generations to come.
“TOITU TE WHENUA WHATUNGARONGARO HE TANGATA”
Translation: The land and its plants will remain, when the people are gone
This whakataukī draws on the importance of leaving the land in its original form, as land and its plants remain long after people have gone.
So, let’s get back to today, to-date we have planted around 25,000 trees within the Pūniu Catchment! With an exciting expansion in the works, our nurseries will soon have the capability to produce 200,000 trees per year with an increase on that number each year after.
During the school holidays, we have employed 4 youth who are all affiliated within the Marae of Pūniu River Care to help with planting in the busy season. The purpose behind this initiative is to introduce our young people to a workplace organisation that is not only created to benefit the environment (land, water, flora and fauna) but also benefit themselves. We hope that by introducing them to a space which teaches and enables them to become kaitiaki of their significant waterways, gives them the inspiration that they may need, to become the best version of themselves. As young kaitiaki they can take on the responsibility within themselves to realize the implications of how we are treating our environment. And when we help to heal the environment, we also heal ourselves.
Whether this be something that they go on to care about, or not, is completely up to them. We are simply here to provide workplace experience for the youth of our Marae, with a goal to inspire some young minds in whatever they want to achieve in life.
The boys have helped contribute to the 22,000 trees that are being planted in the Wharekorino Wetland (This is also where we will be planting for our Matariki Community planting day this July!) And it may just be the coldest week of the year!