The goal of the project is to transform low-lying areas of land on the property into a series of three connecting wetland areas, which will become a place of refuge for native wildlife. These areas are to be planted in native species that would have naturally occurred in wetlands around the Gore/Mataura area. It is hoped that in time the area will attract native insects and birds.
In the long-term our vision is for a predator proof fence that allows endangered species to be present on site.
It is well established that providing opportunities to engage directly in restoration and conservation is a valuable component of environmental education. We currently have local schools visiting the Rūnanga to learn more about mana whenua and be involved in environmental projects.
Development of this wetland will further enhance our ability to provide educational opportunities and connection with both young Māori and the broader youth within our community. Given how modified the Gore/Mataura District is, this project will also provide and ability to demonstrate the richness of the native flora and fauna in the area.
For example, Gore High School Science Department students do water related site visits throughout the year. Gore High School is an Enviroschool, doing great things for our local environment. Check out what Year 9 and 10 students have been doing.
Planting for the Future
New Zealand’s peatland wetlands have evolved plant species that can cope with growing in wet, acidic conditions. There are few examples of lowland peat wetlands left in Southland, particularly around the Gore area. Therefore, the restoration project at the Hokonui Rūnanga will provide a valuable ‘window’ into what the area may have once looked like.