The Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust leads environmental and restoration projects within the Ngāti Hauā rohe, which extends from the eastern suburbs of Hamilton to Te Aroha. The rohe includes the river catchments of the Waikato, Mangaonua, Mangaharakeke, Mangaone, Karapiro, Waihōu, Waitoa, Piako, Topehaehae and Waitakaruru waterways.
The charitable trust was established by Ngāti Hauā, the Matamata-Piako Council and the Anglican Church. The focus is on connecting Ngāti Hauā rangitahi with job training and employment opportunities, inspiring pride among the mana whenua and contributing to the health and wellbeing of the local community and environment.
Tiaki manaakitia te tāngata, tiaki manaakitia te taiao.Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust vision
Looking after our people, looking after our environment.
The Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust is based in Mangateparu, near Morrinsville, on whenua that was returned to Ngāti Hauā. The Trust offers horticulture, arboriculture and agribusiness courses at Mangateparu. Practical learning – site preparation, planting and plant maintenance – takes place out in the field. The Trust is funded by the Waikato River Authority, local councils and other organisations to do riparian planting in local river catchments. In 2019, rangatahi grew and planted approximately 90,000 native plants!
The plants are grown at the Trust’s nursery. Seed is gathered from areas that the Trust intends to plant. For example, the Trust has been working with Hamilton City Council to plant the Mangaonua gully system in the city’s southeast corner. Workers gather seeds from plants in Mangaonua, grow them at the nursery and, when the plants are big enough, return them to Mangaonua.
We aim to go seed sourcing from that tree where that seed dropped to take the children back to their parents, as close to the whānau we can find. As that parent leaves, its children still remainNgāti Hauā Mahi Trust manager Keri Thompson
For the Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust, the mahi is more than creating employment opportunities. Rangitahi gain knowledge about te taiao and mātauranga Māori. Being able to connect with the environment, the whenua, is fundamental to wellbeing – the wellbeing of the people, the community and the local awa.
This article has been developed in partnership with the Waikato Regional Council as part of the Rivers and Us resource.