Project: Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui (Puhinui Stream regeneration)
NOTE: This project utilises te reo Waiohua conventions, notably the use of double vowels.
Papaki kau ana ngaa tai o Te Maanukanuka o Hoturoa,
Paakia ki uta, paakia ki tai,
Teretere haere ana ngaa wai maariri o te Puhinui,
Te awa koiora me te awa taauru whakapiki ora,
Hoki atu raa ki ngaa Matukurua, ko Matukutuureia raaua ko Matukutuururu,
Ko ngaa tuupuna maunga tawhito, tuu te ao, tuu te poo,
Aro atu te manawa ki a Manukau taangata rau,
Araa, te pae haumako me te whenua makuru o Te Waiohua,
Huri taiahio ko ngaa uri taakerekere oo Huakaiwaka,
Ngaa raukura matahiiapo aana,
Tukua mai kia piri, tukua mai kia tata,
Tukua mai ki Puhinui,
Kia whakaoratia toona tapu, toona mauri me toona mana,
Kia eke Panuku, kia eke Tangaroa,Haumi-ee, Hui-ee, Taaiki ee!
The tides of the Manukau Harbour blow gently, Gently blowing on shore and blowing out shore,
The tranquil waters of Puhinui Stream flow,
And its life giving properties enhance our vitality,
Let me return to the ancestral mountains of Maatukutuureia and Matukutuururu,
The ancient mountains that stand resilient day and night,
As we turn our hearts to Manukau the land of many people,
There inlies the fertile and rich lands of the Waiohua people,
The cleansing wind gathers the descendants of Huakaiwaka,
His treasured and precious feathers,
Let us come together, let us draw near,
Let us come closer to Puhinui,
So that we may restore its sacredness, its vitality and its prestige,
As we invoke the seen and unseen energies to propel us forward,Let us be united, connected and together as one!
What is Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui?
Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui is a regeneration programme in the heart of Taamaki ki te tonga (south Auckland), focused on the ancestral stream of Te Puhinui. Te Puhinui stream spans from the peak of Tootara park through the residential area of Te Wirihana, into the commercial area of Manukau and out to the Manukau Harbour (Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa). The intent is to focus on intergenerational outcomes for tangata, whenua and taiao (people, place and nature).
We are invited to think differently about development and what positive change can mean with questions such as:
How can we support the ora (health) of people who live in the area, who have worked there for generations and have tribal connections to the place through this regeneration?
How can we better care for and be kaimaanaki (carers) towards nature and remember our dependency on our natural environment for shelter, food and wellbeing?
How can we honour Te Waiohua (Te Ākitai o Waiohua, Ngaati te Ata and Ngaati Tamaoho) role as kaitiaki (guardians) and uplift their history, significant places and aspirations for the future?
When we can strike that balance and begin to figure out the answers together, we all win.
The purpose of Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui strategy is to realise the regeneration of Te Puhinui in a way that is inclusive, place-sourced, culturally led and community-fed so that Te Puhinui and its people can thrive once more. It aims to align and build on existing relationships and projects within the catchment and the Manukau Harbour by providing frameworks and methods that will help shift Te Puhinui from its current state towards realising its potential.
What makes it special? Who is involved?
It is a collaborative partnership between Te Waiohua iwi, the Auckland Council whaanau, crown agencies, community organisations and the culturally rich, unique and diverse communities of Te Puhinui.
A wide range of project partners and collaborators have been involved in the development of the regeneration strategy, including locals and identified key users and decision makers in the Puhinui Catchment area. Te Waiohua developed a kaupapa (source document), which provides the foundations and articulates the purpose and vision for the regeneration of Te Puhinui. This has been developed into Te Whakaoranga o Te Puhinui Charter - a collaboration agreement which has been signed by the key project partners and is intended to underpin all work in the catchment.
The strategy outlines a roadmap for action and seeks to draw on existing knowledge about the catchment and the geological, ecological and cultural threads that underpin the whakapapa relationships of each Te Waiohua iwi, to deliver improved social, cultural, environmental and economic outcomes.
What has been done to date?
Over time there has been much effort to restore the Puhinui, however despite the efforts of many the stream remains in a state of ill health. The focus for the past 4-5 years has been establishing the governance with Te Waiohua (mana whenua Māori iwi) and project partners working group. Through constant interactions and forming of relationships, the pathway has become clearer and manifested into a strategic document known as Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui strategy. The Strategy captures all the activity, relationships, vision and objectives for Te Puhinui and outlines a roadmap for action.
During these formative years there have been several efforts to experiment and demonstrate potential changes with various project partners. Activities have varied from volunteer planting days, educational talks at the botanical gardens, a digital phone app by the stream, and tactical structures such as containers and a newly designed playground with the involvement of a local school.
What we’re doing now
Project partners and collaborators are busy bringing to life the strategy through a programme of both physical work and strategic initiatives. There is over $30m planned investment in the coming five years across the Puhinui catchment, with more to follow. Key initiatives currently underway include:
- Waiohua Maramataka and Te Reo Initiative
- Empowered Communities Initiative
- Wiri Industrial Pollution Prevention Programme
- Jobs for Nature – Awa Rangers and Makaurau Marae nursery development
- Signage and Wayfinding Strategy
- Ongoing planting in Tootara Park and Puhinui Reserve
- Place-based Education
- Te Puhinui Food Sovereignty
- Te Puhinui Living Lab
Physical works to improve the natural environment, amenity, accessibility and health of the stream are also being planned. They include new wetlands, cycleways, stream naturalisation and significant native planting. Key projects currently being developed include:
- Hayman Park repo (wetland)
- Raataa Vine Stream naturalisation and park upgrade
- Counties Manukau District Health Board stream improvements, walkway and wetland
- Puhinui Reserve planting, improvements and water supply
- Puhinui path feasibility study
- Blackgate Reserve upgrade
- 770 Great South Road stormwater pond renewal
A key aspect of this kaupapa is the intent for it to be 'place sourced, culture led and community fed'. As such the project actively seeks to empower locals and where possibly Waiohua iwi to lead and participate in its delivery. The projects above already employ many local South Aucklanders, and there will be many further job opportunities in future.
You can read more about our mahi in this documents:
How can I get involved?
Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui is still a new project with plenty of opportunity for collaboration and to share your stories and aspirations for the stream. Over the coming months we will be launching new social media sites such as an Instagram page to keep up to date with what’s happening with Te Puhinui, as well as a new website and digital hub to find all the latest information and events happening over the year to get involved with.
The project of Te Puhinui has a newly appointed Empowered Community Lead Alexanda Whitcombe, to support the collaboration and coordination of the project. He will play an important role to move the project from a strategy document to connecting with the community and partners on the ground.
Te Whakaoranga o Te Puhinui – Puhinui Regeneration charter signing
(Refer to Te Reo Waiohua strategy / Te Waiohua Language strategy sub-initiative for more information about te reo Waiohua).