The ‘Tangikaroro Park’ project is about the establishment of a ‘Mainland Island Sanctuary’ in the northern Tairawhiti region, supporting the restoration of rare, threatened and endangered indigenous species, in order that the Ecology, and Native New Zealand Maori Culture surrounding this Ecology, passed down through time, is protected, preserved, and promoted. This mission is an interwoven blend of Environmental, Ecological, and Maori Cultural preservation. It is also an educating exercise in how these two concepts are intertwined.
This vision began in 2006. One of the founding pioneers was Te Araroa local, Wiremu Wanoa, a member of the whanau on which Tangikaroro Park is sited. He was supported in the concept from its early conception by whanau, the local community and ecologically minded associates. Since that time, progressive steps have been taken toward manifesting the reality of the ‘Tangikaroro Park’ vision and mission. Simply put, the Mission Statement is
“Protecting, Preserving, and Promoting the interwoven blend of Ecological and Maori Cultural Heritage in Aotearoa-New Zealand”
A series of visits were facilitated to Tangikaroro Park, (then known as the “proposed site of the reserve”),which included people such as
- Hon. Damien O’Connor, (former Minister of Tourism)
- His Worship Meng Foon, (Mayor of Gisborne)
- Rick Mansell, (Economic Development Manager, Gisborne District Council)
- Mere Pohatu, (Regional Director, Te Puni Kokiri – Ministry of Maori Development)
- Tim Day (Xcluder Pest Free Fencing)
- Malcolm Piper, (Queen Elizabeth II Trust)
- Murray Palmer (Nga Mahi a Taiao Gisborne)
- Jono Clarke (Eco Quest Education Foundation)
- In addition to many other key biodiversity restoration and sustainable energy industry representatives.
The scope and vision of the ‘Tangikaroro Park’ project and these collaborative meetings were well reported in the media. Te Puni Kokiri, Ministry of Maori Development, was then enlisted to provide logistic support. This was to assist in developing a broad initial plan and set of potential time-lines for the overall ‘Tangikaroro Park’ project concept, and a detailed assessment of the specific restoration requirements of the Tangikaroro Ecological environment.
To these ends, Murray Palmer, Principal of natural resource consultants Nga Mahi Te Taiao, was asked to collate details of the project, including the ecological and planning contexts, and develop these into a format that could be utilized to provide guidance in implementing the Mission and Vision.
The outcome in 2007 to 2008 was a range of site visits to ‘Tangikaroro Park’ and consultation by Murray Palmer and his team who then provided a detailed ecological survey and biodiversity assessment of the then proposed ‘Tangikaroro Park’.