April 16, 2020
Raukumara ideal for post-COVID-19 jobs splurge
East Coast iwi Te Whānau ā Apanui and Ngāti Porou have put their hands up to get some of the Government’s economic stimulus money to address the collapse of native forest habitat in Te Raukumara.
Te Whānau ā Apanui spokesperson Ora Barlow-Tukaki says the iwi have been working on the $35 million Raukūmara Pae Maunga Restoration Project since Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage visited the forest a year ago, and it is definitely shovel-ready.
She says there has been virtually no pest control since possums and deer arrived in the 1960s and 70s, and the forest is in freefall.
The ranges, which connect with Te Urewera and Whirinaki, are a national treasure.
"We are the only large-scale landscape (in the North Island) from the mountain to the sea and when you consider the importance of that eco-rich and diverse landscape an how important that is for a number of reasons – our biodiversity and also the climate change carbon sink mitigation that Te Raukumara will play in the recovery of our climate and what that could look like," she says.
Ms Barlow-Tukaki says restoring such a huge tract of land could generate up to 40 permanent jobs as well as seasonal contracting.
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