July 30, 2021
Rangers open window on ngahere
Tomorrow is World Ranger Day, and a man who’s been sharing his knowledge of the ngahere for more than 30 years say’s it’s a great chance to get out into the great outdoors.
Riki Bennett from Ngāti Pikiao, who works in the Waitākere Ranges along Auckland’s west coast, says the day was established to commemorate rangers killed or injured in the line of duty, and as a wider celebration of the work rangers do.
He says even after three decades he still loves interacting with communities, volunteers, iwi and especially the children who are often experiencing the wild for the first time.
"For most people they look at the forest, they just see a mass of green, but when you start individualising a lot of the plants, sharing the pūrākau about those particular plants, it takes on new meaning for them, and if you are able to demonstrate how a lot of those plants were used- tī kouka for making pārahirahi, the sandals, to hika ahi, the fire making," Mr Bennett says
A major part of the rangers’ work now in Waitākere is trying to protect kauri die-back spreading.
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