Field trip brings Stakeholders and Iwi Members together
In late January the Environment Group hosted two field trips attended by the South Waikato District Council (SWDC), members of the Hancock Forest Management (HFM) team and a wider Raukawa rōpū.
The first hīkoi took SWDC Mayor Neil Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer Craig Hobbs and HFM team members to three key sites of cultural importance within the immediate Tokoroa area. Accompanying our manuhiri were RCT Trustee Kataraina Hodge, Kaumātua Kaunihera member Ruthana Begbie and members of the RCT team. The hīkoi was intended to inform attendees as to the range of sites within our rohe, how these sites can add equally to South Waikato histories and identity, and also to educate attendees as to the complexity of land and management issues we face in caring for ngā wāhi tūturu me ngā taonga tuku iho o Raukawa across our rohe.
A couple of days later, the Environment Group hosted the SWDC planning team on a hīkoi showcasing current group work programmes, including the Raukawa Environmental Management Plan and Ngā Wāhi Tūturu projects and two wetland restoration projects. After a shared lunch, the group travelled to Pikitū Marae, where members of the Pikitū whānau gave an overview of environmental initiatives that the marae have underway or are planning for at the moment.
The hīkoi were enjoyed and appreciated by both groups, and have instilled a deeper understanding in all attendees of the ways that Raukawa and the Raukawa Charitable Trust are carrying out their respective kaitiaki roles within the rohe. Both hīkoi were extremely important for Raukawa and RCT in terms of strengthening our relationships with these key partner organisations.