Kaimahi for Nature- Whakaraupō (Lyttelton Harbour) – He Rau Ringa e Oti ai- Helping Hands Programme is a partnership between Te hapū o Ngāti Wheke, Living Springs and Conservation Volunteers New Zealand. He Rau Ringa e Oti ai is a well known whakataukī which loosely translates as “Many hands make light work” which perfectly sums up the kaupapa of this three year programme.
The Helping Hands Programme involves a fusion of values, competencies, knowledge, worldviews and experience to deliver ecological restoration through activities such as planting (riparian, infill, plant maintenance and reforestation), predator control (possums, mustelids & rats) and invasive pest plant management, fence maintenance and track maintenance.
The programme primarily covers three main project sites Rāpaki 1A and 2B Māori Reserve, Taukahara Rāpaki 1C Māori Reserve and Living Springs, plus there are a number of additional supplementary sites within the harbour where ecological restoration will support the overall catchment-wide restoration vision. Helping Hands consists of two field teams, managed by both Living Springs and CVNZ, with overall programme management and oversight delivered by Ngāti Wheke.
Field teams receive full training and support services. A two-way educational pathway exists between mana whenua, the programme partners and the field teams. Ecological expertise passes from the programme partners to mana whenua and the field teams and matauranga Māori will flow from mana whenua to the field teams and programme partners. There is a multi faceted educational approach.
Wrapped around the three partners, are a rōpū of six supporting parties including
Ecological and cultural restoration of Whakaraupō as mahinga kai is essential to ensure healthy, abundant, interconnected and sustainable life, waterways and communities. The Helping Hands partnership is closely aligned to the Whaka-Ora Healthy Harbour partnership and Catchment Plan.