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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wānanga Maunga

Yesterday we joined a Wānanga Maunga organised by Auckland Museum.
Archaeologist Louise Furey, kaumātua Pita Turei, and volcanologist Jan Lindsay led a two-hour walk-and-talk on #Maungawhau. We learned such a lot, and the morning ended with a scrumptious lunch! Thank you for the interesting Mātāriki programme this year, Auckland Museum.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Community Planting Day on Sunday 15 July

Help spread the word about our big day out on #Maungawhau!

Matariki at Auckland Museum

Auckland Museum has some fascinating events coming up during Matariki, including a #Maungawhau hikoi:

Wananga Maunga: "An off-site conversation between archaeology curator Louise Furey, tangata whenua Pita Turei, and volcanologist Jan Lindsay to make connections between collections and their relevance in Te Ao Maori.
Special focus will be on archaeological specimens found on Maunga Whau; what our mountains represent and the significance to Matariki; and the present state of knowledge of volcanic risk in Tamaki Makaurau."

The Wanaga Rongoā will be led by Ewen Cameron, Charmaine Wiapo and Rob McGowan, and focuses on native plant identification and regeneration, and medicinal properties of native flora and fauna.

Numbers are limited: To book please email Nga Remu with ‘RSVP Maunga', 'RSVP Rongoa' and/or 'RSVP Puoro' in the subject line or ph 306 7070 extn 7178.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lateral thinking

Today three of us spent a couple of hours transporting cut branches of pine, privet and flowering cherry from the fenceline along the southern boundary to our work area near Hillside Crescent.

We had tried planting there on Tuesday, but made slow progress with the loose rocky ground threatening to slide away underfoot. Digging a hole for a plant meant risking a landslide.

So Jean suggested we terrace the slope in preparation for the next lot of plants. She managed to enlist Gerald, anti-drink driving campaigner and Hillary Trail runner, to apply his professional landscaping skills.

Gerald will lay the branches horizontally across the slope, creating barriers to arrest the downward movement and stabilise the ground. Then we can put in more under-storey plants and, hopefully, they'll gain a foothold.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Community planting day on Maungawhau, Sunday 15 July 2012

We'll have a community planting day on #maungawhau on Sunday 15 July.
To be held in conjunction with Forest and Bird (Central Auckland).
Help us plant natives to replace the weeds on the southern slope, then boil the billy to celebrate World Ranger Day at the end of July.
For more information, see the Ecoevents site.

Smoking Ban needed on Maungawhau

The news today highlights an item in a Council meeting on a report that will start to develop policy to ban smoking on all parks in Auckland.
The Friends of Maungawhau have been calling for a ban for some time on volcanic cones [the ban already exists in regional parks]
No smoking is necessary not only for health reasons but to stop the littering of cigarette butts.
No smoking is also a sign of respect to these important cultural sites. The ban will also help reduce the fire risk.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Where is the community input to parks strategy?

On Tues 12th June the Parks, Recreation and Heritage Forum of Auckland Council will consider two reports affecting volunteer work and the future of the volcanic cones. Doesn't encourage community input.
Ecological Prioritisation for Waitemata Local Board
• Draft Auckland Council Parks and Open Spaces Strategy

Had a quick look and while good stuff and great words, very general and the reality of getting it done is not fully considered. In other words, very top-end planning – and maybe too “planese” – remote from public engagement. Does not deal well with conservation versus recreation conflicts on limited parks resource.

PLEASE WRITE TO COUNCIL: That key community groups such as the Friends of Regional Parks (FOR Parks) and F&B and FoM etc be consulted as part of the next consultation process. There may be an over-emphasis with the CCOs having too great an input into the process, without it balanced with community groups having an input.

Kit Howden
Chairperson, Friends of Maungawhau

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Congratulations to the Tāmaki iwi

Congratulations to the Tāmaki iwi and hapu, the government and Auckland Council on forming co-governance for the volcanic cones and landscape. For years the cones have been poorly managed and hopefully the new arrangement will put greater focus for improved management.

A theme at the Rio+20 global conference this month is how to deal with human impacts that threaten nature, planetary boundaries and the few protected areas or parks remaining on the planet. One key is co-management based on giving authority back to indigenous people in association with government and the local community.

Pressure on our volcanic parks and green space will increase as Auckland grows. For example, view shafts need to be better protected, tracks need to be better maintained, old quarries stabilised, weeds controlled, boundaries clarified and recreation use monitored so archaeological features are protected.

Over a decade ago a group of concerned citizens including young iwi leaders formed a voluntary group, the Friends of Maungawhau, to campaign for better governance and understanding of the volcanic cones we live on. Active volunteers are still working to restore a 130-year-old quarry on the side of Maungawhau-Mt Eden. Restoring the neglected cones is a huge task. It needs more frontline commitment, not just from iwi, government and council, but from local communities and volunteers too.

Kit Howden
Chairperson, Friends of Maungawhau

Friends of Maungawhau Annual Reports

Annual reports for 2010-2011 & 2011-2012 are now online here

Friday, June 8, 2012

Volcanic cones Treaty settlement

The Auckland volcanic cones Treaty settlement was initialled yesterday.
On Radio NZ this morning Ngāti Whātua o Ōrakei trustee Ngarimu Blair said that once the settlement goes through, the iwi collective will be able to look after the volcanic cones properly.

"There'll be fewer weeds, there'll be more native biodiversity, there'll be more identification of the 1,000-year Māori history and heritage, there'll be more Māori art work, there'll be less damage to the archaeological sites by cows, there'll be visitor centres and cultural centres in time, so we're hoping there'll be a lot of change."

Right on!

Guess what it says:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Meeting at Newmarket School

Here we have Ian, Sonya, Kat and April meeting to discuss Social Media options for the Friends of Maungawhau website and blog.
We threw around some ideas for the blog, and talked about ways to make it more user friendly and accessible. Tools such as Twitter and Facebook were looked at with the intention that in using these, we can connect to a larger audience more efficiently and effectively.
As we were meeting at Newmarket School, we had three visitors (Odette, Eilleen and Virginia) come to share a little about what the children (and staff) are working towards in their school in terms of media. Currently, some students are preparing to create a short film about the Maunga with original music. We look forward to hearing more about this as it evolves.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Auckland story for 23 May 2012 - Mt Eden

Mount Eden has been a popular tourist destination for years. Since
Christmas a shuttle operated by Ngati Whatua-o-Orakei has been giving
some folks a helping hand up and along the way they also learn something
about the history of the mountain.