Project: Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui (Puhinui Stream regeneration)

Mar 2017 – TBC
Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui (Puhinui Stream regeneration)


Papaki kau ana ngaa tai o Te Maanukanuka o Hoturoa, Paakia ki uta, paakia ki tai, Teretere haere ana ngaa wai maariri o te Puhinui, Te awa koiora me te awa taauru whakapiki ora, Hoki atu raa ki ngaa Matukurua, ko Matukutuureia raaua ko Matukutuururu, Ko ngaa tuupuna maunga tawhito, tuu te ao, tuu te poo, Aro atu te manawa ki a Manukau taangata rau, Araa, te pae haumako me te whenua makuru o Te Waiohua, Huri taiahio ko ngaa uri taakerekere oo Huakaiwaka, Ngaa raukura matahiiapo aana, Tukua mai kia piri, tukua mai kia tata, Tukua mai ki Puhinui, Kia whakaoratia toona tapu, toona mauri me toona mana, Kia eke Panuku, kia eke Tangaroa, Haumi-ee, Hui-ee, Taaiki ee!

The tides of the Manukau Harbour blow gently, Gently blowing on shore and blowing out shore, The tranquil waters of Puhinui Stream flow, And its life giving properties enhance our vitality, Let me return to the ancestral mountains of Maatukutuureia and Matukutuururu, The ancient mountains that stand resilient day and night, As we turn our hearts to Manukau the land of many people, Therein lies the fertile and rich lands of the Waiohua people, The cleansing wind gathers the descendants of Huakaiwaka, His treasured and precious feathers, Let us come together, let us draw near, Let us come closer to Puhinui, So that we may restore its sacredness, its vitality and its prestige, As we invoke the seen and unseen energies to propel us forward, Let us be united, connected and together as one!

Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui is a regional development project in the heart of Tamaki ki te Tonga (south Auckland), focused on the ancestral stream of Te Puhinui.

Te Puhinui stream spans from the peak of Totara Park, through the residential area of Te Wirihana, into the commercial area of Manukau and out to the Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa (Manukau Harbour). The intent is to focus on intergenerational outcomes for tangata (people), whenua (place) and taiao (nature).

We are forced to think about development and what change can mean with questions such as:

How can we support the people who live in the area, who have worked there for generations and have tribal connections to the place?

How can we honour mana whenua and iwi and uplift their history, aspirations for the future, and the stories of significant places?.

How can we better care for and be kaimanaaki (support people) for nature and remember our dependency on our natural environment for shelter, food?

How we can be guided by stories and signs of weather changes?

When we can strike that balance and begin to figure out the answers together, we all win.

The purpose of Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui strategy is to realise the regeneration of Te Puhinui in a way that is inclusive, place-sourced, culturally led and community-fed so that Te Puhinui and its people can thrive once more. It aims to align and build on existing relationships and projects within the catchment and the Manukau Harbour by providing frameworks and methods that will help shift Te Puhinui from its current state towards realising its potential.

What makes it special? Who is involved?

It is a collaborative partnership between mana whenua, the te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland Council) whānau, crown agencies, community organisations and the culturally rich, unique and diverse communities of Te Puhinui.

A wide range of project partners and collaborators have been involved in the development of the regeneration strategy, including locals alongside identified key users and decision-makers in the Puhinui catchment area.

Te Waiohua (mana whenua Māori iwi) developed a kaupapa (source document) which provides the foundations of, and articulates the purpose and vision for, the regeneration of Te Puhinui. The strategy seeks to draw on existing knowledge about the catchment and the geological, ecological, and cultural threads that underpin the whakapapa relationships of each Te Waiohua iwi, to deliver improved social, cultural, environmental, and economic outcomes.

What has been done to date?

The focus for the past 4-5 years has been establishing the governance with Te Waiohua and project partners working group. Through constant interactions and forming of relationships, the pathway has become clearer and manifested into a strategic document known as Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui strategy, which captures all the activity, relationships, vision and objectives for Te Puhinui.

During these formative years, there have been several efforts to experiment and demonstrate potential changes with various project partners. Activities have varied from volunteer planting days, educational talks at the botanical gardens, a digital phone app to be activated by the stream, and tactic structures such as community containers and a newly designed playground with the involvement of a local school.

How can I get involved?

Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui is still a new project, with plenty of opportunity for collaboration and to share your stories and aspirations for the stream. Over the coming months, we will be launching new social media sites such as an Instagram page to keep up to date with Te Puhinui developments. A new website and digital hub to find all the latest information and events happening over the year to get involved with will also be launched.

The project of Te Puhinui has a newly appointed Empowered Community Lead, Alexanda Whitcombe, to support the collaboration and coordination of the project. He will play an important role to move the project from a strategy document to connecting with the community and partners on the ground.

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