In terms of conservation gains, community contributions make a huge difference for our endangered species.
Hāpaitia Kōhanga is one of these groups. Each year they perform a fundraiser kapa haka performance, with money raised going towards whio protection in the Ōroua Valley.
The new Te Kura o Kauwhata joined them this year putting on an impressive performance.
Not only does this raise funds, it also raises community awareness of this unique species. Less than 3000 whio now survive in the wild.
Hāpaitia Kōhanga is passionate about whio. The Ōroua River flows close to their Kōhanga in Feilding, so there is a real sense of connection for them.
DOC and the Ruahine Whio Protection Trust are grateful for the Kōhanga’s efforts and we recently visited Hāpaitia Kōhanga and presented the kaiako/teacher and tamariki/children with Ruahine Whio Protector hats sponsored by Fonterra and local Palmerston North business Merino on Main.
Ruahine Whio Protection Trust is a group of dedicated volunteers who are working incredibly hard to ensure the survival of whio in the Ruahine Forest Park.
Last year the Trust was able to buy 13 new traps with the money raised by the Kōhanga, which the Kōhanga then personalised with their own design.
The Trust recently laid these traps out in the Ōroua Valley to start the important work of trapping predators.
Without community support from groups like Hāpaitia Kōhanga, the work to protect our whio wouldn’t be possible.